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Scribe Guidelines/Procedures

A scribe is an individual who writes or types verbatim exactly as a student dictates their responses during exams. Instructors, teaching assistants, graduate students, or proctors may serve as scribes .

Where applicable, the scribe must be familiar with the words, terms, symbols, or signs specific to the exam content.  

Who Receives This Accommodation

Students approved for this accommodation have physical or chronic disabilities which significantly restricts their ability to handwrite or type their exam answers. This accommodation is usually approved when technological alternatives such as speech-to-text are not feasible or additional assistance is needed in addition to text-to-speech.

General Guidelines

The following guidelines should be followed by students and scribes when engaged in this accommodation:

  • Students approved for this accommodation typically are also approved for a private room during exams.
  • The scribe is responsible for entering identification and other required details on the exam paper (e.g., student name, number, date, page number, etc.). 
  • The scribe may type or handwrite the student's answers, depending on format of the exam.
  • For multiple choice exams, students may say or point to their choice.
  • The scribe is responsible for correctly transferring the student's answers to the Scantron, if applicable.
  • The scribe is responsible for correct spelling.  Where necessary, they may ask the student to spell technical words.
  • The student is responsible for correct punctuation.  The student may indicate punctuation as they dictate, or they may add it later.
  • The student is permitted to skip questions and go out of order just like other students.
  • The student is permitted to review and edit their answers throughout the exam, and to have their answers read back to them as often as necessary.
  • The student must indicate when they are ready to move to the next exam item.
  • Scribes can respond only to procedural questions from the student
  • Scribes must not assist the student in any way.  They must not suggest answers, offer strategies or clues, indicate correct or incorrect answers, or instruct the student to redo or review any part of their answer or exam.
Scribe Qualifications

Scribes must be able to: 

  • Handwrite in clear and legible manner.
  • Type at a reasonably efficient speed.
  • Maintain a neutral facial expression and posture without giving hints of any kind.
  • Sit quietly while students process their answers.
  • Work with students comfortably and compatibly without creating unnecessary pressure, expectations, or distractions.
  • Scribe exactly what the student dictates without paraphrasing or editing.
  • Ask the student to repeat phrases or words for clarity sake without suggesting changes or corrections. 

If you have questions regarding this accommodation, please contact Student Access & Accommodation at 817-257-6567 or