Response: Reference Materials

How to use reference materials effectively as an assessment accommodation.

Response: Reference Materials

Related References
Types of Assessment


Guiding Principles
Case Studies

Reference materials include spell checkers and dictionaries. Students may use thesematerials to define terms in the directions or in the test items. For example, on awriting assessment, the student may use a dictionary while proofreading his or herwork.


  1. Review the test to determine which sections require the use of reference materials.
  2. Make the appropriate tool available to the student for the section of the test inwhich it is required.
  3. If the student is allowed to complete a draft first, make sure he or she uses thereference tools before copying the final version into the test booklet.


Care should be taken to ensure that students use reference materials appropriately.For example, if the test is assessing vocabulary, then it would not be appropriate toprovide a dictionary. If the test is assessing spelling, a spell checker would not beappropriate.

Excerpted from Assessment Accommodations Toolkit.

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