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Special Assessment Conditions - Information for Registered Professionals

What Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) are available for students?

There are 4 categories of disorders or impairments under which students may apply for Special Assessment Conditions:

  • Sensory (vision, hearing)
  • Physical
  • Medical
  • Learning

These are expanded on the Potential barriers and possible SAC support page

The detail of SAC available to candidates for extra assistance with their NCEA assessments are



Explanatory Notes


Braille Paper



Enlarged Paper

Enlarged to A3 size only


Special Paper (including electronic PDFs)

PDFs allow for the student to enlarge the paper to any size on their laptop or iPad, or for it to be printed on coloured paper


Signing Supervisor

For hearing-impaired students


Signing Reader

For hearing-impaired students



May be replaced by headphones and text to voice.


Computer or Writer

A writer may choose to type answers on a computer. ‘Computer’ may be other electronic assistive technology such as a BrailleNote machine


Separate Accommodation

  1. Isolation must be provided with a reader or writer, as the student and their assistant are talking
  2. Isolation must be provided for those who would distract other students (Tourette’s syndrome, epilepsy) or who would be upset or distracted by others, or who have special requirements (e.g. immediate access to a nearby toilet)
  3. Small group may be provided, suitable for several diabetics together, computer users etc. or as approved by the students in the group.


Extra Time

Extra writing time, usually 10 minutes per hour or 30 minutes per 3 hour examination session. Approved for physical slowness and/or slow mental processing speed.


Rest Breaks

Usually up to 30 minutes. Non-writing time where the student takes time out from the examination but this period is added to the end so they don’t miss out on writing time, e.g. diabetic students (test blood/take insulin/eat/drink); anxious students (relaxation/breathing exercises); Crohn’s disease (repeated toileting); recovering from injury/surgery (physical movement); physical discomfort/excessive fatigue (rest).

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