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Onscreen marking of external exam answers in 2021
A2021/22 - 4 Aug 2021


Principal’s Nominee 
All Teachers

Onscreen marking of external exam answers in 2021 

Paper-based answer booklets for NCEA external exams will be scanned then marked on screen in all subjects (except Accounting and Music) this year. This brings together paper and digital marking using the NCEA Online platform and is an important step forward in our digital assessment journey.   
This change affects every student who sits an NCEA paper-based exam in all subjects. Accounting and Music exams will be marked by hand, and then scanned and available to students digitally.  
Scholarship paper exam answers will continue to be marked by hand and returned in the mail.

Student access to marked answers

Students will access all their marked exam answers through their NZQA student login. Paper-based answer booklets will not be returned in the mail (except for Scholarship exams).  
Students can view their marked answers online until June each year. This includes any scanned blank paper answer books, but not blank digital ones. 
It is important that students create an NZQA Student Login account on the Login Options page if they don’t already have one.

Return of physically submitted portfolios

Design and Visual Communication portfolios and Technology folders will continue to be marked by hand and returned in the mail to schools.  
Level 3 and NZ Scholarship Visual Arts portfolios will continue to be marked by hand and returned in the mail to students.

Why we are doing this?

Marking online and scanning responses for students reduces:

  • marking administration time
  • some of the risks and environmental impact associated with the distribution and marking of paper responses
  • our reliance on the geographical proximity of markers.

Benefits for students include:

  • being able to view their marked paper-based answers sooner, and all in one place, together with any marked digital answers they might have produced
  • having a copy of the marked booklet they can share with their teacher
  • faster and more efficient review and reconsiderations processing, with NZQA holding a digital copy of their answer booklets
  • a reduction in the potential for papers being lost, compared with when marked papers are physically returned in the post
  • having digital access to their answers anytime, anywhere. 


Please refer any enquiries relating to this circular to your School Relationship Manager.

School Relationship Manager

School Quality Assurance and Liaison

Telephone: 04 463 3000


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