Voice recognition or 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 technology for digital exams.

Students using STT technology must disable word prediction. A student might need to configure their STT technology for digital testing. The following configuration steps need to be completed before a student begins the check-in process in Bluebook on exam day.

The College Board has tested with and currently supports the leading speech-to-text/dictation applications, including:

•    Dragon NaturallySpeaking
•    Apple Voice Control
•    Chromebook Dictation
•    Windows Voice Recognition/Dictation

Other speech-to-text or dictation software might work with the Bluebook application.  Depending on which other speech-to-text or dictations software and which release of that software, some functions may work differently or not at all. If your software is not listed above, try a digital practice test on Bluebook to make sure your assistive technology will work on test day.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Follow these steps to configure Dragon NaturallySpeaking 15+ (Home or Professional Individual for Windows):

  1. Use the Tools drop-down list on the DragonBar to open the Options dialog box.
  2. Go to the Data tab, and ensure the following are unchecked:
    a. Uncheck Don’t back up user profile.
    b. Uncheck Run Accuracy Tuning at the time schedule by your administrator.
    c. In the User Experience Collection, uncheck Help us improve Dragon

Custom Commands for Dragon

College Board has created a set of custom commands for Bluebook digital exams for students who use Dragon NaturallySpeaking (Dragon).  

First students may download the .dat file for Dragon here

To import a custom command:  

  1. From the DragonBar, select  ToolsCommand Center > Command Browser.  

The Command Browser appears. By default, your custom commands appear, sorted by group.  

  1. Select MyCommands > Import.  

The Import Commands dialog box appears.  

  1. Navigate to the folder where the .DAT export file is located.  

  2. Select the .DAT file, and then click  Open.  

The Import Commands dialog box appears with all commands in the file selected by default.  

  1. Deselect the commands that you do not want to import.  

  2. Click Import.  

The import process begins.  

  1. Click OK.  

Windows Speech/Voice Recognition

Before exam day, the Windows built-in speech recognition application must be configured on the device the student will use for the exam. The application can be set up through the Windows Control Panel. During configuration, Speech Recognition Voice Training must be completed by the student for optimal performance.

To use Windows Speech, follow the steps below for your operating system:

Windows 10

Go to System Settings > Ease of Access > Speech > turn on Speech Recognition.

Windows 11

Go to System Settings > Accessibility > Speech > turn on Voice Access.

Tip: For Windows 10 or Windows 11, to help with navigation and selection of elements in Bluebook, say “show numbers.” Numbers will appear on the screen for every element/grid in the active window. Say an item’s corresponding number to select it (e.g., “19, OK”).

Privacy and Diagnostics for Windows 10 and Windows 11

Students must also adjust these settings:

  1. Go to Start then select Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Feedback.
  2. In the Diagnostic Data section, select the Basic radio button.
  3. Select the Speech tab.
  4. Set the Online Speech Recognition toggle to Off.

macOS and iOS Enhanced Dictation/Voice Control

On a Mac, choose Apple menu > System Settings > Accessibility > enable (turn on) Voice Control. Voice control guides are available for:

Tip: To help with navigation and selection of elements in Bluebook, say “show numbers.” Numbers will appear on the screen for every element/grid in the active window. Say an item’s corresponding number to select it (e.g., “Click 19, OK”).

Privacy and Analytics

Students testing with a Mac or an iPad need to make sure their device is opted out of Apple’s Diagnostic and Usage Program and Improve Siri and Dictation.

  1. To opt out of the Diagnostic and Usage Program: Disable Analytics through the security and privacy settings.
  2. To opt out of Improve Siri and Dictation: Go to Settings > Privacy > Analytics & Improvements and tap Turn Off Improve Siri and Dictation.


On a Chromebook, at the bottom right, select the time or press Alt + Shift + s. Select Accessibility > Dictation. You can also enable dictation with the onscreen keyboard: Settings > Advanced > Accessibility > Manage accessibility features > Enable on-screen keyboard.

Note: If Dictation does not appear in your accessibility quick settings, sign in to your Chromebook and go to Settings > Accessibility > Manage accessibility features > turn on Show accessibility options in Quick Settings or Always show accessibility options in the system menu.

Tap or select where you want to type (input field, free-response questions, essays, etc.). Press Search + D or press Launcher + D.

For more information, visit Type Text with Your Voice.