NCEA Guide 2017- Students
Procedures for NQF Qualifications Assessment- Student Information
For all students who are being assessed against the National Qualifications Framework’s (NQF) Achievement Standards and Unit Standards.
These NQF qualifications all involve school assessments that count directly towards your final grades. It is very important that you read and understand the information on these pages if you are entering for any NQF qualifications.
INTRODUCTION TO NCEA ASSESSMENT
What is NCEA?
NCEA is a national certificate that predominantly Year 11-13 students work towards over the course of at least a year. Students choose subjects to study at the beginning of each year that count towards one of the three year level NCEA qualifications. Each subject assesses the skills and knowledge you have acquired against standards. Each standard is worth a number of credits, and as you achieve a standard, you gain credits towards your respective qualification. Standards-based assessment measures your performance against pre-set standards. Your subject teachers will tell you what is required to achieve each standard. Standards are organised into levels of increasing difficulty as you go up a year level. Some standards are assessed internally (by your teachers through tests, assignments, portfolios or practical assessments) and externally (end-of-year exams or portfolios).
What is a standard?
There are two types of standards – unit standards and achievement standards. Both are used in schools. In achievement standards you can obtain Achieved, achieved with Merit or achieved with Excellence. If you do not achieve the required standard, you get a grade of Not Achieved. In a unit standard, you usually either get Achieved or Not Achieved. The standards assessed in schools are predominantly at Levels 1, 2 or 3. Most students will start at Level 1 in Year 11. However students often study at a mix of levels depending on ability in particular subject areas.
If you gain the required number of credits at Merit or Excellence, your certificate will be endorsed:
- 50 credits at Merit or Excellence- Certificate with Merit
- 50 credits at Excellence- Certificate with Excellence
How many credits do I need to gain NCEA at each level?
When you have achieved 80 credits from Level 1 or higher, you have gained NCEA Level 1. The numeracy requirement of this qualification requires the achievement of 10 specified numeracy credits. Likewise, the literacy requirement of this qualification requires the achievement of 10 specified literacy credits. Your subject teachers can tell you which standards count towards either the numeracy and/or literacy requirement(s).
NCEA Level 2 requires a minimum of 60 credits at Level 2 or above and 20 credits at any other level. Credits can be used for more than one qualiﬁcation; so some of your NCEA Level 1 credits can count towards NCEA Level 2. At Level 2, there are no speciﬁc literacy or numeracy requirements (except to enter University –see below). To achieve NCEA Level 2, you must also have achieved the Level 1 literacy and numeracy requirements.
For NCEA Level 3, you will need to achieve 80 credits, of which 60 must be at Level 3 or above, and 20 at Level 2 or above.
Students qualify for entrance to a university in New Zealand when they have obtained:
- NCEA Level 3
- 14 credits in Three approved subjects at Level 3 or higher.
- Numeracy- 10 credits at Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau (specified achievement and unit standards).
- Literacy- 10 credits at Level 2 or higher in English or Te Reo Māori (specified achievement and unit standards). 5 credits must be in Reading and 5 credits must be in Writing.
This standard is established by NZQA, as required by legislation after consultation with universities and the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee (NZVCC).
Universities and other tertiary providers in New Zealand increasingly have other specific requirements for entry to particular programmes or courses. If you have a particular university programme in mind, check the entry criteria as soon as possible, to ensure that you are entering for the right standards at Level 3.
Can I gain other National Certificates?
Yes. There are many other certificates available and your teacher will tell you if the programme of work you are following will contribute towards other national certificates. For example, in the Metal and Wood Technology programmes, students can also achieve the National Certificate in Engineering as well as the overall NCEA qualification. You can see the other certificates available by going to www.nzqa.govt.nz/framework/. There is an additional cost for these national certificates.
Can I sit for scholarship as well as NCEA Level 3?
Yes. You can sit scholarship in any as many examinations as you want. Most students however only sit 1-2. Scholarship is externally assessed. It is designed to extend the very best students and to financially reward very able students who are going on to tertiary study. It is not a qualification. Students sitting scholarship will be assessed on their ability to think laterally and in the abstract. The exams or portfolios cover the same content as level 3 achievement standards, but the standard of performance required is much higher. Aorere College covers students’ scholarship exam costs.
Please discuss Scholarship requirements with your teachers at the beginning of the year.
What other information can I get from the NZQA website?
You should use the New Zealand Qualifications’ Authority (NZQA) website www.nzqa.govt.nz regularly to assist you with your NCEA learning and planning. You can also get important information from the website, such as copies of previous examination papers, copies of examiners’ reports, the NCEA examination timetable, Scholarship information, and information about each standard, with links through to the TKI website for exemplars for internally assessed standards.
You can also request an official Record of Learning and your NCEA certificate(s) if you were in Year 11 or Year 12 last year. The Record of Learning provides an official summary of your results and qualifications to date.
What information about assessment will my teachers give me?
At the start of the year, each of your teachers will give you an online and written (on request) course outline which will include the following information:
- assessment dates for the year (put these into your homework diaries!).
- details of standards to be assessed in that course, how many credits they are worth and the types of assessment they are (internal/external).specific information relating to each type of assessment. For example, you will be told what form the assessment will take (e.g. a performance, an essay, a practical experiment, a test etc.).
- whether there are any further assessment opportunities, and, if so, what and when.
- Any authenticity strategies particular to the assessments.
- This ensures the teacher knows that the work in the assessment is your own.
What sort of assessments will I be given?
Assessments may be either by written test, portfolio, project, trials, practical assessments and/or other one-off activities. Your teacher will tell you at the beginning of the year and at the beginning of each unit of work what sort of assessment(s) will be used.
How will I know when my assessment is due?
Your teacher will tell you when the assessment will be required to be handed in or the date of the one-off activity in the assessment schedules given at the beginning of the year and at the beginning of any unit of work. Any change to this schedule will be given to you in writing. You should be given a minimum of two weeks’ notice for any assessment.
How soon should I expect to have my assessed work marked and returned to me?
It is difficult to clearly state a time for this because in large subjects teachers need to check that their marking is the same as other teachers who are marking the same work. This takes time to complete. However, most work should be marked and returned to you within two weeks. If you have not had your work returned within this time, you should ask your teacher when you can expect to have your work returned and if you are worried, you should speak with the HOD or your year level dean.
What is a resubmission?
A resubmission is when only minor corrections and/or amendment is required by a student. A student must complete the resubmission within five school days once the marked work is returned by the teacher.
If I do not achieve the standard, can I sit the assessment again at another time?
For an internal standard, usually the answer to this is yes. This is called a Further Assessment Opportunity. Sometimes it may not be possible to do this if the assessment is based around a field trip which can only take place at a particular time. Opportunities to sit the standard a second time may be offered for all students and your teacher will let you know when this will take place. All students are allowed only one additional sitting over the year. Often this will be after school or during a holiday time so that teaching time can continue for the class. For each assessment opportunity, there is a resubmission opportunity where your work only may need only minor corrections or adjustments. You cannot be taught assessment material between an assessment and a resubmission. External standards are assessed at the end of the year on a particular day and time and there are no other chances to be assessed in these standards.
LATE WORK AND EXTENSIONS
What happens if I hand my work in late?
You must hand in all of your assessments on the dates due. Your teachers will not normally assess any work you hand in late. Late work may cause you to fail a standard.
What happens if I miss an in-class assessment or I need an extension?
You may have a genuine reason for having missed an in-class assessment, or for needing to hand in work late. For example, you may have had a death in your family, or been sick. When this happens you must bring a note and any other relevant documentation (e.g. a medical certificate) explaining why you need an extension. You must give this documentation to the Head of Department in that subject as soon as possible. Your teacher will tell you who the Head of Department is if you do not know. If you have missed assessments in more than one subject, you should take your note to Mr Kelly who will liaise with your teachers on your behalf.
The Head of Department will then decide if you can have an extension. If you have missed an in-class assessment you will only be able to complete the assessment task if it is possible for your teacher to organise a new time for you to do it. However if you miss a one-off activity such as a Geography field trip, it may not be possible for you to do the assessment task. If this happens, the Head of Department will discuss your case with the Deputy Principal in charge of NZQA (Mr Kelly). In some cases, it may be possible to award you a grade based on other evidence of your achievement in that standard.
What do I do if I think my teacher has made a mistake when marking my work?
Teachers check their marking very carefully. Often teachers in the same department check a sample of each other’s marking too. However sometimes they do make mistakes. If you think a mistake may have been made you should:
Step 1: Firstly, and most importantly, talk to your teacher. Very politely ask them to explain how they marked your work. Explain why you think their grade might be incorrect. YOU MUST DO THIS WITHIN FIVE SCHOOL DAYS OF YOUR WORK BEING RETURNED TO YOU. In most cases things will be sorted out. If the teacher has made a mistake it will be corrected. If no mistake has been made the teacher will explain the reasons for their marking.
Step 2: If you are not happy with the explanation your teacher has given you and still feel the grade is incorrect, you must fill out a Grade Appeal Form explaining what your concerns are. Grade Appeal Forms are available from any of your teachers, your tutor teacher, your dean, the school office and Mr Kelly. You and/or your parent/s must then see the Head of Department, explain the situation and give her/him your Grade Appeal Form. The Head of Department will then work to resolve the situation. You will receive the Head of Department’s grade decision in writing, on your Grade Appeal Form.
Step 3: If you feel that the situation is still not resolved satisfactorily, you and/or your parent/s can appeal to the Deputy Principal in charge of NZQA (Mr Kelly). You must provide a copy of your Grade Appeal Form. The Deputy Principal may ask an outside expert to verify your grade.
It must be stressed that a simple discussion with your teacher will probably answer any marking queries you have. It is unlikely that you will need to approach the Head of Department concerned or the Deputy Principal Mr Kelly.
It is most important that you do not use pencil for assessment work unless your teacher specifically tells you to. Also, you must not use ‘whiteout’ in assessment work. If you do use pencil or ‘whiteout’, you may not be eligible for a reconsideration or grade appeal.
What is authenticity?
- This means that the assessment work is your own. It is okay to seek advice about your work from other people, and to gather information for your assessment from a wide range of sources. However both you and your teachers have to be able to guarantee that the final work you hand in is your own.
- You may be required to sign an authenticity statement with some of your assessment tasks verifying that the work you have submitted is your own, particularly for those assessments that can be worked on at home.
- For some standards you might not be allowed to work on your assessment at home.
- Where an assessment is done over a long period of time, your teacher will have regular checkpoints to see evidence of your working process.
- Your teacher may ask you questions to confirm your understanding of your work.
- You must be able to show your drafts and working process. If you use a home computer to do your drafts on, you must print out and date a new draft each time you change your work. Show these printouts to your teacher so the teacher can see your working process.
- You must hand in all drafts, plans and draft printouts along with your finished work. You may also be required to hand in your resource material with your finished work.
What is cheating and plagiarism?
- If you copy work from somebody else you are cheating. This is called ‘plagiarism’.
- If you hand in someone else’s work as your own you are cheating or plagiarising.
- If you copy work from other sources such as books or the Internet you are cheating or plagiarising.
- If you allow another student to copy your work and submit it for assessment, both you and the other student have cheated.
- If you use somebody else’s ideas as if they were your own, without referencing the source of your information, you are cheating. (If you use information from sources such as books or the Internet you must acknowledge all of these sources - for example, in a bibliography; your teacher will tell you how to do this).
- If you bring unauthorised notes, formulae, dictionaries or electronic translators into a formal assessment you are cheating.
- If you communicate with another student in a formal assessment you are cheating.
What will happen if the teacher thinks the work is not all my own, and that I have cheated?
After discussing it with you, your teacher will assemble the evidence and give it to the Head of Department, who will consult with the Deputy Principal in charge of NZQA (Mr Kelly). If the case is proved, you will not get a grade and your parents/caregivers will be advised. You will probably lose the chance of another assessment opportunity, which will result in a Not Achieved grade for the standard. This is an extremely serious step.
Can I appeal my teacher’s ruling on plagiarism or breach of assessment rules?
Yes, you can. If you disagree with your teacher’s ruling, you can go through the standard appeals process, using a Grade Appeal Form (refer to the section on Appeals).
SPECIAL ASSESSMENT CONDITIONS
What if I require special assistance in my examinations and assessments?
If you have a permanent or long-term condition or learning difficulty, which would significantly affect your performance in an examination, test or other assessment, you may be eligible for special assessment conditions (for example, extra time, a reader/writer).
If you already receive extra assistance or use special equipment at school, and if you have been assessed by an independent professional, then Mr Brown will see you during Term 1 to discuss special assessment conditions with you. If you don’t already receive special assistance but think you may qualify for special assessment conditions you must see Mr Brown immediately so he can arrange for you to be assessed and make an application to NZQA. If you are eligible for special assessment conditions, you are entitled to these same conditions in your school assessments as well as in your external examinations.
What is a Learner Login?
In the middle of the first year that you register for NCEA, NZQA will send you details of how to set up your Learner Login on the NZQA Website. It is important that you keep this information from NZQA in a safe place at home, and do not lose it. You will need to have a password to set up your Learner Login. Ensure that the password you use is one that you will remember!
Your Learner Login is your private way of going onto the NZQA website. You will be able to check your entries at any time from May onwards using your login. The school will download results at the beginning of each month so your results may not show all you have achieved during the previous month until the end of the first week of each month. By late October, you will be able to check your provisional results, and from mid-to-late January onwards of the following year, you will be able to see all of your results from the previous year, including your externally assessed results. You will also be able to see your updated Record of Learning.
Will I be able to check that the correct results are being sent to NZQA?
Yes. Your internal assessment results are sent through to NZQA regularly throughout the year. In November your teachers will give you a computer printout of all your marks. You will check these grades to make sure they have been entered into the computer accurately. You will then sign the printout to verify that you have checked them and that they are accurate. If there are mistakes, your teacher will correct them immediately before your final results are sent to NZQA. You can view your confirmed results via external online and remote access to your Kamar information through both an app (iOS & Android) and via an external IP address.
The provisions of the Privacy Act 1993 will apply to all student assessment information. No student may see another student’s entries, results or work without their permission.
Useful Assessment Resources
http://myblueprint.co.nz/ or (NZQA app)