Students who have reading difficulties such as dyslexia can independently take exams knowing that they can read and understand the questions.








About The C-Pen Exam Reader

The C-Pen Exam Reader pen scanner is a major technological breakthrough for anyone wanting to read English, Spanish, French, German or Italian exam questions. The C-Pen Exam Reader is a totally portable, pocket-sized device that reads text out aloud with an human-like digital voice.

The Exam Reader has been approved by The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ)* for use in exams.
This means students who have reading difficulties such as dyslexia can independently take exams knowing
that they can read and understand the questions.  No special access arrangements are required.

The pen is half the size of other portable pen scanners on the market and at 50g is half the weight. 

As well as promoting Independent Reading this pen is:

  • Ideal for hearing words & lines of text read aloud
  • Great for students with dyslexia, reading difficulties and english as a second language 
  • Designed to allow students to be with their peers in the main exam hall with headphones plugged into their pens
  • Available in a class set of ten pens
Categories: ICT Special Educational Needs solutions Digital Devices


ICT Special Educational Needs solutions

Digital Devices

Which pen is right for me?

Exam Reader

I need help reading an exam paper in:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • German

I have dyslexia and I am learning:

  • Italian
  • German

I have some sight loss* and I am trying to read in:

  • Italian
  • German






Reader Pen

I have dyslexia and I am learning:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French

I have some sight loss* and I am trying to read in:

  • English 
  • Spanish
  • French











Dictionary Pen

I am learning English** and my mother tongue is:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Russian
  • Mandarin

I am English and learning:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Russian
  • Mandarin

I am a customer looking for the best line scanner capable of scanning in:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Russian
  • Mandarin

*Note: If you can use a yellow highlighter pen to highlight text in a book/on paper then you could get some use out of this C-Pen

** Note: If you mother tongue is not listed above, the Dictionary Pen will still help you learn English however it will not translate the word back into your language.



“A permitted examination reading pen will not have an in-built dictionary or thesaurus, or a data storage facility.

The use of an examination reading pen, provided by the centre, might benefit those candidates who wish to work independently who do not qualify for a reader. It may increase the independence of candidates who needed a reader for accuracy rather than comprehension.

An examination reading pen may be used in papers (or sections of papers) testing
— JCQ 2016/17 Statement


Key Product Features

Text to speech

Use C-Pen Exam Reader to read printed text for you! C-Pen Exam Reader features a high quality naturally speaking British English, American English, Spanish, French, German or Italian voice. 


The C-Pen Exam Reader is small, portable, and light making it easy to carry with you anywhere you like to read. 

Cost Savings

Please click here to see how much your school could be saving if it switches from using human readers to using C-Pen Exam Readers instead.


Screen OLED 256*64
CPU 600MHz
Earphone 3.5mm
Battery 1,200mAh
Scan Font Size Range 6.5 - 22 pt
Menu Languages English
Certifications CE RoHS FCC
Size Dimensions: 135*33*19mm Weight: 50g


C-Pen Exam Reader uses a standard micro USB connector for charging, and a standard 3.5 mm connector for your favourite headphones


Free support is available.  The manual is here in English, here in French and here in Spanish, here in German and here in Italian.  Please find a version history here.


Products are warranted against defects for 1 year from date of purchase.


We offer schools a free 30 day trial, please send a school purchase order to orders@scanningpens.com

Package Contents

C610 Exam Reader
Carry Case
USB Cable
Instruction Manual


UK Case Studies

International Case Studies


We have had a number of students try out the pen as an alternative to the accommodation of having their test read aloud by a human reader. Students reported that they felt positive about the independence that using the Scan Pen gave them, especially when they needed a specific line or word read a number of times. These students reported that sometimes they feel embarrassed about needing parts of the test read repeated times and can be reluctant to ask for it. The pen was used on a variety of exams including a biology exam and the student stated that the pen did a good job pronouncing the scientific vocabulary on the exam. Most of the students liked the British accent the reader had but a couple asked if there was an option to have a pen with an American accent.

For our staff having the Scan Pen has been a fantastic addition to our accommodation options. When a student who needed a reader forgot to schedule a test with us until the last minute and we didn’t have a person available, the student agreed to use the Scan Pen and it worked like a charm. Having the Scan Pen available has given our students with disabilities an additional option for how the accommodation of having tests read aloud is implemented, it has given them increased independence during tests, and will likely save us money in the long run and is easier to arrange than having the test read by a computer program like Read and Write or Kurzweil.
— Sara, University of Maine
“I always have to have my tests read aloud. I have to go to my case managers room. She let me use this pen and stay in my class. It was awesome. I got to turn my test in at the same time as the other kids.”
— Mac, 8th grade boy - reading disability
As the demand for exam access arrangements increases we have had to look for alternative methods that are both cost effective and pupil friendly. A laptop is not an ideal solution, and a reader plus a chaperone expensive. Over the last three months we have trialled C-Pen ExamReader.

Our chosen pupils will require a variety of arrangements including readers. The trial has altered our thoughts on access arrangements for such pupils. The C-Pen has been a great success for both us and the pupils. We have now taken delivery of more C-Pens and The pupils will have their own C-Pen and use them not only in the Summer’s public exams but also in the classroom from now on.

We have also purchased The C-Pen ReaderPen for our reluctant readers in the lower school. We are now trialling them for two months.
— Bill Dewberry, Chingford Foundation School
This exam pen is easy to use, it fits well in the hand and feels completely natural. The reading speed can be altered easily, however it is a nice speed as it comes on medium mode. Within 5 minutes of opening the box I felt like I was reading with my finger.
— Conor Quigley, age 14
Having tried several different technologies I was slightly sceptical but once the trial pen arrived I was very impressed with its ease of use. Very intuitive - literally needs no instructions. Very good pen. Several students have now grown used to using it which means they are actually having text read to them more often. They were students who previously did not put their hand up often enough to ask for information to be read as they were too embarrassed.

A great user friendly pen and if the cost was lower we would have bought more.
— Senco, John Cabot Academy

3rd Party Reviews


Exam Board Information

United Kingdom

Joint Council for Qualifications – JCQ (AQA, OCR, Pearson, City & Guilds, CEA, WJEC CBAC)

September 2016 - This is a centre delegated arrangement. It must be the candidate's normal way of working in class and/or mock examinations. No evidence required. It can be used in the reading section of English GCSE where a human reader isn't allowed.

Cambridge International Examinations – CIE

September 2016 - A computer reader or reading pen is a Group 2 AA and is centre delegated. Use Form 4 to notify CIE of students who use the pen. Reading pens are allowed in the English GCSE reading section. A permitted examination reading pen will not have an in-built dictionary or thesaurus, or data storage facility. All pens must be checked before the examination to ensure they comply with these requirements.

Key Stage 2 SATs

The Exam Reader Pen is allowed in to be used in Key Stage 2 SATs, without prior permission, as long as it is:

  • normal classroom practice and schools have evidence to show this
  • the equipment is used on a one-to-one basis, preferably in a separate room to the rest of the cohort

It is not allowed for the English Reading section.

Scottish Qualifications Authority - SQA

October 2016 - Under current SQA guidance, a centre would need to submit a request to SQA for a candidate to be allowed to use a Reader Pen (this is a pen without a dictionary or storage) in an external examination. 

International Baccalaureate – IB

March 2017 – Apply to IB for authorisation

International Baccalaureate CAREER RELATED PROGRAMME

October 2016 - For the internal assessment 'speech functions' are permitted which can include digital reader pens.

Common Entrance - CE

Common Entrance recommends JCQ regs are followed, but also asks junior schools to check with the child's potential senior school.

National Open College Network –NOCN

December 2015 - NOCN would consider allowing the reader pen to be used if it is the normal way of working for an individual.

City & Guilds

The Exam Reader Pen can be used without prior permission from City & Guilds.

Functional Skills

An Exam Reader Pen is permitted without prior approval. 

Business and Technology Education Council – BTEC

Follows JCQ Regulations – see above

United States

College Board

The College Board of Services for Students with Disabilities approves the Examination Reader Pen; when submitting for accommodation (access arrangements) request "other" to enable a description to be added of the accommodation being requested.


Western Australia

SCSA are happy to accept applications for the C-Pen Exam Reader.

south australia ( & Northern Territory)

SACE are happy to accept applications for the C-Pen Exam Reader.

New South Wales

NESA are happy to accept applications for the C-Pen Exam Reader.


The above information is provided for reference purposes.  Always consult your awarding body for up to date Access Arrangements guidance.


Academic Research


For many years‟ educationists have questioned the emotional impact, alongside the comparative low grades of the dyslexic students when undertaking the GCSE English reading paper. A human reader is not allowed for this section of the paper. The lack of a supportive reader in this particular paper has an impact on the student‟s overall grade. Questions have been asked as to the emotional experiences this particular band of students must face when knowing they are entering an exam with reading THE C PEN EXAM READER – A QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE STUDY - MARCH 30, 2016 4 difficulties, therefore the overwhelming feeling will be that of failure before pen has even touched paper. If given the opportunity to have the English reading paper read to them would the student achieve a greater examination result? A reader is deployed in other examinations to support the achievement of a grade depicting the cognitive abilities of the dyslexic student. The dyslexic students may not lack understanding of their chosen subject; their problem is created by their inability to read the jumping, moving, incomprehensible formation of shapes that are commonly known as words. This is the crux of the problem.

This is the first research study undertaken to look at the impact of a supportive tool, namely the C Pen Exam Reader when utilized by dyslexic students during the GCSE English reading paper (mock). Supportive measures may be in use for other examinations, such as a human reader. However due to the nature of the English Reading Paper examination, a human reader is not allowed. Therefore, the dyslexic student has no supportive element in this paper. Due to no previous research, this initial study will concentrate on suggestions for future studies alongside the quantitative and qualitative aspects of this study.

Hypothesis: Use of the Exam Reader Pen by dyslexic students in the GCSE English Reading Paper will support students in achieving an improved grade and impact on their emotional well-being, namely confidence and attitude to learning.


Contact Us

Please call us on:

 +44 (0)207 976 4910 if within the UK

+1 727 316 8101 if within the US

+1 647 499 7451 if within Canada

+61 (02) 8320 7161 in within Australia

or fill in the form below to get in touch.

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Request a Trial

Free 30 day trials are available for schools, colleges and universities in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.  Districts in the USA and Canada may also apply.  COBIS and BSME affiliated schools located outside of these countries may too apply.  Everybody else should order from here and may return within 30 days if they find the product unsuitable.

We currently only offer trials to these locations
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Once the pen arrives, if you are unsure about any of the features please call us. The pen will come with an invoice which should be processed after 30 days, or alternatively if you wish to return the pen please contact us for a Returns Number.


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