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Special Assessment Conditions

NZQA Student on computer

NZQA grants entitlement to Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) so that candidates may have fair access to assessment for National Qualifications. Special Assessment Conditions enable entitled candidates to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding, without providing unfair advantage over other candidates.

Applications are made by schools on the behalf of candidates. Entitlement for SAC covers both internal and external NCEA assessments.

Information for students

What are Special Assessment Conditions?SAC students

Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) provide students with an entitlement extra help when they are being assessed for their NCEA to remove barriers to a fair assessment. The support is used for internal and external standards.

What Special Assessment Conditions are available?

A list of Special Assessment Conditions available can be found here.

Who can apply for SAC?

Students with sensory, physical, medical and/or learning difficulties/disabilities.

How can I apply for SAC?

Talk to your school and hand them your completed Student Application for entitlement to Special Assessment Conditions form. The form can be found here under Special Assessment Conditions.

Do I need to pay for SAC?

No, NZQA does not charge for SAC applications, and does not require you to obtain any specialist report.

What sort of information does my school need?

If you have accessed SAC previously (including if you attended another school), complete the Student SAC Historical Record form. The form can be found here under Special Assessment Conditions.

If you have previously been diagnosed with a condition, give your school a copy of any report you have that relates to your condition. This allows your school to know what you need. Do note that you don't need a specialist report to apply for SAC.

If you or your parents wish to get a formal diagnosis of a learning disorder, ask your assessor to complete the Special Assessment Conditions Declaration form found under the Information for Registered Professionals on this page.

How will my school know that I am getting the right SAC for my condition?

Your school might want to do some screening tests so they know exactly what SAC you might need. They may trial various provisions to find what works best for you.

We have a form called SAC Coversheet for Assessments, that you, your teacher, and your assessment assistant can complete to let your school know how you thought the trial went and what works best for you. The form can be found here under Special Assessment Conditions. 

Information for schools

Which of my students might be entitled to SAC?

Any student with a permanent or long term condition or disorder that directly impacts on their ability to be fairly assessed is eligible to SAC. You can read the SAC Guidelines for schools here.

I have a student who would benefit from SAC. SAC SchoolWhat do I need to do?

Give your student the Student Application for entitlement to Special Assessment Conditions for them to complete and the Student SAC Historical Record form for their parents or caregivers to complete. The forms can be found here under Special Assessment Conditions.

Add that information to any you may have gathered from your school testing and you are ready to start.

How do I know if I am offering appropriate SAC support?

You and your teachers may have observed the impact of your student's or impairment on their ability to be fairly assessed.

Use this table to help you identify appropriate assessment conditions to trial potential barriers and possible SAC support.

Your student may already have been diagnosed with a condition, or be receiving assistance from outside agencies. Ask for copies of any reports and trial the recommendations in the report. Check the table for any other possible support to trial.

Ask your teachers, your student and their assessment assistant how they think the support went, and record their feedback on the SAC Coversheet for Assessments form. The form can be found here under Special Assessment Conditions.

Now that I know what works best, how do I make an application?

Gather up all of the paperwork and documentation that you have; the historical record, and reports the family have provided, the data from your school testing and your teacher and student feedback.

Open the SAC tool and begin the application. For more tips, please read preparing an application.

I want to roll over a student's entitlements. How do I make sure their needs haven't changed?

Your student and their teachers will be able to let you know if you need to add any SAC entitlements. NZQA doesn’t need to be informed when a student elects not to use an entitlement.

Review their achievement data and follow the suggestions on the annual needs analysis.

What are the NZQA deadlines?

Follow the month by month calendar to keep on top of your workload.

Additional information on SAC can be found below:

Exclusions
Providing SAC for Digital External Assessment
Reader assistance for deaf or hearing-impaired students
Role of the reader and writer, and computer use

 
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