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Special Assessment Conditions for NCEA

Students sitting in a hall for a school exam

What is NCEA?

NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) is the main secondary school qualification in New Zealand. Most students will begin studying for their NCEA from Year 11. Learn more about how NCEA works at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) website.

What are Special Assessment Conditions?

Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) provide extra help for students with disabilities when they are being assessed for their NCEA. The aim is to remove barriers to achievement so that the student is able to demonstrate their learning at assessment time. Support is available for internal standards and external standards (exams).

What Special Assessment Conditions are available?

  • Braille papers
  • enlarged papers
  • special papers
  • Signing Supervisor
  • Signing Reader
  • Reader
  • Computer or Writer
  • separate accommodation
  • extra time
  • rest breaks

To find out what SACs are available for the difficulties that your child may have, and what sort of documentation is required to support the application, read the online user guide at NZQA.

Applying for SACs

The school is responsible for applying for SACs on behalf of your child. But you can support the application with any medical reports or assessments you have available.

It’s a good idea to talk with the school early on about your child’s disabilities and how they may affect their performance in assessments. This will give the school time to identify and trial the types of support that are best for your child. It will also provide enough time for your child’s teachers to observe and gather alternative evidence in the absence of reports from medical professionals.

The timeframe for applying for SACs varies depending on the type of disability and whether your child has applied in the past. In some cases, applications will need to be lodged as early as March. Your school will be able to guide you or you can view the application timeline at NZQA to see the relevant dates.

You can find out more information about SACs at the NZQA website.

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