Unexpected Event Grades for Auckland, Waikato and Northland students

20 Oct 2021

The Minister of Education has announced that students in Auckland, Waikato and Northland will be able to receive an ‘Unexpected Event Grade’ for end of year NCEA exams.

This recognises students in these regions were not able to return to class at the start of Term 4, when teachers and students are normally preparing for end of year exams.

The Unexpected Event Grade process is similar to what happens every year for students whose attendance or performance in exams is affected by an illness or injury.

During the year, teachers gather evidence of students’ learning, and send grades to NZQA. These grades have undergone a quality assurance process to make sure they are fair and relate to the standard being assessed.

Where possible, students will be expected to attend exams. However, for students in Auckland, Waikato or Northland, NZQA will calculate a student’s final grade based on whichever is higher – the grade supplied by the school, or the grade earned in the exam. If the student did not sit the exam, they receive the grade supplied by the school.

While this process only applies in Auckland, Waikato or Northland, other students who are unable to attend an exam (or are unable to perform their best) due to reasons beyond their control may be eligible for a Derived Grade.

We understand that students and whānau will be concerned about the safety of students sitting exams. The wellbeing of students is NZQA’s top priority, as well. We are working with schools on measures that align with public health guidance.

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