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Drop In Breach Of Exam Rules

Drop In Breach Of Exam Rules

The number of serious breaches of examination rules dropped by almost half in the 2008 senior secondary school examinations.

A total of 330 breaches of examination rules were investigated, slightly up from the 328 breaches in 2007, but of these, only 62 incidents led to results being withheld, down from 116 in 2007.

The majority of breaches related to NCEA examinations. Of six breaches reported from Scholarship examinations, only one led to results being withheld. These breaches are out of a total number of 511,000 individual exam sessions in 2008.

In 2008, the most common breach of rules investigated involved students taking notes into examination rooms - 68 incidents were investigated, with examination results subsequently withheld in 28 such cases. Cellphone-related breaches dropped from 47 in 2007 to 44 in 2008, with two cellphone breaches leading to results being withheld.

“Breaches of examination rules are treated very seriously by NZQA but the number of breaches is a very small proportion of the total candidate number,” said NZQA Deputy Chief Executive, Qualifications, Bali Haque.

“The number of cases where results have been withheld also indicates the number of serious breaches is reduced for 2008.”

Results were withheld in the following cases:

Alter/access to answer booklet (copying) 4
Authenticity (copying from external source) 2
Calculator/dictionary (unauthorised use) 1
Cellphone 2 (1 on person 1, 1 in use)
Communicating with another candidate 1
Disturbance 7
Impersonation/Documentation 1 (using another student’s admission slip)
Inappropriate language/drawings 6
MP3/CD player 1
Notes/own paper/own work 30
Removing answer booklet 1
Similar answers to other candidate 5
Unauthorised absence 1

Breaches Investigated

Exam supervisors are encouraged to report all potential breaches, no matter how minor. Consequences for breaches can range from a warning letter to having results withheld. Breaches are divided into the following five categories, as shown in the attached spreadsheet, and these are further divided into sub-categories.

There are five different categories for examination breaches:

• Dishonest Practice - 104 breaches, with 36 cases leading to results being withheld. Notes accounted for 61 of these breaches.

• Following Instructions - 109 breaches, with 11 cases leading to results being withheld. Of these, 48 cases were for inappropriate or offensive language/behaviour. Cellphone-related breaches accounted for 16 of these breaches.

• Authenticity/Impersonation of work - 26 breaches, with eight cases leading to results being withheld. There were 13 cases where answers were similar to other candidates.

• Influencing/Assisting/Hindering - 36 breaches, with seven cases leading to results being withheld. Of these 36 breaches, 27 were marked as disturbance.

• No Further Action (NFA). During the investigation process, a decision may be made to take No Further Action in light of the information available. There were 55 reported possible breaches resolved in this way.

NZQA does not aggregate exam breach data by school. While exam centres are predominately schools, candidates undertaking exams at these exam centres are not necessarily students of these schools.

2008 Data

The 2008 Examination breaches data is divided into the following headings:
• Gender
• Exam Centre
• Region
• Subject
• Level
• Results
• Status Description
• Type Description

2007 data is available here:


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