Using DocsPlus in exams

If a student qualifies for additional access arrangements in exams, they can use DocsPlus, saving time and money that would otherwise be spent on scribes and readers. This also enables them to participate more independently.

Requirement Allowed access to...
Word processor Speech feedback* Spell checker Predictor DocReader
Word processor Yes No No No No
Reader No No No No Yes
Reader and word processor Yes Yes No No Yes
Scribe Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Reader and scribe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

*In the word processor

Download your copy of our 'Using DocsPlus in Exams' guide.


How much can I save with DocsPlus?


If we were to calculate the costs incurred by these additional requirements,hiring human readers and scribes could cost an average of £11,240 per school, per year. For a one-off purchase of £3,500, DocsPlus could fulfil the needs of the students who require additional arrangements for exams for years to come.

*1: Readers can work with up to two students, whereas scribes must work one-on-one; 2: Average number of eight GCSEs taken, according to Cambridge Assessment 2016; 3: If students took eight GCSEs, with two papers taking two and a half hours - including additional time - then each reader would be required for a minimum of 20 hours; 4: Reader paid £11.50 p/h, scribe paid £20 p/h.

Cost savings PDF

Exam use regulations

The Joint Council for Qualifications has regulations in place regarding the use of technology in exams. It is vital that any assistive technology used must be a candidate's usual way of working.

If a student qualifies for word processing support: 

  • The spell checker, speech feedback and predictive text options must be disabled (unless the candidate has permission for a scribe).

If a student qualifies for a scribe: 

  • A wider range of support options can be used. Use of the spell checker, speech feedback and word prediction tools is permitted.

If a student qualifies for a reader:

  • A computer reader can be used to read the exam paper aloud whilst the candidate writes their answers using pen and paper (or a word processor). 

A student may also qualify for a combination of the above. 

We have highlighted the specific information within the Adjustments for Candidates with Disabilities and Learning Difficulties guidelines which specifically relates to using software in exams here.

View document

DocsPlus Exam Mode

It's very simple to switch on Exam Mode in DocsPlus. Simply open the Exam Mode tool, select the features that you wish to disable when a particular student is taking an exam, and click OK. This area is password protected so that only the relevant people can make changes. 

When Exam Mode is turned on, the student will no longer be able to access the support features that you have opted to disable. These preferences will be tied to each student's individual computer profile.

DocsPlus Exam Mode

Exam-friendly options

In addition to the DocReader, DocsPlus also includes a number of 'exam-friendly' features:

  • Smart tabs provide one-click toggling between the document you're writing and the one you're reading. Alternatively, use DocsPlus' innovative screen tiling feature, which pins the exam questions to the bottom of the screen, enabling students to access the exam question as they write their answer.
  • If a student's answer booklet is in an editable PDF format, they can use DocsPlus to write directly into it. Support features including speech feedback and word prediction will also be accessible here, if students are allowed to use them.

Find out more about DocsPlus' Exam Mode in this short video from our Customer Experience Consultant, Gemma.