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NZQA: Few Exam Results Replaced

Thursday 20 January 2000


MEDIA RELEASE


FEW EXAM RESULTS REPLACED

The Qualifications Authority today clarified the number of examination result notices that have been replaced. About 340 of the 90,000 students who sat School Certificate or University Bursaries examinations in November have been sent corrected result notices.

The Authority's Communications Manager Bill Lennox said all problems were caused by human error, generally in outsourced work, in the busy period since exams ended in December.

"We've processed half a million marks and issued around 130,000 result notices in the last few weeks. The error rate is very low: three in ten thousand for marks processing and three per thousand for result notices. But every error is potentially disturbing for students and parents. Errors are disappointing for Authority staff too and we move very quickly to put things right."

Some School Certificate candidates in the Hutt Valley and on the Kapiti Coast received result notices printed on forms intended for University Bursaries results.

The Authority has set up a special number (04 802 3102) for candidates to call if they need a replacement notice. Around 200 candidates have called and new result notices have already been mailed. The Authority has placed advertisements in Wellington and Kapiti newspapers encouraging any others with the wrong forms to call.

"The School Certificate marks are accurate but they are simply on the wrong forms," said Bill Lennox. "During the printing of School Certificate result notices some blank Bursaries forms were inadvertently used. We are looking at all possible causes, including the original printing of the forms, to ensure it does not happen again. "

"Results are printed in postal code order so we know the problem is limited to the Hutt and Kapiti regions. We've heard from only 6% of the candidates in the region. We know that many candidates have the correct forms so the problem is limited," said Bill Lennox.

"Unfortunately, the grade boundaries printed on the reverse of the Bursaries forms are different from the School Certificate grade boundaries. So some students will have drawn inaccurate conclusions about their grades. For example, 60% converts to a B grade in Bursaries but a C grade in School Certificate."

"We have written to all candidates who have their results on the wrong forms to apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment," said Bill Lennox.

Two small groups of University Bursaries candidates will also receive corrected marks in the mail this week.

External processing errors for 39 candidates in Bursaries French and 87 in Agriculture and Horticulture meant that these candidates received incorrect marks in the mail last week. There were 737 candidates in French and 814 in Agriculture and Horticulture.

"Some marks have gone up and others down," said Bill Lennox. "In Agriculture and Horticulture, fortunately only 11 results go down and most move by only one or two marks. However, candidates are now getting the actual marks they gained in the exam."

"Again, it's a very small proportion of the half million results processed in the last three weeks. But we are unhappy with even that degree of error, especially when some students will be upset by the changes," said Bill Lennox.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:


Bill Lennox Phone 04 802 3008 (24 hours)
Fiona Pattison Phone 04 802 3094
Michael Steer Phone 04 802 3030

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