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VCE Exams Navigator 2021 – Special Provision

The following two types of Special Provision are available to you for VCE external assessments:

  • Special Examination Arrangements
  • Derived Examination Score (DES).

Special Examination Arrangements

If you have an illness or disability, you may require Special Examination Arrangements to access questions and respond in an external assessment.

Your school is responsible for submitting an application for Special Examination Arrangements on your behalf.

All applications for 2021 VCE external assessments associated with long-term or chronic conditions should already have been submitted to the VCAA and a decision communicated to the student’s school.

If you have a recently diagnosed condition and believe you might be eligible for Special Examination Arrangements, you must initially discuss this with your VCE coordinator. The school may then submit a late application, which must include the appropriate supporting documentation.

Emergency Special Examination Arrangements

Your school may apply for Emergency Special Examination Arrangements if you experience a sudden illness, accident or personal trauma immediately before or during the relevant assessment period. This application must be supported by appropriate evidence.

Derived Examination Score

If you are significantly affected by the onset of an illness, or the occurrence of an injury or personal trauma at the time of your VCE external assessments, you may be eligible for a DES.

You must have independent professional evidence to support any DES application.

You cannot submit a DES application on the basis of:

  • unfamiliarity with the English language
  • teacher absence or other teacher-related difficulties
  • a long-term or chronic condition or illness
  • matters that could have been avoided by you, such as misreading the examination timetable or instructions, or matters related to school discipline
  • matters of your own choosing, such as involvement in social events, sporting or training activities, school events or voluntary work.

This applies to all VCE oral, performance and written examinations, and the Extended Investigation Critical Thinking Test and oral presentation.

A DES is not available for the Music Style and Composition Externally-assessed Task and Extended Investigation Externally-assessed Task written report.

Attending VCE external assessments

You are advised to attend every VCE external assessment. You should not miss an external assessment because you do not feel able to do your best.

While you are not expected to attend an external assessment against medical advice, you must meet the DES eligibility requirements and have a definitive written statement from an independent health professional recommending non-attendance at the external assessment. You must have consulted this professional as close as possible to the day before the external assessment, or on the same day as the external assessment, about your illness or injury and inability to attend.

If you are prevented from attending an external assessment, it is crucial that you immediately notify your principal or VCE coordinator.

If you are ill but able to attend the external assessment, you should inform the VCE coordinator of your condition as soon as possible (before or after) the external assessment. If you are ill during the external assessment, you should inform the supervisor.

Closing date for DES applications

Your individual Student Examination/Assessment timetable contains the DES closing dates.

There are individual closing dates for oral, performance and written examinations.

How to make an application

If you believe you are eligible for a DES, you should first seek advice from your school.

Specific details on how to complete each section of the DES application are provided in the application.

Submitting your application

You are responsible for submitting an application that meets all eligibility criteria.

You should contact your VCE coordinator to gain access to and complete an application. Your principal will consider the application and make a recommendation to the VCAA at their discretion.

The VCAA reserves the right to contact the school when statements involving the school need to be verified.

Compassionate Late Withdrawal or Interrupted Studies

If an illness or personal circumstance has been so severe that you have not been coping with the demands of VCE studies, you should discuss with your VCE coordinator the possibility of being granted Compassionate Late Withdrawal or Interrupted Studies status. The school will need supporting professional evidence if you decide to pursue either of these options.

You should be aware of the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS). Check VTAC for details and closing dates.


Find out more about Special Provision or talk to your school.