With NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship examinations starting next week, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is reminding students to make sure they are ready.

Deputy Chief Executive Kristine Kilkelly says it’s important students are well prepared.

“For the vast majority of students, doing well in examinations is key to achieving NCEA. So they should be focused on making sure they know their subject matter, when and where their examinations are, and what they need to do to achieve their goals.”

The first examination is New Zealand Scholarship Drama on the morning of 9 November (390 students). NCEA Level 1 English, the examination with the largest number of entries (47,000 students), is on the morning of 13 November.

This year, just over 5,100 students are entered to sit their examinations digitally. Fifty-five schools are planning to participate in digital examinations, which are available in English, Media Studies and Classical studies at NCEA Levels 1 and 2.

The digital examinations are part of NZQA’s Digital Trials and Pilots programme. Digital Trials are digital examinations that do not count towards a student’s NCEA but may provide evidence towards a derived grade. A Digital Pilot examination is an examination students sit instead of the equivalent paper examination, and therefore does count towards NCEA. Ms Kilkelly says NZQA has been pleased with the response from schools wanting to take part in the programme. “The Digital Trials and Pilots provide us with invaluable information and enable schools to participate in digital assessment at a pace they are comfortable with.”

NZQA’s goal is to have NCEA examinations available online, where appropriate, by 2020.

NZQA’s top study tips for students

Have a place to study: You need a quiet, organised and well-lit space to study for your examinations. Set regular routines and study goals. Talk to your family or whānau if you need more quiet time, or a different place to prepare.

Revision: You need to know what is required to achieve each standard. Make sure you have up-to-date notes from classes. Practice – there are resource pages for all subjects on the NZQA website that include previous years’ examination papers and past examples of student work.

Be prepared: Make sure you know where your examinations are, and when. You can view the examination timetable on your mobile phone or get it from the NZQA website. You should try to get to your examinations at least 20 minutes before they begin so you can relax and make last minute preparations.

Balance study with free time: It is important that you stay positive and relaxed. While study is important, you should take regular breaks, eat well, get fresh air, stay in touch with friends and study groups, and get plenty of sleep – especially the night before an examination.

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship examinations run from Thursday 9 November through to Friday 1 December.

More details are available on the NZQA website at www.nzqa.govt.nz.


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