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Practical Support for Higher School Certificate Examinations

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Published 5 October 2012

Information for Students and Parents

The Board of Studies has a program to help students with practical support in their Higher School Certificate examinations. This practical support, known as provisions, assists students to read examination questions and to write their answers. Provisions include rest breaks and extra time. The use of any provision is not written on the student’s results.

Students may need provisions for:

  • a permanent condition, such as diabetes or reading difficulty
  • a temporary condition, such as a broken arm, or
  • an intermittent condition, such as back pain when sitting for long periods.

It is not embarrassing to apply for or use provisions. More than 5000 HSC students apply for provisions each year. Provisions help students to show the markers what they know and can do.

To apply for provisions, the school submits an online application to the Board of Studies. This application tells us which provisions the student is requesting and includes recent evidence. Evidence may include medical reports, reading results, spelling results, writing samples and teacher comments.

Much of the evidence can be collected by the school, but the parents’ role is welcome and needed. Parents help by talking with the school, describing the student’s needs, and providing the school with medical or other reports.

Applications for provisions should be submitted by the school to the Board of Studies by the end of Term 1. Late applications are accepted for an emergency, such as a broken arm, until the time of the examinations.

Once the Board of Studies has made a decision about which provisions are approved or declined, a decision letter is provided to the school. The school will provide the student with a copy of the letter.

If you or the school are not satisfied with the Board’s decision, it is possible for the school to lodge an appeal. Appeals must state why the Board’s decision is unsuitable and must include new evidence to support the appeal.

If you think that you or your child may require support in completing the Higher School Certificate examinations, please discuss the matter with the Year Adviser, School Counsellor or teacher.

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