Cambridge students accused of ‘gaming the system’ by ‘actively seeking mental health diagnoses for conditions like ADHD’ for more time in exams

  • Dr Fiona Cornish, a GP in the city of the famous university, noticed the spike 
  • Doctors provide template letters for students for alternative exam arrangements
  • One in four GCSE and A-level entrants had extra time this summer 

Cambridge University students have been accused of ‘actively seeking’ diagnoses for mental health conditions to get extra time in exams.

Dr Fiona Cornish, a GP in the city of the famous university, said she noticed a ‘massive spike’ in students wanting a letter to provide a diagnosis before exam term.

Doctors have been provided with template letters saying a student’s medical condition ‘has impaired their ability to prepare for or perform in their academic work or examinations’, which they can then give their tutor before sitting the assignment.

The university can then offer options for alternative exam arrangements, such as taking the paper into a quiet room or getting 25 per cent extra time.

Dr Cornish claimed their have been rises in people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and being ‘too anxious to be in a great big exam hall’.

Dr Fiona Cornish, a GP in the city of the famous university, said she noticed a ‘massive spike’ in students wanting a letter to provide a diagnosis before exam term

The Newnham Walk Surgery GP also believed this pattern was occurring across the country, having been almost unheard of when she first started practicing three decades ago.

Dr Cornish said: ‘I think the pendulum has swung too far the other way. I don’t know anyone who went to an ADHD clinic who hasn’t come back with a diagnosis.

‘The you got on amphetamines and perform better in exams.’

One in four GCSE and A-level entrants had extra time this summer, the most on record.

Many current students had A-level and GCSEs cancelled because of lockdowns, meaning they have little experience of exam halls.

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