Notes or Note Cards as an Accommodation

Note cards are a testing accommodation used to support students who have documented challenges with memory. They are a tool used to trigger information that a student has studied but may have difficulty recalling due to cognitive problems related to memory and recall. Note cards allow the student to demonstrate knowledge of course material by helping to prompt the student’s memory, not by providing the answer.

Note cards give students an equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of course material on a test/exam without taxing already compromised memory functions. This accommodation is not intended to reduce academic requirements or alter the standards by which academic performance is assessed.  A proper note card will not be useful to the student unless the student knows and understands how to use the information it refers to. If the student doesn’t understand the course material, a proper note card will not help. As well, note cards must be reviewed by and approved by the faculty member since they know the learning objectives or outcomes of the course.  In some cases, these cards just are not applicable to a course.

Note cards should consist of only words or short phrases that can help to jog a student’s memory.  They should not contain complete sentences, paragraphs, etc.  The use of sentences and paragraphs gives the student testing in Accessibility Resources undo advantage over the students testing in the classroom


Any student testing in the ARA office who has an accommodation allowing for the use of note cards on exams or quizzes must present their note cards in ink, and signed by the professor, in ink, prior to taking their test. Failure to produce a signed note card will prevent that student from taking her/his test at their scheduled testing time. The signed note card will be returned to the professor with the student’s completed exam.

Should you have any questions regarding this policy, please feel free to contact us.



Ann Coburn-Collins, Director of Academic Support Programs
Wickes 260
(989) 964-2130

Scott MacLeod, Assistant Director of Disability Services & Academic Support
Wickes 260
(989) 964-4054

Deborah Rickert, Office Coordinator
Science East 201 & Wickes 260
(989) 964-4488