A memory aid is a testing accommodation used to support students who have documented challenges with memory. It is a tool used to trigger information that a student has studied but may have difficulty recalling do to cognitive processing deficits associated with memory and recall. Note card (or a cue sheet) allow the student to demonstrate knowledge of course material by helping prompt the student’s memory, not by providing the answer.

Memory Aids give students an equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of course material on a test/exam without taxing already compromised memory function. This accommodation is not intended to reduce academic requirements or alter the standards by which academic performance is assessed. If the student does not understand the course material, this accommodation will not help.

Instructor Considerations

The contents of a cue sheet are at the instructor’s discretion and should not run contrary to the essential requirements of the course. Only the professor can determine whether a memory aid compromises the integrity of the course.

A cue sheet should not contain a synopsis of course material but rather mnemonics (a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assist in recalling information) and formulas that would enable the student to solve the problem. If the purpose of the test is to determine whether or not the student knows specific definitions, having those words or definitions on a cue sheet would make it an answer sheet and therefore not acceptable. If the definitions were written but not connected to the terms to be defined in any way, this may be allowable, since it will trigger the student’s memory of the correct term. The ideal cue sheet would most likely make little sense to anyone but that specific student.