Exams Central

Exam papers in alternative formats

The awarding bodies for general qualifications provide a range of formats to meet the needs of candidates who have a visual impairment. The following range of modified papers is available for learners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: 

  1. Unmodified enlarged. This is the standard paper enlarged onto A3 paper, providing a print size of around 14 point for most papers. Please note that unmodified enlarged papers are not provided by awarding bodies - centres should request permission to open the standard papers early to enlarge them themselves.
  2. Modified enlarged. Here the layout and presentation of the standard paper is simplified to remove elements of visual complexity, without changing the demands of the question paper. Pictures and diagrams are often redrawn to make them more visually accessible or removed if they are not essential to the question. Additionally some data may have been amended as part of the modification process. Modified enlarged papers are provided by the awarding bodies. They are available in two sizes: 18pt Arial Bold on A4, 24pt Arial Bold on A3.
  3. Contracted Grade 2 braille paper. Here the layout and presentation of the standard paper is simplified in line with the approach described above for modified enlarged papers. The content is then transcribed into contracted braille with tactile diagrams where appropriate. Braille papers are provided by the awarding bodies. 

Standard and modified print papers may also be available on request as electronic PDF files to be accessed on screen.

Please note that centres may request another format for a candidate who cannot use one of the above. The awarding body concerned will decide on an individual basis whether such requests are reasonable.

Obtaining past papers

Using past papers is an important way for learners to practise for exams and is also a good way of ensuring that they have chosen the correct format.  The awarding bodies can provide copies of past modified print papers and can also advise on how to obtain braille copies. Please note that it is not always possible to obtain past papers in all formats for a particular examination because they are only produced on demand for each examination series. Where this is the case awarding bodies can help you to find past papers in the appropriate format set out in a similar style.

Follow the links below to find out about past papers:

For further information please consult the JCQ publication Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration.

STA Year 6 (Key Stage 2) exams

Please contact the STA Helpline about past papers and exam support on 0300 303 3019 or email modifiedtestshelpline@pia.co.uk

Edexcel past papers in braille

Contact Businesslink@rnib.org.uk to see if the past paper you require is available in braille.

Past papers