Technical requirements and other considerations

This page provides the technical and digital examination support requirements that schools must consider before participating in digital examinations.

Network and internet connection

Schools are required to consult with their IT administrators and technicians when assessing their readiness to undertake digital examinations.

To deliver a digital examination, schools will need:

  • an internet connection that is reliable and can manage the volume of students taking part in a digital examination at the same time.
  • Wi-Fi or cabled connections in the buildings where students will sit the examinations
  • technical support staff available on the day of each examination
  • to test the school’s network with the expected cohort, using the devices and spaces to be used for the digital examinations.

Schools must consider prioritising the digital examination traffic on their networks to minimise connectivity disruption during the examinations.

NZQA strongly advises schools to involve their technical support staff in the testing of school readiness for end of year digital examinations. This can assist in identifying any technical or device issues that may need troubleshooting.

Device specifications

  • Most laptop and desktop computers are compatible with the digital examination platform.
  • Chromebooks are supported
  • Netbooks may be able to run the digital examination, but are unlikely to be the best choice of device as they have very small screens and slow processors.
  • Students may use their own devices if the school has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme and supporting policies, providing the devices meet the below criteria.

IMPORTANT: iPads and touch screen portable devices do not meet the security requirements of a digital examination and cannot be used.

Device Operating Systems

To deliver a digital examination, devices will need to be running the following operating systems (or derivative of), ensuring also that the operating system supports the web browsers noted below

  • Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1, 10+
  • Apple Mac OS 10.13+
  • Chrome OS

Browser options

For optimal performance and experience, digital examinations will be offered in 2019 ONLY on the below list of supported browsers.:

Browser Minimum VersionRecommended Version

Google Chrome:

70

Current

Firefox:

59

Current

Safari (Mac):

11

Current

Device Preparation

Prior to sitting a digital examination, the following device preparation is required:

  • Notifications, screensavers and automatic updates must be disabled.
  • Screen resolution should be set to a minimum of 1200 x 800 pixels.
  • Devices are fully charged and their batteries can last for the duration of the assessment.
  • Devices are virus-free.

IMPORTANT: students are required to be familiar with the device they will use during the digital examinations and regularly use computers in the classroom as part of their learning.

NZQA advises schools to:

  • remind students using BYODs to ensure setting changes have been made
  • ensure technicians check school-provided devices prior to the digital examinations.

Familiarisation Activities

NZQA will provide opportunities for schools and students to become familiar with the look and feel of the digital examinations in Term 3. Watch this space!

Examination room setup

For Digital examinations:

  • A separate room or rooms from those sitting the paper examination is required for candidates sitting digital examinations.
  • Set the digital room up so that screen peeking is minimised.
  • If using Wi-Fi, test the network for reliable connectivity for school-provided computers and BYODs.
  • The digital examination room must comply with Health and Safety regulations (i.e. power wires not hazardous to students/teachers/supervisors etc).
  • Candidates are encouraged to take brief, micro-pause breaks during the examination to relieve eyestrain and muscular tension. During such breaks, they must not navigate away from the examination to other tabs or areas of the device.
  • Exam Centre Managers (ECMs) and Supervisors must have access to a computer and the internet so they can monitor each examination room via a dashboard.

Examination supervision

  • Schools are advised to inform their ECM as soon as possible, if they plan to participate in digital examinations.
  • ECMs and supervisors involved in Digital examinations must be comfortable using computer technology. Training in the use of the supervision dashboard will be provided to ECMs later in the year.
  • Training of digital supervisors will be conducted by ECMs, and appropriate collateral will be provided by NZQA to support this activity.

Marking

  • Digital examinations are marked by NZQA markers.
  • Results will be available in January 2020, at the same time as paper-based results.
  • Shortly after results release, candidates will be able to view their completed digital examinations online.

Queries and feedback

If you have any queries about the technical requirements please email ncea.online@nzqa.govt.nz

Page updated: 14 December 2018

 
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