External moderation

National external moderation provides an assurance that assessment decisions, in relation to assessment standards, are consistent nationally.

NZQA carries out external moderation of internally assessed standards in secondary schools to ensure that assessment judgements (marking of students' work) are at the national standard. Where issues are identified with assessor judgements the assessment materials used (tasks, activities or tests) may be moderated to check that they are at the national standard.

Schools can access the report for each standard, including moderation outcomes, through the External Moderation Application.

Each school has an annual submission date for external moderation. The submission date is confirmed early in the new year when schools are advised which standards have been selected for moderation.

Using the External Moderation Application, schools need to submit:

  • a copy of the task and any supporting resources
  • a copy of the assessment schedule
  • up to eight randomly* selected samples of student work consisting of the key materials that the assessor has used to make an assessment judgement (eight samples of student work are required for standards for which multiple grades are available e.g. not achieved, achieved, merit or excellence. Only four samples of student work is required for standards for which the only available grades are not achieved and achieved).

*The random selection process for external moderation:

  • must be undertaken by someone other than the teacher who marked the work
  • must use a method that does not allow for prediction and must include the work of all students who submitted work for the assessment
  • must be conducted for every standard assessed by the school and should be made as soon as possible after assessment.

For more information about the selection methods and moderation requirements see:

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