Modified papers help ensure that candidates with varying needs can access the examination materials needed to accurately assess their skills and knowledge. There is a variety of formats available, each of which aims to accommodate a range of difficulties.
Give us your feedback on modified papers
We’re always looking for ways in which to improve our services, support schools and colleges and make our qualifications and assessments accessible to all students.
In the first half of 2022, we carried out some research about modified GCSE exam papers. Read our initial findings and find out how you and your students can get involved with the next phase of our research and make a real difference to the future of modified exam papers.
How do I request modified papers?
You can order modified papers using the JCQ Access Arrangements Online or Pearson Access Arrangements on Edexcel Online. For Functional Skills modified papers email the request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any assessments or material that are not part of a timetabled event, and are available well in advance are not provided in a modified format, these papers are available to download from the Pearson Qualifications website. Centres are permitted to adapt these in-house to their particular candidate's needs in line with the JCQ Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments regulations.
By when do I need to request them?
These dates remain the same every year:
- November series - 20 September
- January series - 4 October
- May/June series - 31 January
Functional Skills (FS) papers must be ordered well in advance of the exam. Entry Level 1-3 FS must be ordered 8-10 weeks prior to the exam, and FS on-demand Level 1-2 must be ordered 4-8 weeks prior.
We may not be able to provide question papers in a different format if we receive your application after the deadline or outside the required notice period.
There are three separate modules:
- GQ Bitesize Module 2: Modified Papers (UK centres)
- BTEC Bitesize Module 5: Modified Papers (UK Centres)
- Combined BTEC & GQ Bitesize: Modified Papers (International centres).
FAQs about ordering modified papers
Modified papers data is uploaded to the online system before a deadline and after the close of a previous session. There are normally only 2 sessions live at any time to reduce the possibility of materials being ordered for an incorrect session.
The online search criteria can be very specific. The first thing to try is reducing the number of parameters you enter into the search. Begin by selecting 'Pearson' as the awarding body, then leave all other fields blank. Go to the 'Exam Code (if known)', and enter the first few characters of an exams component code. If your candidate is sitting Mathematics 1MA1 1F, for example, you need only put 1MA into the search and this will bring up all papers that begin with '1MA'.
This is especially useful when you’re ordering papers that either have multiple parts or have an early/pre-release item associated with them, as you will see all available parts.
The paper may not be available to order, if the paper is readily available on the website such as Entry Level Certificate, we do not modify these papers as they are readily available for you to modify in centre.
First, check that you’re searching for paper codes and not specification codes. The online system works at paper level, so you must use the code for the individual examination that the candidate will be sitting.
Secondly, check that the item you’re searching for isn't a piece of coursework, controlled assessment, or other non-secure (that is, with no specified exam date) release. We only provide material that centres have no access to before an assessment. In all other instances, you should modify the material as appropriate to your candidate's needs and in line with the JCQ Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments regulations.
Finally, check that the item you’re searching for is not a Functional Skills paper. These do not fit into the online system’s available examination slots as they are on demand exams. These items should be requested by emailing email@example.com.
The online system will accept orders all the way up to an examination date. If you’ve missed a deadline, the most important thing initially is to get your order submitted using the online system. Without this order we won’t be able to begin work on any materials you require. Where at all possible we will attempt to fulfil your order, we do not create a modification for all papers so there is a possibility that the paper may not be available
If you make a late order on AAO or PAAO please email the modified formats team on firstname.lastname@example.org to advise them of the modified paper order number. We will advise you if the paper is not available.
There are no confirmations. As soon as you submit an application, we can access it instantly. You can return at any time to review your orders - either by all centre orders or by specific candidate orders.
You can cancel modified paper orders using the Access Online Tool (AAO or PAAO). If you no longer require a paper, or you wish to change an application, please cancel your original request and re-order the replacement materials.
You can cancel an existing order on AAO/PAAO via Edexcel Online. Please follow the instructions below:
- On Edexcel Online, select 'Access Arrangements Online'
- Select 'AAO' or 'PAAO' > 'Access Arrangements Online' > 'Find Modified Papers'
- Find the order using the order number or centre and candidate details
- Click on the candidate's last name - this will be underlined.
This will bring up the list of papers ordered for this candidate. You can Cancel/Delete the papers that are no longer required.
If the candidate has changed tier or requires a different modification, you will then need to order the new papers as a matter of urgency.
Please be aware that cancelling and re-ordering after the published deadlines may jeopardise delivery of your replacement request.
We can’t advise you on the appropriate modification for your candidate. If you don’t work directly with the candidate concerned, seek advice from a specialist teacher or SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).
The paper should match what the candidate has been using throughout the academic year and should be their normal way of working.
We offer the following modifications:
- 18pt Bold Font on A4 paper
- 24pt Bold Font on A4 paper
- 24pt Bold Font on A3 paper
- 36pt Bold Font on A3 paper
- Interactive electronic question paper (for use with electronic readers or word processor)
- Unified English Braille – Grade 1 and Grade 2
- Tactile diagrams
- Subtitles on video clips.
We strive to deliver papers to centres a minimum of 5 days before an examination date. We’ll try to send as many of your requested materials in the same package as possible to reduce any administrative burden for you.
Where physical papers cannot be delivered due to late orders, or the centre cannot accept papers, we will send it on a Secure File Transfer (SFT) for the centre to download and print. This will be advised via email to the centre.
If your paper still has not arrived 5 days prior to the exam, please contact the Customer Services team or email email@example.com.
If your student requires coloured paper then please follow the process below:
- Requests for PDF copies of Standard A4 Papers (non-interactive PDF), for printing on coloured paper should be sent to our Customer Service Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call them on 03444632535. They'll be able to arrange this for you with the Secure Print Team. This will be sent by the Secure Print Team via Secure File Transfer on the day of the exam, 90 minutes before the allocated start time. The Modified Formats Team do not supply PDF copies of Standard A4 Papers (non-interactive PDF). These are not modified papers so are not available to order on AAO/PAAO.
- Requests for PDF copies of Modified Large Print Papers, for printing on coloured paper can be emailed to the Modified Formats Team at email@example.com. Please supply the team with your order number from AAO/PAAO so that they can log the correct information. The order must be placed first before emailing your request. This will be sent by the Modified Formats Team via Secure File Transfer on the day of the exam, 90 minutes before the allocated start time.
An 'interactive electronic question paper 'is for students who use a word processor to type their answers, or for students who use a computer reader. The answer gridlines are removed and replaced with text boxes during the modification process. This makes the paper unsuitable for printing on coloured paper. This is a modified paper and should be ordered on AAO or PAAO.
A 'non-interactive question paper' is a PDF copy of a standard A4 question paper. This should be used for printing on to coloured paper. This is not a modified paper and can be requested via the Customer Services Team.