NCEA gears up online exam offerings in 2019

3 Dec 2018

NZQA expects to offer 14 NCEA exam subjects online in 2019.

The subjects will comprise 35 exam sessions across Levels 1-3 next November and are as follows:

Agricultural and Horticultural Science (L1-3) Art History (L1-3) Business Studies (L1-3)
Classical Studies (L1-3) Education for Sustainability (L2) English (L1-3)
Health (L1-3) History (L1-3) Home Economics (L1-3)
Latin (L1 and 2) Media Studies (L1-3) Social Studies (L1-3)
Te reo Māori (L1) Te reo Rangatira (L1)  

“The subjects represent around a third of the exams that are mainly text based,” Deputy Chief Executive, Digital Assessment Transformation, Andrea Gray said.

“We will further expand the range of subjects in 2020 and beyond.  NZQA is adopting a planned, staged, managed approach to its NCEA Online programme.   As schools gain confidence in completing text-based exams and technology evolves, we will look at those subjects where special characters are required, such as mathematics, science and music.

“We are continuing to work with schools and students to ensure technology delivers a good user experience for a particular subject before it is offered as a digital assessment that counts towards NCEA. 

We also recognise schools are at different stages regarding their approach to digital teaching and learning and digital assessment needs to be in sync with that. We will continue offering the paper-based exams as schools transition towards digital education.

“Digital learning and assessment will help students prepare for how they will learn, work and live. We are delivering digital assessment because it is most relevant for students, reflecting the way they use electronic devices every day.

“NZQA is working closely with schools and students to ensure our approach meets their needs. We are designing and developing our external digital assessment services through working with schools and the wider education sector to ensure we get it right.”

Ms Gray said NZQA will be supporting schools to prepare for digital assessment through:
Familiarisation – showing students and teachers the features of electronic examinations
School readiness – working with school staff to assess school and student readiness for digital assessment
Training – providing Exam Centre Managers and Supervisors with the knowledge and skills to administer the assessments.

NZQA’s recent evaluation shows nearly all survey responses from students who have taken part in a digital exam preferred an online exam rather than written exams. This is reflected in participation in this year’s NCEA exams online, with a 60 percent increase in participation compared to 2017.

Since 2014, almost three quarters of New Zealand secondary schools and around 30,000 students have experienced at least one digital exam.

Ms Gray said Digital Trials and Pilots during 2018 had gone well. This has included the 54 new schools experiencing Digital Trials and six new schools experiencing Digital Pilot exams for the first time, this year.

Around 8,000 students sat NCEA exams online in English, Classical Studies and Media Studies at levels 1-3 in 2018, a 60% increase in participation on 2017.

Media contact:
NZQA Communications or 027 457 5783

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