Role of the reader and writer

Working as a Reader and Writer

The aim of the reader/writer is to assist the candidate to overcome their learning difficulty during an assessment activity for both internal and external (examinations), and for practice assessments. You may be reading the activity brief or questions for the candidate, or writing for the candidate, or reading and writing for the candidate.

Who may not be a Reader or a writer?

To avoid conflict of interest the role of a reader or writer or reader/writer cannot be undertaken by someone who is one of the following:

  • a teacher
  • a relative
  • a friend
  • a candidate
  • a student at the school
  • a tutor
  • a close family friend
  • anyone else with a reasonably close personal relationship to either the candidate or their family.

The candidate needs to be familiar with the person or persons who may be assisting them with reading and/or writing before undertaking any assessment. Readers and writers need to be familiar with the vocabulary specific to the subject(s) they are assisting with. Familiarity with the subject matter is not required.

During the Assessment

  • You must only do the task(s) for which the candidate has been approved special assessment conditions.
  • You will be in separate accommodation away from the other candidates. Unless the special assessment conditions permit, do not allow the candidate to move around. If you feel that the candidate is not following normal procedures or is not using the special assessment provisions you should make a written report to the Special Needs Coordinator.

The Job of the Reader

  • As a reader you are the eyes of the candidate.
  • Both you and the candidate will have a copy of the assessment.
  • You will read the assessment to the candidate clearly and at a speed they can follow.
  • Make sure that they can easily hear what you are reading.
  • They may ask you to re-read instructions or a passage. Do so clearly and wait for them to ask you to read again. You are not allowed to interpret the question or words for the candidate. To do so will invalidate their results.
  • Please be patient if the candidate works slowly and avoid giving the candidate facial expressions or being hesitant if you see mistakes being made.
  • Before they start writing check that the candidate is in the correct place.
  • The candidate may use a computer for writing their answers. A reader is not allowed to use a computer for a candidate.
  • A reader is not allowed to encourage or prompt the candidate to work harder or faster in the assessment. To do so will invalidate their results.

The Job of the Writer

  • You are the hands of the candidate and it is your responsibility to write the answers for the candidate.
  • Both you and the candidate will have a copy of the assessment.
  • Make sure that you are writing any answers in the correct place.
  • Make sure that the candidate can easily see what you are writing.
  • Only write the words that they use and in the order that they say them to you.
  • You are not allowed to interpret or to make suggestions about what you think the candidate is trying to write. To do so will invalidate their results.
  • You are to spell all words correctly and may add punctuation.
  • You must not copy any sentences that the candidate has written. They must speak their words to you.
  • A candidate may sketch out a few ideas for long answers or essays in the working/planning space in their booklet. They may then read from this.
  • The candidate must not write out a complete answer and then read it to you or have you copy it.
  • The candidate may ask you to re-write, edit or amend an answer they have already given.
  • Please be patient if the candidate works slowly and avoid giving the candidate facial expressions or being hesitant if you see or hear mistakes being made.
  • A writer is not allowed to use a computer for a candidate.
  • A candidate may be required to draw a diagram or map etc. to show an independent command of the skill being shown. A writer may add words or labels only as directed by the student.
  • A writer is not allowed to encourage or prompt the candidate to work harder or faster in the assessment. To do so will invalidate their results.
  • For physically-disabled candidates, non-English answers may be written in a language assessment, but the candidate must spell each word and add accents as required.

The Job of the Reader/Writer

  • As a reader/writer you are the eyes and hands of the candidate.
  • Both you and the candidate will have a copy of the assessment.
  • Make sure that you are writing answers in the correct place.
  • You will read and write the answers for the candidate. Make sure that they can easily hear and see what you are reading or writing. Read instructions clearly at a speed they can follow.
  • Only write the words that they use and in the order that they say them to you.
  • You are not allowed to interpret the question or words for the candidate or to write what you think they are trying to say or to make suggestions about what they might write. To do so will invalidate their results.
  • You are to spell all words correctly and may add punctuation.
  • You must not copy any sentences that the candidate has written. They must speak their words to you.
  • A candidate may sketch out a few ideas for long answers or essays in the working/planning space in their booklet. They may then read from this.
  • The candidate must not write out a complete answer and then read it to you or have you copy it.
  • The candidate may ask you to re-write, edit or amend an answer they have already given.
  • Please be patient if the candidate works slowly and avoid giving the candidate facial expressions or being hesitant if you see or hear mistakes being made.
  • A reader/writer is not allowed to use a computer for a candidate.
  • A candidate may be required to draw a diagram or map etc. to show an independent command of the skill being shown. A reader/writer may add words or labels only as directed by the student.
  • A reader/writer is not allowed to encourage or prompt the candidate to work harder or faster in the assessment. To do so will invalidate their results.
  • For physically-disabled candidates, non-English answers may be written in a language assessment, but the candidate must spell each word and add accents as required.

Assessments for Languages

  • The assessment is a test of the candidate's ability to read and/or write in the target language (e.g. French) and therefore they must not receive assistance from a reader or writer as this will invalidate their results. For physically-disabled candidates, non-English answers may be written in a language assessment, but the candidate must spell each word and add accents as required.
  • Candidates who have reader and/or writer approved for special assessment conditions for a language assessment do not need an assistant fluent in the language, as the assistant will be reading and writing English.
  • The assistant must not read the target language for the candidate (e.g. Te Reo, French). However, they may read the instructions and all words in English in any languages examination.
  • For physically-disabled candidates, the assistant must not write in the target language for the candidate unless the candidate spells every word for the assistant and indicates any punctuation or accents required.
  • The assistant must not write Chinese or Japanese script for any candidate.
  • The assistant can read the English in the assessment or write in English without the candidate spelling every word.

Note for Practice Assessments or Examinations
L3 English standards

Two Level 3 English standards (91472 and 91473) require the candidate to develop a structured written answer that follows the conventions of an essay format. That is, the candidate is required to use paragraphing. The writer must ensure that the candidate contributes directly to these requirements during all end-of-topic tests, practice assessments and mock examinations, as well as the actual examinations. That is, the candidate must tell the writer where to start paragraphs. To assist with paragraphing without the express instructions of the candidate will invalidate their results.

Candidates using a computer may have access to spelling and grammar checks.

Note: Candidates entered for 91474 may have a reader or writer or reader/writer and may have access to spellcheck and grammar check functions if using a computer.

Geography standards

Writers are not to assist candidates with the drawing of diagrams, maps or graphs for the following Geography standards: 

91007, 91008 and 91010        (Level 1)

91240, 91242 and 91243        (Level 2)

91426, 91427 and 91429       (Level 3)

93401                                 (Scholarship)

Candidates must complete the diagrams, maps or graphs themselves. Writers may add words or labels as directed by the student.

Use of the Computer

  • A computer is interchangeable with a writer. Students are encouraged to practise in both modes early in the year and decide on their preferred assessment option for each subject before June. For exam sessions the student must have selected “Writer” for the whole session or “Computer” for the whole session.
  • Some Specific Examination Sessions (PDF, 14KB) allow for the use of Extra Time to replace use of Computer or Writer for any candidate approved for Computer/Writer but not Extra Time. For internal time-bound assessment Extra Time should be offered at the rate of 10 minutes per hour.
  • The language must be set to NZ English, and may not be set to any other language including Chinese or Japanese script.
  • Spell check and grammar check are allowed except for any standard that requires the candidate to demonstrate their use of writing conventions e.g. spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.
  • Candidates should set up headers on their pages before they start, with the standard number, standard name and their NSN (for external examinations) or name (for internal standards or mock exams), to ensure their printed work is identifiable.
  • Candidates print their work during the assessment. Printing is not to take place outside the room.
  • USB flash drives or other portable storage devices are not to be used in assessments.
  • When there is more than one candidate using a computer they may be seated in one room, with a sufficient number of printers. Candidates using computers who have a Reader or who must have accommodation separate from other students must have a printer in the room with them.
  • Where the assessment requires a diagram or graph or map to be drawn or completed, the candidate refers the marker to the relevant assessment pages (e.g. See Qu 3b on p7 in the answer booklet), and hand writes their answer there. Alternatively, if no space is provided in the assessment pages, the candidate leaves a space on their answer page, prints the page, and then draws in the space.
  • Languages: candidates may use computers for any language except Chinese or Japanese script. After printing they must add by hand any required language-specific script, accents and punctuation.

See also Reader assistance for deaf or hearing-impaired students.

External examinations

If you are also involved in external examinations, there is additional information you need to know. Download the Reader/Writer Guide for External Examinations (PDF, 871KB).

 

 
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