Skip to content

Providing students with essential access arrangements for maths at exam time

Equatio makes mathematics and science accessible on any page, in any document with its powerful screenshot reader. With such a strong suite of features we know that Equatio transforms the maths and science classroom experience for many students.

It now provides unrivalled accessible maths for students. Since Equatio is your students’ dependable, normal way of working across the year, it’s crucial that this support, and accessibility is available at exam time.


We are on a mission to help everyone understand and be understood. We want to support all students in accessing, expressing and understanding mathematics and science. Equatio offers students multiple ways to display their mathematical and scientific thinking with speech input, handwriting recognition and formulae predictions that scaffold when needed.

Equatio now provides unrivalled, accessible maths for students. Since Equatio is your students’ dependable, normal way of working across the year, it’s crucial that this support, and accessibility is available at exam time.

Using Equatio as a computer reader for exams

Equatio can now be used as a computer reader in exams as outlined by the Joint Council for Qualifications in the UK (JCQ). The JCQ offers guidance on access arrangements for students; “Access Arrangements allow candidates/learners with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment without changing the demands of the assessment.” A key part of Access Arrangements is that students have the time to become familiar with the computer reader in use and that it becomes their normal way of working across the year.

The JCQ guidance states that “[A Computer Reader] “may decode symbols and unit abbreviations in Maths and Science examinations for candidates who require this arrangement to access the assessment, reflecting the candidate’s current and normal way of working within the centre” JCQ Access Arrangements, Pg 45, 5.5.9

For students who require this Access Arrangement, Equatio can now act as a computer reader for text, numbers, symbols, expressions and more - reading and decoding where permitted in mathematics and science papers. Reading aloud works just like a text reader with controls for voice and speed - helping support student independence and confidence. Students can access Equatio when they need it, repeating information as many times as they require.

Equatio’s secure exam mode has recently had a refresh to ensure it is simple for Exams officers to set up and meet the JCQ guidelines and at all times protect the integrity of the examination by providing access only to the features permitted.

You can learn more about how to set up Equatio as a computer reader on our dedicated page.

So what’s changed?

We have enhanced the screenshot reader to now include the ability to accurately read more text than ever before, as well as mathematics and science notation. Students can now capture larger areas of text to be read aloud making for a more student friendly user experience.

For teachers, exam officers and SENDCo’s we have added new functionality to Equatio meaning that you can turn on and off our exam mode with a simple series of clicks. Teachers can create exam conditions that support students normal way of working for in class assessments with a simple toggle on for exam mode. This ease of use can help students become more familiar with Equatio in exam mode during in-class assessments, helping them to be ready when formal assessment time arrives. For exams officers receiving a paper shortly before an exam, it’s quick and easy to flip to the secure exam mode in just a few clicks.

This short video shows you how easy and fast it is to set up exam mode for students.

Approach accessible exams confidently

Exam officers and SENDCo’s can be confident that Equatio meets the JCQ guidelines as a computer reader with its accessible, compliant mode. Combine this with simple deployment and it's easy to see why it's now possible to provide equity for access arrangements across maths and science papers without the need and cost of a human reader. Working alongside Read&Write for text exams, it’s the complete exams solution across every subject.

If you have any questions, or want to see how Equatio can help your students, get in touch and one of our team will be happy to help.