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How to Request Digital Papers

Requesting a digital paper from the SQA

The school or centre requests digital papers following the SQA Assessment Arrangements procedure.

The school makes a request for:

  • each candidate
  • and for each subject.

Why? because candidates may use different methods of support in different examinations.

Once the school has decided which candidates are going to use Digital Papers or Answer Booklets, they can request them using SQA's online Assessment Arrangements Request (AAR) system.

The AAR system is secure and can only be accessed by the schools SQA coordinator.

Request options...

  • Request 'Use of ICT' if the candidate is going to use a computer or device in the examination. 
  • Request a 'Digital Question Paper' if you want SQA to send you a CD with the Digital Papers, for use by that student. The candidate can also use a Digital Answer Booklet to type their answers, were necessary.
  • If the candidate is going to read from the paper Question Paper and does not need a digital paper, don't request a Digital Question Paper. 
  • Request 'Spellchecker' for permission to use a spellchecker either when typing into a Digital Question paper, or into a Digital Answer Booklet.
  • In the 'Other' field, specify any specific technology you are requesting permission to use, such as a computer text reader, or speech recognition/computer dictation software.

Requests should be made (by the school) by the end of January.


Requesting a digital paper for GCSE & GCE

Most of the GCSE and GCE awarding bodies provide Digital Papers as a type of 'Access Arrangement' for candidates who have a disability.

With the exception of Pearson, the papers are 'non-interactive PDFs', which means they do not have answer boxes.

Requests for Digital Papers are made via the awarding bodies' Access Arrangements Online system (see below for each awarding body).

AQA is an exception, since their papers can be used by any candidate.


  • If you intend to use a Computer Reader (text reader) to read the paper, you must make a request via the awarding bodies' Access Arrangements Online system.
  • Centres do not need to request permission to use a word processor with spellcheck turned off to type answers in an examination, where it is appropriate to their needs, and is their normal way of working.

Awarding bodies

  • AQA
    Centres can download papers from AQA's secure site on the day of the exam, for use by any candidate - they are not restricted to candidates who require Access Arrangements.
  • CCEA
    Provide non-interactive PDF versions of papers as an Access Arrangement.
  • OCR
    Provide non-interactive PDF question papers as an Access Arrangement.
  • Pearson
    Provide 'Accessible PDFs' - interactive on-screen answer boxes which are also tagged, with 'alt text' for images so they can be read with computer readers.
  • WJEC
    As far as we know, WJEC does not provide Digital Papers.