This checklist offers a range of considerations to ensure that tests are designed and deployed in ways that maximize their accessibility for learners.

The Accessible Testing, Online Test Creation, and Online Test Settings sections focus on fundamental considerations for any face to face or online test.  Although not all items will be applicable in all test situations, collectively they should provide solid guidance around developing a test that is as accessible as possible for all learners and that engages enough flexibility to reduce some testing stress and allow students to demonstrate what they have learned.

The Accessible Testing: Going Further and Online Testing: Going Further sections offer additional suggestions to further build accessibility into testing through increased flexibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. These options will help to further increase test accessibility and support all students in demonstrating their knowledge and learning.

Accessible Testing

  • The test is set at an appropriate level and includes only questions that students should be able to answer based on what has already been learned in the course.
  • Test questions are clear and concise.
  • The time provided to complete the test is adequate for students to finish all questions, with adequate preparation.
  • The value of each question is indicated on the test.
  • Trick questions or questions intended to confuse students are not included.
  • Students are told what to review prior to taking the test.
  • Students are given information about the length and format of the test in advance.

Accessible Testing: Going Further

  • A generous amount of time is provided to complete the test.
  • A variety of different types of questions are included for students to allow for different ways of showing knowledge.
  • Students can choose the questions that they answer from a selection.
  • The approximate time to complete each question or section is indicated on the test.
  • Students are provided with opportunities to review topics and ask questions prior to taking the test.
  • Students are offered sample questions or tests to complete as practice in advance of the test.
  • Students are given an opportunity to correct and resubmit their test for additional credit.

Online Test Creation

  • The test is developed with an understanding that online testing is virtually always open book.
  • Questions are simply and consistently formatted.
  • Images include detailed alt text descriptions for students using screen readers or other assistive devices.
  • Any materials to be downloaded by students as part of the test have been created in an accessible format.
  • Hot Spot questions, which can be very difficult for students with visual impairments to complete, are avoided.
  • If the question order is randomized or if questions are displayed one at a time, learners are informed how many of each type of question is on the test so they can plan and manage their time appropriately.
  • If the test is randomized using Pools, it is structured so that all questions in the question set are the same question type and approximately the same level of difficulty.

Online Test Settings

  • The test is available for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Force completion is turned off.
  • Timed tests provide enough time for students to finish all questions, with adequate preparation. The timer may also be set to include additional time in case of technical or other challenges.
  • If the timer is turned on, the auto-submit option is also enabled.
  • Test Availability Exceptions is used to provide accommodations for individual or groups of learners.
  • Prohibit Backtracking is avoided.
  • Proctoring tools are not required for the test to be completed.
  • Test result and feedback are provided so learners can check their results and assess their performance.

Online Testing: Going Further

  • The test is available for an extended period to increase flexibility for learners.
  • The timer is set for a generous amount of time.
  • Sample tests are offered in advance to allow
  • Learners are given multiple opportunities to attempt and complete the test.
  • Learners are given choice in the questions that they answer.


  • Photo by wsfurlan via Getty Images. Used with permission.

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