Golan, M., Singer, G., Rabin, N., & Kleper, D. (2020). Integrating actual time usage into the assessment of examination time extensions provided to disabled college engineering students . Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education , 45 (7), 988–1000. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2020.1717434

Journal Article
Golan, M., Singer, G., Rabin, N., & Kleper, D. (2020). Integrating actual time usage into the assessment of examination time extensions provided to disabled college engineering students. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 45(7), 988–1000. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2020.1717434


Attention problem; Autism; Extended time; International (non-U.S.); Language; Learning disabilities; Math; No disability; Postsecondary; Science; Student survey; Visual impairment (including blindness)





Extended time, provided at the rate of 125% (25% more time than standard), was investigated as a postsecondary examination accommodation, including actual exam time used.


An extant dataset from 2,315 postsecondary students in engineering at a university in Israel was analyzed. Of the total students, 296 were students with disabilities, and 2,019 were students without disabilities. The types of disabilities were reported: attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, medical problem, dysgraphia, executive functioning, dysphasia, psychiatric disorder, auditory disorder, and dyspraxia; however, results were not differentiated by specific disabilities. Students who were new immigrants and students who spoke Arabic (rather than Hebrew) were included in the count of students with academic difficulties as they required more time during examinations; however, they comprised less than 2% of the subset of students with disabilities. Students were pursuing undergraduate degrees in electrical, industrial, mechanical, medical, and software engineering. Student characteristics such as age, sex (male/female), academic grades, and SAT scores were reported.

Dependent Variable

The extant dataset was composed of a total of 8,086 exams in 158 courses, including 1,492 exams from postsecondary students with disabilities. The seven academic course types tested were: computer science and programming languages, economics, engineering, English as a foreign language (basic writing and reading skills), mathematics, physics, and "qualitative (humanities and social sciences)" (p. 993). Exam data documented by test proctors included academic course type, time of day, the scheduled duration of the exam, and the actual time it took for the student to complete the exam; proportion of actual exam time used was calculated. Performance on exams was included in analyses. Exam scores from students using other accommodations were not examined, and data from students using other accommodations in combination with extended time were excluded.


There was a small but statistically significant difference in grades on the exams between students with disabilities and students without disabilities; that is, students without disabilities scored higher, on average, than students with disabilities. Students with disabilities did not use the full 125% of exam time that they were provided—on average, they used 111% of the standard exam time. Students without disabilities used about 91% of the standard time they were provided. The researchers concluded that extended time did not remove the performance gap between the two groups of students on English and software course exams. However, participant groups performed similarly to one another on exams in other courses.