Assistance with sitting exams

Need support with sitting exams, additional help is available.

Criteria for assistance

Assistance may be available to:

  • candidates with a learning difficulty (such as dyslexia) or a medical condition that makes examinations difficult
  • candidates for whom English is a second language
  • candidates who have failed the same examination 2 or more times

Supporting evidence should be provided which may include documentation from a disabilities coordinator (most polytechnics have these) or a medical practitioner in the case of a medical condition.

Applications for assistance must be applied for in writing using the extra assistance request application form on the Aspec website below. Email the filled-in form to

Extra assistance request application form(external link)

Types of assistance

Additional time

This is usually up to 30 minutes for 3 hour exams (now that these are online) but more may be considered.

A reader

A reader reads the question and the candidate selects the correct answer(s) from the options given on the screen. Readers are supplied by Aspeq for a charge covering the cost of the reader and a separate room.

A writer

The candidate reads the questions and identifies the answer to the writer. Writers are supplied by Aspeq for a charge covering the cost of the writer and a separate room. As on-line exams do not require “writing” as such, but the selection of a correct option, this option is not available to those with learning difficulties. Instead it may be required for a person who is temporarily unable to use their hands due to an accident for example.

Candidates entitled to a reader or a writer (or both) may also be entitled to additional time.