Access Arrangements and the DSA

Access Arrangements and the Disabled Students' Allowance

Welcome to the Pearson Assessment guide to Access Arrangements and the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). The three tabs include the latest guidelines and regulations, links to useful sites, and information on the tests from Pearson Assessment which are suitable.

What are Access Arrangements?

Access Arrangements are changes made to the conditions under which candidates sit exams if there is evidence that they have specific difficulties.

Schools and colleges are required to provide evidence of below average performance on set criteria if special arrangements are to be made.

The Standards and Testing Agency and the Joint Council for Qualifications CIC (JCQ CIC) are responsible for setting and monitoring the regulations.


Which tests from Pearson Assessment are suitable?

How do I meet the requirements?

Where can I find out more about the testing regulations, and courses? 



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How do I meet the requirements?

Please view the SASC paper, 'Evaluations of Need by Remote Video Platform' for futher details on use of our SACS appoved products via remote online test administration.

Standard scores must be provided as evidence of below average performance.

A standard score is converted from the frequency distribution of raw scores for any one age group. This allows comparison of an individual’s performance against their age group.

Standard scores have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. The governing bodies therefore consider a standard score of below 85 indicative of below average performance.

Standard scores can sometimes be presented with a mean of 10 and a standard deviation of 3. A standard score of below 7 is equivalent to achieving a score of below 85 on a composite standard score.

The table and figure below show the relationship between standard scores and other common score scales.

Click for National Percentile Ranks, Normal Curve Equivalents, and Stanines corresponding to Standard Scores (jpg, 205KB)

Click for Normal Distribution and Associated Scales (jpg, 201KB)

These scores are obtained by using standardised assessments. See Which tests from Pearson Assessment are suitable? 


Where can I find out more?

Regulations - Key Stage 2

Official site:

Additional time criteria and applications for Key Stage 2

National Curriculum assessments helpline:

Telephone: 0300 303 3013



General Qualifications

Official site:

JCQ CIC Official Site: Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments



Jones, A. (Ed). Dyslexia: Assessing the need for Access Arrangements in Examinations A Practical Guide, Fourth Edition. ISBN: 0-9539315-4-4 (Written in conjunction with the JCQ CIC).

> Purchase from PATOSS



Communicate-ed is a company specialising in the training of education professionals who work in the area of special needs. They run a number of courses in the implementation of access arrangements for General Qualifications

Visit: to find out more about up-coming courses in your area.




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