So far I have concentrated on students who have poor skills – in exam arrangement speak this means those eligible for readers and scribes (standardised score of 85 or a range of scores between 85-90).
But what about those students who are ‘a little bit weak’ reading? They can read quite well and relatively fluently but comprehension is blighted by the odd multisyllabic word they don’t recognise. In class, they can ask but they are on their own in exams. The few words the student cannot read may mean a misreading of the content or misinterpretation of the question.
For these students, an exam pen could be the answer. The pen scans a word and reads it – the student can stay in the hall because the pen can be used with a set of earphones. This exam pen is allowed in exams as there is no dictionary in the pen – and the JCQ has agreed anyone can use one.
These pens are ridiculousy expensive (£190) which is a shame (and possibly unneccesary for what they are) but it may be worth considering for certain students.
Here is a video showing how the exam pen works – I did it very quickly for @aspiedelazouch a few months ago and it’s upside down – sorry. I would have done it again for you but my exam pen is at home and I am at my lovely Mum’s being spoiled – half term woes.
I’d be interested to hear any feedback on these pens – one secondary school I visited recently told me one girl used one in all her classes and it has transformed her attitude and improved her reading.