Literacy and Numeracy unit standards – online assessment

Trial results and pilot of Literacy and Numeracy online assessment

ASHS MAY2014 001

NZQA extends thanks to those who took part in the trial to help calibrate the assessment items for online assessment of unit standard 26624, Read texts with understanding and/or unit standard 26623, Use number to solve problems. Your involvement was essential to ensuring the assessments are reliable and fair when we pilot in 2017.

Results of trial

The trial generated sufficient data to calibrate the assessment tool items.

We can report the following data:

  • Unit standard 26623: 760 learners participated, 70% (533) completed the assessment. The average time taken to finish by learners who completed the assessment was 33.37 minutes.
  • Unit standard 26624: 522 learners participated, 90% (469) completed the assessment. The average time taken to finish by learners who completed the assessment was 26.13 minutes.

Overall, the response to the trial from learners, teachers, and tutors was very positive. In addition, the feedback provided is helping us to refine the assessment and user experience before the pilot in 2017.

Key issues raised and being addressed before the pilot in 2017 are:

  • technical issues with pop-up boxes and scrolling;
  • usability of the calculator for standard 26623;
  • clarity of the wording of some questions;
  • visibility of progress through the assessment.

Pilot (to be held 23 March – 13 April 2017)

If your organisation has registered for the pilot, you will need to be set up in the NZCERMarking service.

Note: If your organisation already uses this service they still must register with NZQA to gain access to the tool. We will contact you with further information about this process as follows:

February 2017

  • NZQA will contact registered organisations asking them to nominate a contact person who will be responsible for accessing the service and managing the assessment.

Early March 2017

  • NZQA will send instructions on setting up in the NZCERMarking service, accessing the pilot tool and preparing learners for the assessment to registered organisations.

Project background

In May 2016 NZQA contracted the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) to support the trial and pilot of online assessment for unit standards 26623, Use number to solve problems; and 26624, Read texts with understanding.

This will enable learners to undertake online assessment towards these standards; and if successful, gain credits towards the unit standards option for meeting the Literacy and Numeracy requirement of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

In August 2016 NZQA sought expressions of interest from education organisations with Consent to Assess in being involved in a trial and pilot of the online assessment. The online assessment tool was trialled 10 – 24 October 2016 and will be piloted 23 March – 13 April 2017.

The trial was considered as a practice assessment and used to test and calibrate items. The result from the trial could not be used to award the unit standards.

Results from the pilot can be used to award credit for the unit standards. The standards are being reviewed and will be amended to include a condition to enable online assessment.

Technical requirements

Participating education organisations will need to have a reliable internet connection with the capacity to manage the number of learners taking part.

Device specifications

Learners can sit the online assessment on a range of devices including desktops, laptops, ipad and android devices (but excluding phones). The tool is optimised for a minimum screen size of 8 inches.

Contact information

If you would like more information please email

Page last updated 16 December 2016

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