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School Certificate and Bursaries exams start

More than 90,000 secondary school students start their School Certificate and University Bursaries examinations on Thursday.

On Thursday morning 38,974 students will sit School Certificate English. 15,086 will sit University Bursaries English on Thursday afternoon. The other examinations on Thursday are School Certificate Physics and Samoan and Bursaries Japanese.

This is the first year that School Certificate Samoan has been examined nationally. The other new subject for 1999 is Universities Bursaries Chinese. 189 candidates will sit Samoan and 126 will sit Chinese.

Overall, 63,120 students will sit School Certificate examinations, and 27,171 will sit Bursaries. There are 26 subjects at School Certificate level and 24 Bursaries subjects.

This year, 1,395 students will sit the examinations under special conditions. A variety of special conditions are arranged for students with disabilities.

Michael Steer, examinations manager for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, said most of these candidates are given extended time or readers and writers to help them to read the questions and write their answers.

“This year we have had only two examination papers converted into Braille but about 150 papers have been enlarged for students with visual impairment,” said Michael Steer.

The last examination is on 7 December and students should receive their results from the Qualifications Authority by 20 January 2000. They will receive their examination answer booklets in the mail about a week later.

For the first time this year University Bursaries students will be able to get their results over the phone in a trial of an 0900 number to be set up by the Authority. Results will be available a few days before they arrive in the mail. Candidates can check their local paper or the Authority Web site (www.nzqa.govt.nz) to see if the results are available. Michael Steer said that the Authority expects this service to be especially helpful for candidates who are away from home in January.

Also for the first time the Qualifications Authority sent copies of the front covers of examination papers to all schools. This enabled teachers to show candidates what the papers look like and so they could be aware of the format of each paper well before the examinations start.

For many students final results do not hinge on just their performance in end-of-year examinations. There is an internally assessed component in most School Certificate and Bursaries subjects. This component accounts for between 15% and 60% of total marks. Internal assessments are monitored by the Qualifications Authority.

Over 46,000 students entered Sixth Form Certificate in 1999. This qualification is internally assessed and the course ends on 24 November, the day before examinations begin. Many Sixth Form Certificate candidates also enter School Certificate or Bursaries examinations in other subjects. Sixth Form Certificate results are mailed to students on 6 January.

A copy of the examination timetable follows on this fax.

Regional entries statistics are available.


For further information contact NZQA Communications:

Fiona Pattison Telephone 04 802 3094

Bill Lennox Telephone 04 802 3008

Michael Steer Telephone 04 802 3030

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