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NZQA open and transparent about marking process

5 December 2005

NZQA open and transparent about marking process

The Qualifications Authority's Acting Chief Executive is pleased that the intensive tracking and monitoring processes in place this year, are working according to plan.

Acting CE Karen Sewell says the enhanced monitoring was put in place to ensure the marking of the 335 standards is fair and consistent. The monitoring has resulted in some remarking.

"We have triggers in place which are designed to help us identify any results that look different from what was expected. This is exactly what is happening. If the result patterns are different from those expected we stop and investigate the cause.

"The fact that we are remarking some exams means students, parents and teachers can have confidence that the outcomes this year will be fair and consistent, and that the safeguards we put in place are working.

"I have made it clear, since joining the Qualifications Authority a few months ago, that we will be open and transparent about the marking and monitoring processes. On Saturday, we gave details of two English standards in which the assessment schedules needed altering. A third English standard resulted in discussions with the markers about the way they were interpreting the standard.

"Following marking late last week which was analysed over the weekend, I have also been advised that marking was halted for two Level 3 Maths papers, a Level 1 Maths paper and a Level 1 Economics paper. The marking schedule was refined and marking resumed," says Karen Sewell.

"You will know about all instances in which marking is suspended and changes made to the marking schedules. It's important to make it clear that it's the assessment tool that changes, not the standard. The standard remains constant.

"There are also a number of other checks that occur in the process well before the stage of remarking. A draft assessment schedule is written by the examiner. The chief marker marks a number of test scripts with at least one other marker. If necessary, adjustments are made to the schedule. Markers are then trained using the adjusted schedule. A further batch of papers are marked by the markers and check marked by experienced markers. The marking schedule is then further refined if necessary. This is part of the regular process and happens every year. This has been taking place for Biology, as it has for every other standard in the initial benchmarking phases," says Karen Sewell.


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