Special assessment conditions

Special assessment conditions provide extra help for approved NCEA students when they are being assessed.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Learning Support Coordinators
  • SENCOs
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Head of Departments
  • NZQA nominees
  • Students
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
  • Learning Support Staff

What are special assessment conditions?

Special assessment conditions (SAC) are a range of supports for students with difficulties that directly impact their access to fair assessment.

Some examples of SAC:

  • special papers for vision-impaired students
  • writers or readers for students with learning disorders, such as dyslexia
  • rest breaks for students with diabetes
  • separate accommodation for students with anxiety disorders.

SAC can include the use of a writer or reader, computer, rest breaks, Braille or enlarged papers.

Submissions for SAC are made by schools to NZQA on behalf of students.

Learn more about SAC and how to apply on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) website.

Special assessment conditions (SAC) – NZQA(external link)

SAC information for parents and caregivers – NZQA(external link)

Apply for SAC

  • Schools need to apply for special assessment conditions on behalf of their students. 
  • New applicants need to apply in October for the following year.
  • Rollover and change applications apply in February for that year.

Guidance for schools

The 'Providing effective assessment assistance' guide is for heads of learning support, those in similar roles and other school leaders.

Its purpose is to assist with designing school practices to support effective assessment of all students.

Providing effective assessment assistance [PDF, 545 KB](external link) 

Guidance for assessment assistants

An assessment assistant is someone who helps students who need support with in assessment situation. The assistant may be a reader, writer or both.

'Being an effective assessment assistant' is a self-paced online module for anyone preparing to be an assessment assistant.

It introduces the assistant to the key skills, roles and responsibilities of formal assessments.

Being an effective assessment assistant e-module(external link)

If the module doesn't work straight away, refresh your page.

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