Assessment Matters


Computer-based assessments 2015 eMCAT, Level 1 French and Science
A2015/017 - 27 May 2015


Principal's Nominee
HoD Mathematics, French and Science

Computer-based assessments 2015 eMCAT, Level 1 French and Science

You may be aware that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is transforming its paper-based assessment system to a digital system. This vision will be realised through students undertaking their assessments using computer and the internet.

Report on the 2014 pilot eMCAT

In 2014 NZQA undertook a pilot project with the Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT) looking at some aspects of computer-based assessments. A report from this pilot can be found on the NZQA website.

Differences in processes for the 2015 eMCAT

This year NZQA is proposing to use the MCAT again to look at further aspects related to computer-based assessment. The main differences in the 2015 eMCAT are as follows:

  • The eMCAT will count towards NCEA. Students sitting the eMCAT will also sit one of the MCAT paper versions and their best result will be recorded on their Record of Achievement (ROA).
  • NZQA will organise the marking of the eMCAT in 2015. Schools and teachers will still be required to complete the marking and verification processes for the paper-based MCAT.
  • In addition to the use of a device with a keyboard, as in 2014, students will be able to use a device with a touchscreen to input their equations through software that will convert handwriting to text.

Development and marking process for the 2015 eMCAT

NZQA will be working with Education Perfect to provide the 2015 eMCAT as follows:

  • NZQA will develop the assessment.
  • Education Perfect will provide access to training materials so that students can become familiar with the interface and input method. 
  • Education Perfect will publish the eMCAT on its platform and provide access for students and teachers.
  • NZQA will be responsible for marking the eMCAT. 
  • NZQA will send the eMCAT results to each participating school in October after marking has been completed. 

Schools can then compare the eMCAT results with the verified results from the paper-based MCAT and provide NZQA with the best result.

Schools Registration of interest in taking part in the 2015 eMCAT

NZQA would like to invite schools to register their interest in taking part in the 2015 eMCAT. You can register by completing the form here. This is available at the beginning or the end of the technical specifications. Before they register interest, schools should read the technical specifications carefully to ensure they have the capability to deliver.

Participation in the 2015 eMCAT will be available for up to 5000 students. NZQA will select a range of schools from those who register interest.

Registrations of Interest will close on 5 June 2015 and all schools will be informed of the outcome of the selection process by 12 June 2015.  The schools that are selected will be contacted and provided with more detailed information.

Practice Assessments for Level 1 French and Science

NZQA will also produce two online practice assessments for students to use for their practice examinations for the following standards:

  • French Level 1, Achievement Standard 90878:  Demonstrate understanding of a variety of spoken French texts on areas of most immediate relevance.
  • Science Level 1, Achievement Standard 90940:  Demonstrate understanding of aspects of mechanics.

NZQA will provide further information about these two practice examinations before the end of June.


Please refer any enquiries relating to this circular to:
Steve Bargh
Team Leader National Assessment Facilitator
Secondary Examinations
Phone: 04 463 3173

Lyall Prestidge
National Assessment Facilitator Maths
Secondary Examinations
Phone: 04 463 4392

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