A human reader may assist in administering a student’s exam if the College Board SSD office has approved the accommodation, or the student has been approved for an accommodation for which use of a reader is listed as an alternative.
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Readers must be:
- Able to follow instructions and read verbatim only the words on the screen, without changing, adding, or assisting the student in developing their response.
- Patient—the student may need to have exam questions repeated several times.
- Able to work with the student comfortably and compatibly without creating unnecessary pressure or unrealistic expectations.
- Fluent in describing and writing music notation (if assisting with the administration of the AP Music Theory Exam).
- Fluent or proficient in Spanish (if assisting with the administration of the AP Spanish Literature and Culture Exam).
The reader must not:
- Be employed part- or full-time at a test preparation company.
- Participate in any coaching activity that addresses the content of secure College Board tests.
Note: For the 2020 AP Exam administration only, parents who are AP teachers may serve as a reader, if needed.
- Students who are approved for MP3 audio will test with a reader or screen reader for AP Exams.
- Students approved to test with a reader or MP3 audio will be able to take the exam with extended time.
- The reader should be familiar with this year’s exam security policies.
- Any discussion or communication concerning interpretation of exam content is not permitted.
- Before the exam administration, the student and the reader should discuss how best to work together.
- Students who are blind or who have visual impairments may also be approved to have special tools or equipment (i.e., abacus, braille writer, or computer) that have been approved to use during the exam. These tools offer neither an unfair nor a special advantage. The most important consideration is for the reader and the student to have the same set of expectations about what is to happen, how much time is allowed, and how all the tasks will be accomplished.
The reader’s task is to read only the exam questions. The reader must not try to solve the problem or determine the correct answer because this may result in an unconscious pause or change in inflection that could be misleading or disconcerting to the student. The expression on the reader’s face should remain neutral. The reader must not look at the student, smile, or frown to indicate approval or disapproval.
- Each question must be read as clearly as possible. Special emphasis should be given to words in bold, italics, or capital letters, to alert the student that they are displayed that way. The reader must not emphasize words that are not emphasized in the exam content.
- If the reader is unfamiliar with a word or is not sure how to pronounce it, the reader should advise the student that they are not certain how to pronounce the word and spell it for the student.
- When reading a word that could be pronounced the same as another word with a different spelling, the reader should spell the word after pronouncing it, if there can be any doubt about which word is intended.
- The reader should spell any words requested by the student.
- The reader should avoid conversations about exam questions, but may respond to the student’s questions by repeating an item, words, or instructions.
- When reading passages, the reader should be aware of all punctuation. Indicate quotation marks aloud, along with other relevant punctuation that may not be apparent. Some students may prefer that all punctuation marks be read aloud.
- When exam questions refer to particular lines of a passage, reread the lines before reading the question and answer choices. For example, the reader might say, "Question X refers to the following lines from the passage just read to you." The reader would read the appropriate lines in the passage and then read Question X and its response options.
Serving as a Reader for Mathematics Exams
A student is permitted to ask the reader to read back notes that the student has taken while reading a passage or working on a problem. A reader can also assist with intermediate steps in computing mathematics problems, especially if the student has no tools or equipment for taking notes or is otherwise unable to do so. For example, in the multiplication of numbers (e.g., 17 x 521), a student may say, "Seven times one is seven." Put down the seven. "Seven twos are 14." Put down the four and carry the one. "Seven fives are 35 and one is 36." Put down 36.
Mathematical expressions must be read precisely and with care to avoid misrepresentation for a student who has no visual reference. Use technically correct yet simple terms, and be consistent in the treatment of similar expressions. Here are some typical expressions and the manner in which they should be read:
- Lowercase letters that are juxtaposed should be read as a multiplication expression:
should be read as "x times y."
- should be read as "x times y."
- Simple numerical fractions should be read as fractions:
should be read as "five sixths."
- should be read as "five sixths."
- However, similar letter expressions can be read as one letter "over" another:
- should be read as "a over b."
- To avoid confusion, complicated fractions (that contain other mathematical operations) should be read in terms of their numerators and denominators:
- should be read as "a fraction with numerator b plus d and denominator c."
- Negative numbers should be read as "negative":
should be read as "the negative of five," not "minus five."
- should be read as "the negative of five," not "minus five."
- When a subtraction operation is involved, read the sign as "minus":
should be read as "x minus five."
- should be read as "x minus five."
- Expressions containing multiple mathematical operations should be read exactly as they appear, indicating any parenthetical expressions:
should be read as "a, parenthesis, x minus y, close parenthesis."
should be read as "a times b squared."
- should be read as "z plus, parenthesis, the opposite of a, close parenthesis."
- should be read as "a, parenthesis, x minus y, close parenthesis."