(This may be necessary in conjunction with other dispensations, such as scribing or audio.)

  • Some learners may be disorganised and anxious during tests and examinations. This may prevent them from answering the question paper to the best of their abilities.
  • Some learners may lack the ability to organise their time to enable them to complete the question paper in the allocated time.
  • Some learners neglect to follow instructions set out in the question paper.
  • Some learners are inclined to give up easily and hand in an incomplete answer paper.
  • Some learners rush through their work and hand their scripts in without checking their answers.

The Planning Aide / Personal Assistant gives guidance to the learner regarding organization and paces the learner through the paper.

Use of a Personal Assistant

(i) A learner who requires assistance in personal and/or practical ways during the course of an examination may require a personal assistant. The personal assistant may be required to provide assistance with manual tasks at the learner’s

instruction, e.g. turning pages, inserting a disk into the computer, removing the learner’s jacket as well as with personal care tasks during rest breaks.

(ii) The personal assistant may be familiar with the learner, but must not teach the subject.

(iii) The personal assistant should not discuss any matters with the learner during the assessment session or examination unless it relates to the learner’s need for personal care or assistance with manual tasks.

(iv) A separate venue is required for this accommodation.

Use of a Prompter

(i) The function of a prompter is to refocus a learner who is easily distracted. This may be done using a verbal or physical cue.

(ii) The prompter may not interfere with the learner’s answers to the examination

(iii) A separate venue is required for this accommodation.



These learners struggle to identify words quickly enough to fully comprehend a sentence, paragraph or passage. The invigilator therefore reads the questions out loud.

About 30% of the above learners tend to rush and do not perform to their potential. These learners need to slow down and check their answers. Therefore the invigilator assists them by providing a “planning aide.”


Use of a Reader

(i) A reader refers to a person who reads all text in an examination paper to a earner. This method is used with candidates with poor reading skills causing tension and loss of time.

(ii) The learner may request sections of text to be reread.

(iii) The reader should preferably be a qualified teacher, but not necessarily from the same centre and could be drawn from a panel of readers identified and trained by the Provincial Education Department. The reader remains neutral and impartial

when reading the question paper.

(iv) The reader can read the text to one or more candidates simultaneously. Both the reader and the candidates have question papers.

(v) A separate room or venue is required for this accommodation.

(vi) A rest break not exceeding 20 minutes after two hours may be considered and a ten minute rest break for every hour exceeding a two hour paper.



These learners are unable to perform the following:

  • manage their own time
  • read mechanically and make meaning of what they have read themselves
  • write legibly, due to physical disability or the inability to express his/her own thoughts on paper or makes gross spelling errors resulting in the inability to decipher the answers.

Use of a Scribe

(i) A scribe writes down verbatim the responses that the learner dictates orally or through a sign language interpreter. This will happen in cases where the learner’s reading/writing ability prevents him or her from giving a true account of his or her

knowledge and/or competence or where the learner cannot write the examination question paper due to the severity of a disability.

(ii) A scribe should be an educator, but should not be a member of staff of the centre concerned, nor may the scribe be related to the candidate.

(iii) A scribe could be drawn from a panel of readers identified and trained by the Province.

(iv) A separate room or venue is required for this accommodation.

(v) A rest break not exceeding 20 minutes after two hours may be

considered and a ten minute rest break for every hour exceeding a two hour paper.


Learners who are easily distracted or need more individual attention are identified and then answer their question papers with a small group of learners from the same grade, where the teacher can read to them individually on a rotational basis.  These learners are also paced through the questions.


  • Physical Disability/Repetitive Strain Injury – 5 to 10 minutes per hour to accommodate slower writing speed.

(b) Learning Disability – 20 minutes per hour for perusal / formulating/ writing/ checking answers.

(c) Chronic Pain – 15 minutes per hour for standing and/or moving around.

(d) Vision Impairment – Double time for learners who are blind, and time and a half for learners who have low vision.

(e) Hearing Loss – 20 minutes per hour for perusal/ formulating/ writing/ checking answers.

(f) Any other disability not identified in the above list, may use the abovementioned time allocation, not exceeding 20 minutes per hour.


(a) Learners may be given approval to utilise a computer to present their answers in typed form.

(b) Standard formatting is acceptable but the computer may not contain any stored information, nor may a database be utilised. A learner may not utilise predictive text software, grammar check, spell check or a thesaurus. Where there is more than one learner in a venue using a computer, the computers may not be connected to each other or to the intranet or internet.

(c) The work must be printed out at the end of the assessment and the learner must verify that it is his or her work.

Speech-to-text computer software

We have bought licenses for Dragon Naturally Speaking.  Learners are trained to use the software and, once regular practice has taken place, these learners can then answer their tests and exams making use of the software.


  • Enlarged Print

Papers in enlarged print are made available on hard or in electronic copy for learners who require this.

  • Handwriting

A handwriting accommodation means that in the final NSC exam a sticker is placed on the answer script of each learner who has been granted this accommodation. This indicates to the marker that untidy writing must be accommodated.

  • Spelling

(i) A spelling accommodation is awarded when there is a significant discrepancy between the chronological age and spelling age of the learner and the learner’s ability to express thoughts adequately is thus compromised.

(ii) In the final NSC examination a spelling sticker is placed on the answer books of each learner who has been granted this accommodation. The marker ignores the spelling as long as what is written is phonetically correct.

(iii) Please note that in the languages Paper 1 where textual editing is examined and spelling is part of content knowledge required at Grade 12 level, spelling will count.

  • Medication / food intake

Learners may require an opportunity to take medication during an examination and/or have access to food and beverages used to maintain sugar levels and treat low blood sugars. Rest breaks should also be applied for in conjunction with this accommodation. A separate venue is usually required when this accommodation is granted.

  • Rest breaks

A rest break is a period of time when the learner is not required to be at his/her desk but must remain in the examination venue. Rest break time does not count as extra writing time. The rest break time used will be added to the examination session. A separate venue with invigilation may be required for this accommodation.


Click here for a list of accommodations