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Assessment Certification Examination (ACE)
NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA)

Higher School Certificate illness/misadventure applications – grounds for appeal

ACE 11004

Last Updated: 1 April 2019

As the examination marks are intended to be a measure of a student’s actual examination performance, applications must relate to illness or misadventure suffered immediately before or during the examination(s) that has affected the student’s examination performance. Applications may be in respect of:

  1. illness or injury – that is, illness or physical injuries suffered directly by the student which allegedly affected the student’s performance in the examination(s) (eg influenza, an asthma attack, a cut hand);
  2. misadventure – that is, any other event beyond the student’s control which allegedly affected the student’s performance in the examination(s) (eg death of a friend or family member, involvement in a traffic accident, isolation caused by a flood).

Unacceptable grounds for appeal

The application process does not cover:

  • attendance at a sporting or cultural event, or family holiday
  • alleged inadequacies of teaching or long-term matters relating to loss of preparation time, loss of study time or facilities. (There may be cases involving the interruption to the completion of an HSC submitted work or loss of materials prepared by the student which NESA will consider, eg major works stolen or destroyed by vandals.)
  • disabilities for which NESA has already granted disability provisions, unless an unforeseen episode occurs during the examination (eg a hypoglycaemic event suffered by a diabetic student or a student who has been isolated but is still ill) or further difficulties occur, the authenticity of which is supported by the presiding officer. 

       Note: A student who has suffered an injury such as a broken writing  arm immediately before the examinations will require careful consideration as the  student generally will not have had sufficient time to practise with the provision(s) granted.

  • long-term illness such as glandular fever, asthma, epilepsy – unless the student suffered a ‘flare-up’ of the condition immediately before or during the examination(s)
  • matters avoidable by the student (eg misreading of timetable; misinterpretation of examination paper).