Assistive Technology

Any approved assistive technology that you use when you're online should still work during your exam. However, some assistive technology may require special configuration. It's also important to practice using your assistive technology with the digital exam prior to taking the test.

If you use assistive technologies (AT), such as screen readers (JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, ChromeVox, ZoomText Fusion, etc.) to interact with a standard web browser, the same commands can be used to navigate through content in the digital exam. The exception: if you use a web-based assistive technology or a browser extension.

If you use assistive technology, open/start the AT device or software before you open the digital testing application for practice and on exam day. On exam day, adjust any necessary settings before you start to check in for the digital exam. Exceptions are noted when configuration is not required ahead of the exam.

Screen Readers

During testing, use the typical/native key commands you normally use to navigate a webpage with your screen reader. Most exam pages are structured with the following regions. You can navigate with these regions/landmarks:

  • Exam Player Controls
    • Test Timer
    • Test Tools
  • Exam Stimulus/Passage
    • Footnotes
    • Long Description
  • Exam Question
    • Question
    • Answer Options
    • Long Description
  • Exam Navigation

In general, the following test components are structured with a heading:

  • Test Name
  • Passage Title/Source Documents, etc.

Configuration

For the assistive technology you plan to use, configure your settings before you open the digital testing application for practice and before check-in on exam day. These settings may include verbosity, punctuation, text processing, and other settings as needed. On exam day, once you start check-in, you won’t be able to adjust your settings as the digital testing application is locked down.

Configure the settings for your assistive technology before you open the exam app preview and on exam day before you check in for each exam.

Link to Referenced Content >>

On questions that refer to a specific section of the stimulus content, the symbol >> symbol will display after the reference. If you’re using a screen reader and you navigate to "link to referenced content," the referenced content will be read to you. For all users, if you scroll past the referenced content and you click on this symbol, the passage will scroll back so the referenced content is at the top of your screen.

Keyboard Shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts have been configured to navigate to important functions within the digital exam.

Action PC Chromebook Mac iPad
Back Control + Alt + B Control + Alt + B Command + Ctrl + B Command + Ctrl + B
Next Control + Alt + X Control + Alt + X Command + Ctrl + X Command + Ctrl + X
Help Control + Alt + H Control + Alt + H Command + Ctrl + H Command + Ctrl + P
Open/Close Directions Control + Alt + Shift + D Control + Alt + Shift + D Command + Ctrl + Shift + D Command + Ctrl + Shift + D
Hide/Show Timer Control + Alt + T Control + Alt + T Command + Option + T Command + Option + T
Pause Timer Control + Alt + P Control + Alt + P Command + Option + P Command + Option + P
Close 5-Minute Message Control + Alt + T Control + Alt + T Command + Option + T Command + Option + T
Annotate Control + Alt + A Control + Alt + A Command + Option + A Command + Option + A
Reference Control + Alt + R Control + Alt + R Command + Option + R Command + Option + R
Zoom In Control + Plus (+) Control + Plus (+) Command + Plus (+) Command + Up Arrow (or pinch to zoom)
Zoom Out Control + Minus (-) Control + Minus (-) Command + Minus (-) Command + Down Arrow (or pinch to zoom)
Zoom Back to 100% Control + 0 Control + 0 Command + 0 Double-Tap Space Bar
Select/Deselect Option A Control + Shift + 1 Control + Shift + 1 Command + Ctrl + 1 Command + Ctrl + 1
Select/Deselect Option B Control + Shift + 2 Control + Shift + 2 Command + Ctrl + 2 Command + Ctrl + 2
Select/Deselect Option C Control + Shift + 3 Control + Shift + 3 Command + Ctrl + 3 Command + Ctrl + 3
Select/Deselect Option D Control + Shift + 4 Control + Shift + 4 Command + Ctrl + 4 Command + Ctrl + 4
Option Eliminator Mode Control + Alt + M Control + Alt + M Command + Option + M Command + Option + M
Eliminate Option A Control + Alt + 1 Control + Alt + 1 Command + Option + 1 Command + Option + 1
Eliminate Option B Control + Alt + 2 Control + Alt + 2 Command + Option + 2 Command + Option + 2
Eliminate Option C Control + Alt + 3 Control + Alt + 3 Command + Option + 3 Command + Option + 3
Eliminate Option D Control + Alt + 4 Control + Alt + 4 Command + Option + 4 Command + Option + 4
Expand/Collapse Left Control + Shift + L Control + Shift + [ Command + Ctrl + L Command + Ctrl + L
Expand/Collapse Right Control + Shift + R Control + Shift + ] Command + Ctrl + R Command + Ctrl + R
Open/Close Calculator Control + Alt + C Control + Alt + C Command + Option + C Command + Option + C

MathJax

Most math-related content is structured using MathJax. Access the MathJax menu to enable default settings for the exam app.

To access the MathJax context menu to enable the recommended setting, follow these steps within the digital exam:

  • To open the context menu, focus on the MathML element on screen in the exam (i.e., numbers, equations, expressions, reactions, etc.) with the keyboard, press the spacebar, or right-click with the mouse.
  • Navigate to Accessibility and uncheck all options.
  • Navigate to Math Settings, activate, and navigate to Math Renderer and activate (select) the SVG option.

The SVG images rendered by MathJax will contain alternative text catered for each specific exam. This default configuration will provide the best user experience for digital exams.

Note: Although users of assistive technology can choose to enable MathJax accessibility features like Assistive MathML or Explorer features, College Board recommends using the SVG option for a better testing experience.

The Include in Tab Order setting can be enabled and disabled by the user.

  • Students using screen readers may want to keep the MathJax in the tabbing order to interact with accessibility features.
  • Students using Dragon NaturallySpeaking may choose to disable this feature so the math is not part of the tab navigation within the exam.

Text-to-Speech

Text-to-speech (TTS) tools read aloud text that appears on the screen. Below are configuration instructions for specific TTS tools for Windows, Mac, and Chromebooks.

Configuration steps must be done before opening the digital testing application for practice and on exam day before starting check-in.

Windows Narrator

To start Narrator:

  • Press the Windows logo key+Ctrl+Enter together to start Narrator. Press these keys again to stop Narrator.
  • Press the Windows logo key+Ctrl+N to open Narrator settings, and then turn on the toggle under Use Narrator.

To use your mouse cursor to read text:

  • Go to the Narrator settings for Narrator Cursor
  • Activate the following settings:
    • Show the Narrator cursor
    • Move my text cursor with the Narrator cursor as Narrator reads text
    • Sync the Narrator cursor and system focus
  • Activate any other settings per your preference.

macOS

On all supported Mac operating systems:

  • Go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  • Select Accessibility.

Then complete the following steps based on your device’s operating system.

macOS 10 (High Sierra and Mojave)

  • On the Accessibility screen, select Zoom from the left menu.
  • Check the option Speak items under the pointer.
  • Select whether you want to identify items under the pointer all the time (select Always) or only when zoom is used (select Only when Zoomed).

macOS 10 (Catalina)

  • On the Accessibility screen, select Speech from the left menu.
  • Check the option Speak items under the pointer.
  • Select whether you want to identify items under the pointer all the time (select Always) or only when zoom is used (select Only when Zoomed).

macOS 11 (Big Sur) and macOS 12 (Monterey)

  • On the Accessibility screen, select the Spoken Content tab.
  • Check the option Speak items under the pointer.
  • Select Options to customize the speech and verbosity settings.

iPad iOS 13.4

The iPad can speak selected text or the entire screen.

To start, for all supported iOS devices:

  1. Tap on the Settings icon and select Accessibility.
  2. From the Accessibility screen, select Spoken Content.
  3. Then select Speak Screen.
  4. Enable Speech Controller and/or Highlight Content, as preferred.

For an optimized test experience, we recommend using a keyboard with the iPad. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Keyboards, tap Full Keyboard Access, then turn on Full Keyboard Access.

ChromeVox

Turn ChromeVox on or off from any page by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Z.

You can navigate through the exam using your keyboard, with the Chrome keyboard commands and the exam player keyboard shortcuts.

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search key or the Launcher key for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same.

Speech-to-Text

Speech-to-text (STT) technology transcribes a student's spoken words into text for item responses in the digital exam. Students approved for this technology or for a writer/scribe may use STT assistive technology for digital exams.

Refreshable Braille Displays

Refreshable braille displays (RBDs) are used to read text-only content on digital exams. Alternative text descriptions are embedded in the exams for all graphics. RBDs must be properly set up before they can be used by students. For information about installing and setting up RBDs, refer to the product's provided instructions and manuals.

Refreshable braille is not recommended for students that require tactile graphics. Students can request a braille exam with raised line drawings.

Screen Magnification

Screen magnification technology enlarges the content displayed on the computer screen to assist students with visual impairments. Although the exam app supports some non-embedded screen magnifier tools from third parties, all users can zoom using their device’s native controls (Control +/- on a PC; Command +/- on a Mac; pinch and zoom on an iPad).

Open-Source Libraries

To view a list of third-party software that may be contained in portions of the Bluebook™ application, go to collegeboard.org/opensource. We're grateful to the open-source community for making this work available.