Positive Action is a governmental measure under the Equality Act 2010 that allows universities and other organizations to take action to alleviate disadvantage experienced by certain groups. For example, those with learning difficulties may have reasonable provisions available to them based on their needs. Reasonable provisions could include a number of resources that support students with their studies. One provision that students may be entitled to is extended time for exams. The amount of extended time granted is dependent upon recommendations reported after having had a full diagnostic assessment completed by a psychologist or qualified specialist teacher. Contact your university disability office for more information about diagnostic assessments. If you are a student at the University of Oxford, you can view available exam provisions here.
Provisions should not be viewed as a way of favoring students with learning difficulties over other students. They should, rather, be viewed as a way to provide a level playing field for students who are intelligent and capable, but due to neurocognitive (thinking and information processing) differences, have slower reading and writing speeds.
If you are a student with dyslexia or another learning difficulty, know that Positive Action was established to provide you with supports for your university studies. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and there is no shame in seeking the support that is available to you. Contact your university disability office for more information about extended time on tests and other available provisions.