Cue Sheets

A cue sheet is an accommodation that students use during quizzes, tests, and exams. Cue sheets support students who have a documented health or learning disability that results in a significant memory deficit. They enable students to trigger information they have learned throughout the course in a testing situation.

Each cue sheet is unique to the individual student and will likely be meaningful only to them. 

Cue sheets won’t help if you have not learned or understood the course material. 

Cue sheets are not: 

  • Answer sheets or “cheat sheets” 
  • Substitutes for studying 
  • Open textbooks 
  • An exemption to learning the course material 

Cue sheets might include the use of any of the following: 

  • Acronyms 
  • Names, dates 
  • Key terms, word lists 
  • Short phrases, definitions 
  • Pictures, diagrams 
  • Tables, charts, formulas 

Cue sheets are not meant to provide students with answers. Any information that is to be remembered as part of an essential learning outcome should not be included on a cue sheet. For example, for a quiz, test, or exam that requires students to define key terms, cue sheets would not include word-for-word definitions but may include acronyms. 

How cue sheet accommodations work
Students, course instructors, and accessibility advisors all have a role to play in the successful implementation of this accommodation. 


  • Develop a single-sided 8.5x11 size cue sheet that includes information that will best help your memory recall. 
  • Submit the proposed exam cue sheet to your course instructor a minimum of 7 days before the exam. 
  • Make any required changes and resubmit the cue sheet to the course instructor. 
  • Keep a copy of the cue sheet for your study purposes. 

The 7-day deadline is in place to allow enough time for you to talk and collaborate with your course instructor, especially if the course instructor has proposed revisions. 

Course instructors

  • Review the student’s cue sheet for a given quiz, test, or exam. 
  • Approve the cue sheet, or advise that revisions are required. 
  • Attach the approved cue sheet to the student’s quiz, test, or exam. The exam and cue sheet are delivered to the Student Accessibility Centre/Student Success Centre by email or in person. 

Course instructors may guide the student in developing the cue sheet, but are not responsible for creating it. 


Accessibility advisor

  • Notify course instructors of this accommodation at the beginning of the term. 
  • Be available to answer questions or provide guidance on the creation of a cue sheet. 
  • Coordinate with course instructors and the student to ensure cue sheets are included with the quiz, test, or exam.