Illness or misadventure

Definition of illness: If your child was sick or injured or had a diagnosed medical condition affecting your child’s performance on the test or causing your child to miss the test.

Definition of misadventure: An unavoidable incident or circumstances affecting your child’s performance, or causing your child to miss the test.

Evidence of illness/misadventure

If your child is affected, you should obtain relevant documentary evidence such as a medical certificate and Independent evidence of illness form (if the student missed the test and if it is possible to visit a doctor) to cover the day of the test. Upload evidence to the online Illness/misadventure request form before the due date.

Illness/misadventure requests relating to test performance and relating to missing the test must be submitted through the application dashboard by 11:59pm on 16 May 2024.

Depending on the circumstances it may be advisable for the student to sit the test and make an illness/misadventure request afterwards. However, students must not attend the test if there is a risk to their health or the health of others, such as in cases of contact with contagious disease. Students with signs of respiratory illness cannot be admitted.

It is important to note that students who sit the test have a much greater chance of placement than students who do not sit the test. This is because only 5% of places at any selective high school are available for students who have been unable to sit the test. For example a selective high school with 100 vacancies will have only 5 places available for students who have missed the test.

Grounds for illness/misadventure requests

You can make a request for special consideration for illness/misadventure about:

  • events affecting performance on the test
  • events causing the student to miss the test.

How to make a request

On test day or within 5 working days after, go to your application dashboard and click on the three dots under the Action column. Choose 'illness/misadventure'.

Ensure you complete the correct form, either for the test performance being affected or for being prevented from attending the test.

You will be able to upload documentation to the online form. Please combine your documentation into one file. If you are unable to upload all of your documentation, send it attached to a message in your application dashboard immediately after submitting the online form.

If your request is about illness, and if you are able to take your child to a doctor, also attach the completed Independent evidence of illness form which is available when you open the illness/misadventure option in your application dashboard. The upload of the Independent evidence of illness form is mandatory. If you were unable to visit the doctor because of COVID, you can note this on the form and upload it and submit the request. The request must be submitted through the application dashboard by 11:59pm on 16 May 2024.

After submitting, a notification will pop up on the screen to confirm submission. You will not receive an email confirmation.

Assessment of illness/misadventure requests

Any illness/misadventure matters relating to performance in the test are investigated directly by Cambridge University Press and Assessment, the test developers. View the Cambridge Assessment illness/misadventure policy (PDF 167KB).

Where students missed the test

Where students are unable to sit the test for well-documented reasons and parents have lodged an illness/misadventure request on those grounds, the selection committee may consider alternative evidence of academic merit.

NAPLAN results may be used to indicate academic merit for those students who were unable to sit the placement test in 2024.

Where students have sat NAPLAN, they will be given a ranking based on their NAPLAN results. The score is based on a statistical model that has been developed by the department’s Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation. Using this method we can compare students who missed the test with those who sat it.

The method uses data from students who take both the Selective High School Placement Test and NAPLAN tests and then uses a regression analysis to estimate the relationships between the NAPLAN scores and the results of the Selective High School Placement Test. This model is then used to generate predicted placement scores for those students who missed the Selective High School test. Their predicted scores represent the expected average from a group of students with similar NAPLAN scores who sat the placement test.

Parents are not required to send NAPLAN results as they are accessed through departmental records in most cases.

Where students have not sat NAPLAN:

  • parents of non-government school students will be approached to provide the results of a WISC-V individual IQ test conducted by an authorised practitioner. This has to be obtained at the parents’ own expense.
  • where students attend public schools, the school will be approached to request the school counsellor to conduct an individual WISC-V IQ test.

Over many years of data collected from students who sat both the Selective High School Placement Test and also provided IQ scores as alternative evidence of academic merit, a placement ranking can be predicted for these students.

The result of the request

Any adjustment as a result of an illness/misadventure request is incorporated in the performance report when the placement outcome is released.

After the Team sends placement outcomes to parents, parents cannot appeal about problems that were or should have been considered through the illness/misadventure process.


  • DoE

Business Unit:

  • NSW public school
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