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NCEA And Scholarship Examinations Start This Week

Monday 8 November 2003

NCEA And Scholarship Examinations Start This Week

NCEA levels 1, 2, and 3 and Scholarship examinations start for 129,853 candidates on Wednesday 10 November. This is the first year for NCEA level 3 and New Zealand Scholarship.

Level 3 National Qualifications Framework standards replace the Universities Entrance Bursaries and Scholarships system.

This year there is a new level 4 qualification, New Zealand Scholarship. Previously, scholarship has been awarded to the top 3 or 4 percent in University Bursaries. It is now a stand-alone qualification designed to extend very high-achieving students.

Kate Colbert, Group Manager Secondary, says the aim of the qualification is to assess a student’s ability to synthesise and integrate high level concepts across a learning area.

“The students need to apply higher-level thinking. The assessment covers the same curriculum content as level 3 achievement standards so a separate course is not needed. These exams will be very challenging.”

NCEA level 3 exams are based on externally assessed achievement standards that contribute to the NCEAs and other national certificates on the National Qualifications Framework.

Entrance to university requires success in approved level 3 standards or New Zealand Scholarship and specific achievement in literacy and numeracy.

On the morning of Wednesday 10 November, students will be sitting Chemistry level 1 and level 3, Art History level 2 and Drama level 3.

(Full timetable attached and available on the NZQA website)

There are 114 examination sessions compared to 81 last year. More than three million examination papers have been printed. This year’s examinations are the biggest logistical operation in NZQA’s history, said Ms Colbert.

“Last year we ran exams for 121,682 students. This year, because of level 3 and the new Scholarship qualifications we have 8,000 additional students, taking the total to nearly 130,000.”

“We need to ensure that every one of those 129,853 students finds their personalised exam papers in the right place, at the right time on the right day. Their answer booklets are then sent to markers around the country for marking and checking before students get them back early next year,” said Ms Colbert. New Zealand’s one of the few country’s in the world where this happens.

“It’s a major logistical challenge, but I’m confident that 2004 will run pretty smoothly. Despite the months of preparation, with an operation this size, there is bound to be the occasional glitch. But we expect to deal with any problems swiftly. “

The last examinations are on Wednesday 1 December. Results will be mailed to students in January. They will also be available on the NZQA website a few days after the mail out. To access the results on the website students need to have registered with NZQA and received a login number.

Results supplied by schools for internally assessed standards are available now on the NZQA website

Additional background information

Most students sitting NCEA examinations have also been assessed by their schools for internally assessed achievement and/or unit standards. NZQA’s moderation system checks the quality of each school’s assessment. For each achievement standard, students can gain Excellence, Merit, Achieved the standard or Not Achieved.

Thousands of students have also entered for unit standards up to level 5 in both curriculum and industry areas. There are no national examinations for these standards.

For NCEA examinations each student’s individualised package contains a separate examination booklet for each achievement standard. Each marker will receive an allocation of answer booklets for one achievement standard, which increases marking consistency and removes the need to courier whole answer booklets around a marking panel.

This year NZQA has employed more than two thousand markers.

Scholarship awards will continue to recognise top scholars nationally. But for the first time top scholars in individual schools will also be recognised. Awards will go to the top student in each school who has achieved the scholarship standard in three subjects.

The country’s top overall scholar in New Zealand Scholarship will received $15,000 a year for three years, and the second award is worth $10,000 a year for three years. All students gaining ‘outstanding performance’ in three New Zealand Scholarship subjects receive $5000 a year for three years. Top scholars in each subject in New Zealand Scholarship (or in level 3 NCEA where there is no scholarship assessment) receive $3000 a year for three years. School awards for the top student in each school who achieves New Zealand Scholarship in three subjects is $1500 for three years.

The Qualifications Authority will announce the names of Top Scholars in New Zealand Scholarship in April.

National and school statistics for all qualifications are publicly available in April, after all reviews and reconsiderations have been completed.

Some candidates will sit the examinations under special conditions. Candidates can be given extended time or readers and writers to help them to read the questions and write their answers. Examination papers are also enlarged and produced in Braille.

Reports from supervisors and markers about misconduct are investigated by the Qualifications Authority in January. Most years about 30 candidates are found guilty of misconduct, including various forms of cheating. Penalties range from reprimands to the cancellation of a candidate’s results in all subjects. For the most serious cases candidates have been banned from national examinations in subsequent years. Information about misconduct cases is usually available in April, after full investigations have been complete.

NZQA investigated 184 alleged cases of misconduct following the 2003 secondary examinations. NZQA conducted 36 hearings: 9 were in University Bursaries, 13 in level 1 NCEA and 14 in level 2 NCEA. Misconduct was proven in 22 of the cases but not proven in the other 14 investigations.

Tertiary institutions have already changed their entrance criteria to reflect NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship results. Most universities have open entry first year programmes. Students require the university entrance standard that has been established by NZQA and the universities. For a small number of university courses other selection criteria set by individual universities may also apply.

If a student has a total of 42 credits at level 3 or higher in the appropriate learning areas as well as required literacy and numeracy credits they qualify for university entrance.
National secondary examinations timetable 2004

The NCEA (levels 1-3) and New Zealand Scholarship examination sessions are all three hours with the exception of Information Management, which is two hours. The exam sessions all start at either 9.30 am or 2 pm.
Date/Time NCEA Level 1 NCEA Level 2 NCEA Level 3 NZ Scholarship
Wednesday 10 Nov am Chemistry Art History Chemistry Drama
pm Information Management Chemistry Art History Physical Education
Thursday 11 Nov am Mathematics French Media Studies Chemistry
pm French Media Studies French Art History

15 Nov am English Health Statistics & Modelling French
pm Health Health/Music Studies Media Studies
16 Nov am German English Statistics & Modelling
pm German English German Music Studies
Wednesday 17 Nov am Accounting Science Accounting German
pm Science Accounting Science English
18 Nov am Physics History Physics Accounting
pm History Physics History Science
19 Nov am Geography Latin/Chinese Geography Physics
pm Latin/Chinese Geography Chinese/Latin History

22 Nov am Agriculture & Horticulture/Agricultural Science/ Horticultural Science Economics Agricultural & Horticultural Science Geography
pm Economics Agricultural & Horticultural Science Economics Chinese / Latin
23 Nov am Human Biology Classical Studies Mathematics with Calculus Economics
pm Mathematics Classical Studies
Wednesday 24 Nov am Spanish Te Reo Mâori/ Te Reo Rangatira Spanish Classical Studies
pm Te Reo Mâori / Te Reo Rangatira Spanish Te Reo Mâori/Te Reo Rangatira Mathematics with Calculus
25 Nov am Biology Japanese Biology Spanish
pm Japanese Biology Japanese Te Reo Mâori
26 Nov am Social Studies Home Economics Social Studies Biology
pm Home Economics Social Studies Home Economics Japanese

30 Nov am Music Drama Music Practical
pm Drama Music Drama
Wednesday 1 Dec am Samoan Dance Samoan
pm Dance Samoan Dance


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