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Special assessment conditions - exclusions of assistance and alternative provisions

General Principles for Internal and External Assessments

Special assessment conditions (SAC) are not approved where:

  • the integrity of the assessment may be compromised
  • they compromise the assessment objectives of the standard in question
  • the special assessment condition will provide unfair advantage over other candidates.

Internal Assessments

When providing special assessment conditions to candidates undertaking internal assessment, the first consideration must be maintaining the integrity of the assessment. Because of the size and scope of internally assessed standards there is no list of standards for which special assessment conditions are specifically excluded. However, reading the Achievement Criteria and Explanatory Notes of the standard and referring to the general principles will help you to decide on appropriate special assessment conditions from within their entitlement for each candidate.

Consideration must be given to how manageable each special assessment condition is for the candidate for each standard being assessed. In some instances, although a candidate may be entitled to Writer assistance, for example, alternative solutions can address the candidate’s needs without compromising the integrity of the assessment.

Alternative provisions

It is inappropriate to offer a Writer when the assessment requires candidates to:

  • write equations or symbols (as in Mathematics, Calculus, Statistics, Physics, Music for example) because of the difficulty associated with dictating symbols, for example. Offer Extra Time, or assistive technologies if that is the candidate’s usual way of working, instead
  • draw graphs or models (as in Mathematics, Geography, Statistics, Physics etc.). Offer Extra Time, or assistive technologies if that is the candidate’s usual way of working, instead.

Exclusions of assistance

You must not offer a Writer when the assessment requires candidates to:

  • write in a Learning Language* or New Language* where the assessment is of a candidate’s ability to spell or write characters or script in that language. (*for example, students instructed in English may learn Māori , Japanese, French, or Samoan as a new language)
  • write in a learning language where the assessment is of a candidate’s ability to spell or write characters or script. Candidates must demonstrate these skills on their own, either by dictating spelling or accents, or using a computer and adding these for themselves.
  • show an independent command of the skill being assessed (e.g. drawing in Visual Arts or technology [including DVC], drawing maps in Geography, drawing graphs in Economics, writing characters in Chinese or Japanese, writing musical notation, etc.).

However, a writer may label a diagram, map etc. as instructed by the candidate. Where computer use is not excluded for a written examination, only word processing software should be used. Spell check software is allowed, except where otherwise specified.

Similarly, you must not offer a Reader when the assessment requires candidates to:

  • read (and comprehend) independently (as in reo Māori or a foreign language).

However, a reader may read the instructions and all words in English in any languages examination.

Where a standard excludes the use of a Reader, the exclusion also covers any technology that reads text, as this would turn it into a listening exercise.

Contact for clarification or for any exceptional circumstances.

External Assessments

Alternative provisions

Specific examination sessions allow for the use of Extra Time to replace use of Computer or Writer: Any student approved for Computer/Writer but not Extra Time may, for specific examination sessions (PDF, 52KB), use Extra Time instead of the Computer or Writer. The option is available for whole sessions only, not standard by standard. The student must be entered for three standards in a three hour session for Extra Time to become available.

Exclusions of assistance

The following External standards are excluded from the specific special assessment conditions assistance listed. Partial exclusion of Writer for Geography allows the writer to annotate the graphs and maps drawn by the student and to write the rest of the answers. Students using a Computer for Languages may not set the text to the target language but may add accents and language-specific punctuation by hand. Partial exclusion of Reader for Languages allows the reader to read only the instructions or questions written in English. When a student is entered for one of these standards access to the excluded SAC is prohibited.

Level 1

Achievement Standard  Special Assessment Conditions Assistance
Design and Visual Communication
  91063   Excluded Excluded  
  91064   Excluded    
  91065   Excluded    
  91007   Part Excluded    
  91008   Part Excluded    
  91010   Part Excluded    
Visual Arts
  90916   Excluded    
Chinese 90868 Part Excluded      
  90871 Excluded      
Cook Islands Māori 90873 Part Excluded      
  90876 Excluded      
French 90878 Part Excluded      
  90881 Excluded      
German 90883 Part Excluded        
  90886 Excluded      
Indonesian 90888 Part Excluded      
  90891 Excluded      
Japanese 90893 Part Excluded      
  90896 Excluded      
Korean 90898 Part Excluded      
  90901 Excluded      
Samoan 90903 Part Excluded      
  90906 Excluded      
Spanish 90908 Part Excluded      
  90911 Excluded      
Te Reo Māori
  91087 Part Excluded      
  91088 Excluded      
Lea Faka-Tonga          
  91669 Part Excluded      
  91672 Excluded      


Unit Standard  Special Assessment Conditions Assistance
Literacy 26624 Excluded      

Level 2

Achievement StandardSpecial Assessment Conditions Assistance
Design and Visual Communication
  91337   Excluded    
  91338   Excluded    
  91339   Excluded    
  91240   Part Excluded    
  91242   Part Excluded    
  91243   Part Excluded    
Visual Arts
  91320   Excluded    
  91321   Excluded    
  91322   Excluded    
  91323   Excluded    
  91324   Excluded    
Chinese 91108 Part Excluded      
  91111 Excluded      
Cook Islands Māori 91113 Part Excluded      
  91116 Excluded      
French 91118 Part Excluded      
  91121 Excluded      
German 91123 Part Excluded      
  91126 Excluded      
Indonesian 91128 Part Excluded      
  91131 Excluded      
Japanese 91133 Part Excluded      
  91136 Excluded      
Korean 91138 Part Excluded      
  91141 Excluded      
Samoan 91143 Part Excluded      
  91146 Excluded      
Spanish 91148 Part Excluded      
  91151 Excluded      
Te Reo Māori
  91286 Part Excluded      
  91287 Excluded      
Lea Faka-Tonga          
  91674 Part Excluded      
  91677 Excluded      

Level 3

Achievement StandardSpecial Assessment Conditions Assistance
Design and Visual Communication
  91627   Excluded    
  91631   Excluded    
  91426   Part Excluded    
  91427   Part Excluded    
  91429   Part Excluded    
Visual Arts
  91455   Excluded    
  91456   Excluded    
  91457   Excluded    
  91458   Excluded    
  91459   Excluded    
Chinese 91533 Part Excluded      
  91536 Excluded      
Cook Islands Māori 91538 Part Excluded      
  91541 Excluded      
French 91543 Part Excluded      
  91546 Excluded      
German 91548 Part Excluded      
  91551 Excluded      
Indonesian 91645 Part Excluded      
  91648 Excluded      
Japanese 91553 Part Excluded      
  91556 Excluded      
Korean 91558 Part Excluded      
  91561 Excluded      
Samoan 91563 Part Excluded      
  91566 Excluded      
Spanish 91568 Part Excluded      
  91571 Excluded      
Te Reo Māori
  91652 Excluded      
  91653 Excluded      


Standard  Special Assessment Conditions Assistance
Chinese Excluded Excluded
French Excluded Excluded
German Excluded Excluded
Japanese Excluded  Excluded
Spanish Excluded  Excluded
Samoan Excluded  Excluded
Te Reo Māori Excluded  Excluded
Te Reo Rangatira Excluded  Excluded
Design and Visual Communication Excluded Excluded
Latin Excluded  Excluded
Music Excluded Excluded
Visual Arts Excluded Excluded
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