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C-Pen Exam Reader 2: reading assistance students can count on

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December 20, 2022 at 12:00:00 AM PST December 20, 2022 at 12:00:00 AM PSTth, December 20, 2022 at 12:00:00 AM PST

Learners with dyslexia could experience some changes in 2023’s exam setup. New guidance from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) means some of the human readers they've worked with in class will no longer be able to follow them into the exam hall.


This new guidance means that students who have previously relied on subject teachers and TAs as human reading support will have to adapt to new personnel when they enter the exam hall. The readers that have supported learners throughout the year will no longer, in the overwhelming majority of cases, be permitted under JCQ regulations to assist them at all during exam time – which creates a large amount of disruption for the learner at a crucial time.


These kinds of adaptations pose a problem for learners who require consistency as part of their learning setup. Those who have ADHD or autism benefit from learning in conditions that offer the same framework day after day. Eleventh-hour changes disrupt the exam experience for a reader unfamiliar with these changes. Adding this extra level of stress to the already stressful exam experience has a negative impact on concentration and performance, which easily fosters exam-based anxiety to a greater degree than before.


The human reader switch has the potential to cause disruption to learners due to the huge variations that occur between one human reader and another. If a learner has used one human reader throughout the term and then has to swap to another, that human reader will have none of the prior knowledge of that learner's needs. Although the interactions they can have on these kinds of levels are limited, it could extend into issues with speech speed, accent, and the particulars of how a learner likes to receive the words on the page. Not to mention the barrier of overcoming anxiety around receiving support from someone new.


Simply put, exam season is stressful – and the absence of their regular human reader could make it more stressful still. So, what's the solution, when many schools simply do not have the additional budget at the moment to secure external separate invigilators?


Consistency is key in making sure learners head into their exams feeling as confident and as prepared to demonstrate the extent of their knowledge as possible. The exam process is emotional and tiring, especially when it's end-of-stage testing like GCSEs, A-Levels or KS2 SATs, and alterations that might make them feel uncomfortable or find it hard to adapt are likely to have a negative impact on exam performance.


Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that readers have a support framework in place that they can take with them from the classroom into the exam hall – meaning they can focus on what's important as the clock ticks down.


Find a dependable alternative to human readers in C-Pen Exam Reader 2

C-Pen Exam Reader 2 is an assistive reading tool that uses award-winning text-to-speech technology to break down barriers between readers with dyslexia and literacy differences and the words on the page.


As well as providing a consistent, reliable way of reading, C-Pen Exam Reader 2 also encourages independent reading by providing a support mechanism that can help learners decode free of adult assistance – helping them feel more at ease heading into controlled conditions like the exam hall. Through creating this self-solving ability, they also cut down on a large amount of the embarrassment and feeling observed that learners might feel when sitting with a human reader in a situation visible to their peers.


Many schools and colleges also prefer to rely on devices like C-Pen Exam Reader 2 as opposed to human assistance as they’re much more cost-effective. Instead of an ongoing cost – the in-person reader’s hire fee or salary – they can find an ongoing solution with a device that’s rechargeable, portable, and intuitive to use for even younger exam-takers.

You can find out more about C-Pen Exam Reader 2 at its home on Scanning Pens. You can also explore more about the differences between human help and assistive tech readers at our blog Human Readers and Text Readers.