October 2022
NZQA Hono-ā-īmēra (EmaiLink) mō ngā kura katoa #7 -

Rārangi Take ki tēnei Hono-ā-īmēra (EmaiLink) pānui

Key Dates

PN Checklist

Preparing for external exams

  • Complete SAC Processes
  • Changing Exam Centre - Kura Tuākana and Kura Tēina guidelines
  • Exam Admission Slips - A2022/14
  • Exam clashes
  • Student authenticity
  • Use of calculators in exams
  • Translated papers

Preparing your students for digital exams

  • Digital exam resources for schools
  • Headphones for Te Reo Rangatira (TRR)
  • Headphones for end of year digital language assessments/exams

External Assessment Administration

  • Ensure Derived Grades are submitted to NZQA
  • Planning for disruption to NZQA provider login
  • Working with your Exam Centre Manager (ECM)
  • Setting flags for digital submissions
  • Teacher release during the exam period
  • NZQA Quality Assurance

Exam Processes

  • Onscreen marking of scanned exam papers
  • Return of student NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams 2022
  • Results Publication and Return to Candidate Processes

General Notices

  • Digital assessment - "Digital first" for NCEA L1 external assessment in 2024


  • Te Marautanga o Aotearoa University Entrance subjects - mainsteam and immersion unit requirements
  • Code self-review attestation (for schools approved to enrol international students)
  • Level 3 Visual Arts clarification
  • Student Login credentials for school leavers
  • Updating contact information


Appendix 1. Guidelines to update contact details (PDF, 387KB)
Appendix 2. Kura Tuākana and Kura Tēina (DOCX, 27KB)
Appendix 3. Exam Centre School Self review (DOCX, 42KB)
Appendix 4. Late Entry Attendance Roll 2022 (DOCX, 50KB)

Key Dates

17 Oct

Term 4 Begins

DCAT Term 4 assessment period begins and runs until 28 October

19 Oct

Candidate admission slips sent to schools

20 Oct

MCAT Level 1, 91027 - Last day for entry of ALL provisional results and submissions sent for verification

21 Oct


24 Oct


25 Oct

Confirm with NZQA three-way exam clash arrangements

26 Oct

Submission of Visual Arts Level 1 verification portfolios collected from schools by NZ Post

. ALL Visual Arts Level 1 provisional results must be entered

31 Oct


Final date for school payment of NCEA & NZ Scholarship fees for international fee-paying candidates

1 Nov

Data file submission due, including:

. school grades for Derived Grades and Derived Grades at Scale - please include as many as possible

. correction of any errors or warnings from previous submissions

. sending any additional candidate information in this file

2 Nov

Submission of candidate work and completed attendance rolls for the following external standards collected from schools:

. Dance - NZ Scholarship

. Design and Visual Communications (DVC) - Levels 1, 2 and 3 and NZ Scholarship

. Education for Sustainability - Level 3

. Health and Physical Education - NZ Scholarship

. Music - NZ Scholarship

. Technology - Levels 1, 2 and 3 and NZ Scholarship

. Visual Arts - Level 2 verification portfolios collected from schools

Complete entry of ALL provisional results

7 Nov

NCEA and NZ Scholarship examinations begin

10 Nov

Check accuracy of internally assessed entries for 1 December file

Visual Arts Level 3 and NZ Scholarship - Portfolio submission/collection for Level 3 and NZ Scholarship external standards

11 Nov

CANTERBURY ANNIVERSARY (no exams scheduled for today)

Visual Arts Level 1 - start entering final results

14 Nov

MCAT Level 1, 91027 - start entering final results

18 Nov

Visual Arts Level 2 - start entering final results

28 Nov

CHATHAM ISLANDS ANNIVERSARY (no exams scheduled for today)


29 Nov

Visual Arts - Levels 1 and 2, last day for entry of all final results

Preparing for external exams

Our website contains information on managing exams including briefing staff and students. It includes several resource documents to assist with the smooth running of external exams.

Complete SAC processes

Please ensure that all SAC processes are completed in preparation for the exams. Include your SENCO and ECM in any discussions.

Instructions on how to request Special Papers (i.e. PDFs of the exams), where these are needed, will be provided in the next SAC Update.

If you have any queries, please email

Changing Exam Centre - Kura Tuākana and Kura Tēina guidelines

Information on the process required to initiate a change of exam centre for a student is available here

Attached to this EmaiLink (Appendix 2) is a checklist of good practice for Kura Tuākana (schools that host students from another school for exams) and Kura Tēina (the school whose students sit exams at a different school).

The Principal’s Nominees from both schools should work together and use this as they plan for the exams.

Exam Admission Slips - A2022/14

These will be delivered to schools from Wednesday, 19 October. When you give them out, students should check them carefully and let you know immediately if there are any omissions, including digital entries.

Remind students that:

. they may not write or deface these slips in anyway

. they must bring the sip to each exam

If a student loses their admission slip, they can reprint one using their Learner Login or the Principal’s Nominee can through the NZQA Provider Login under Reports/ Exam Reports. Principal’s Nominees must sign any reprinted slips.

Exam Clashes

Check the information about managing clashes here. Principal’s Nominees should confirm arrangements to accommodate clashes by 25 October so that Examination Centre Managers can complete their planning. Any arrangements after 25 October should be discussed with your School Relationship Manager.

Student Authenticity

Teachers should remind students that exam answers must provide evidence of their own work. Reproducing published exemplars, in full or in part, from any source is a breach of the exam rules.

Use of calculators in exams

The list of approved calculators that can be used in exams, and in which exams they are permitted, can be found here. Please note: the Texas Instrument TI-84+ has been removed from the Approved Calculator List for 2022 because additional subject-specific programmes can be installed on them.

Translated papers

Please check the Te Reo Translated Paper Requests on your Key Indicators matches your planned entries. If a request flag was ticked by mistake, the student will have a personalised paper in both the Te Reo Māori and English versions. Let the student know that they can just complete the English version.

In a digital exam, students can select their preferred language.

If you have a late entry for a Translated Paper, contact your School Relationship Manager urgently. Please be aware, exam papers are translated on demand and if no school has requested it by the 1 August deadline, a translated exam paper may not be available.

Preparing your students for digital exams

Students/ ākonga need to:

· Look at the activities and information on our webpage: Digital exam preparation for students.

· Complete a Digital exams device check. Please note: A student’s access to our digital exam platform will be blocked if their device has a VPN installed which makes the device appear to be located outside of New Zealand, Australia, the Cook Islands or Niue.

· Have a look at 2021 digital exams through their NZQA Learner Login, by clicking the Find past digital exams link. This is very useful preparation for the look and functionality of digital exams.

· Read the student checklist (PDF, 161KB) for digital exams.

· Use headphones if doing a Level 1-3 digital language exam or Te Reo Rangatira Level 2 (AS91777) exam, as the listening part of these exams use an audio file.

· Use headphones if doing Level 1-3 Te Reo Rangatira and want to use the voiceover option to listen to as well as read the exam instructions, questions and resources.

· Install language keyboards where needed and disable screensavers, notifications and software updates on their device before their exam.

On assessment/exam day:

· The fastest and easiest way for students to access external digital assessments is by clicking on the banner at the top of NZQA’s home page

· They then use their NZQA student login details to access digital exams. Beforehand they must create an account if they do not already have one, and if they do, they should check their username and password.

· If students experience any problems creating or using their login before the exam day, they should click on the “Help” function in the login area or use the “Chat” Bot (found on right hand side of the login area) to reset their username or password. Alternatively, they can call the NZQA Contact Centre on 0800 697 296.

Digital exam resources for schools

School staff are encouraged to:

·  look at the Getting ready for digital exams information on our website

·  read the Guidelines for SAC provision

·  check out our video to get an overview of what the digital exam platform looks like on our page, Digital exam preparation for students 

·  go through the digital exam checklist (PDF, 161KB) with students, so that they are well prepared

· get students to check digital exam entries for their courses through their NZQA student login. Staff can also use the Digital Examinations link in Key Indicators to check digital exam entries and chat with their PN about any late additions or changes to digital exam entries

·  check that students have logged into their NZQA student login recently. Staff can use the Last Login Date column in the Digital Exams link in Key Indicators to check this.

Headphones for Te Reo Rangatira (TRR)

For all digital TRR Level 1-3 exams, ākonga will be able to listen to the assessment text (instructions, questions and resources) in Te Reo Māori by using a voiceover function as well as being able to read it.  Ākonga will need to use headphones to access the voice over function.

Headphones for end of year digital language assessments/exams

· All 2022 end of year digital language exams will include an audio file for the listening component of the exam. Students will need headphones and be able to choose when they will answer the listening standard.

· A circular with further detail about this will be published in October.

External Assessment Administration

Ensured Derived Grades are submitted to NZQA

Make sure that you continue to submit grades in your datafile. This makes it much easier if there is an event that affects students in the external exams. See more information about Derived Grades here.

1 November

Submit grades for Derived Grades and Derived Grades at Scale in your data file

4 November

Pre-approval applications for National Representation close

6 December

Applications close for NCEA external examinations and Term 4 RAS assessments

Derived Grade Update #2 was emailed to Principal’s Nominees on 17 October.

Planning for disruption to NZQA provider login

To manage the risk of an Education Sector Logon (ESL) or network failure affecting your ability to access the school’s NZQA provider login, we recommend that you download digital or paper copies of:

· Candidates’ NSNs (via your SMS)

· Candidates’ admission slips (via your NZQA Provider login at General Security/Reports/Exam Reports)

· Special Assessment Conditions Candidates’ Exam Timetable (via your NZQA Provider login at General Security/Key Indicators).

Working with your Exam Centre Manager (ECM)

Make sure you work with your ECM on a regular basis leading up to the exam period. Things to cover include any late entries, changes to SAC applications, confirmed number of students sitting NZ Scholarship exams, confirmation of available rooms and any recorded files that need to be digitally submitted to NZQA.

More information about working with your Exam Centre Manager can be found here.

Setting flags for digital submissions

If you have not flagged entries as Digital Submissions (DS), they will not show in the Digital Submissions link in Key Indicators. You can still submit student work through the Digital Submission Upload link or the Candidates/Standards page. Always check the External Assessment Submission Instructions for submitted subjects on the relevant subject pages. RAS pilot schools should follow the emailed instructions.

Teacher release during the exam period

Your school’s continued willingness to release teachers to attend panel meetings during the school day is critical to completing the marking process before Christmas so that results are available by late January 2023. Thank you for your ongoing understanding and support.

NZQA Quality Assurance

During the 2022 examinations, NZQA Quality Assurers will be visiting a selection of examination centres to conduct quality assurance visits. A Quality Assurer will arrive at your school / kura either before or during an examination to conduct their visit. They will report to reception, identify themselves and ask for the Examination Centre Manager.

The quality assurance checklist comprises four sections:

· the secure storage of exam materials

· preparations undertaken before candidates sit an exam

· procedures followed during an exam

· procedures undertaken after an exam.

The quality assurance visits ensure that our external assessment systems and processes are adhered to across all exam centres. This ensures every candidate undertakes exams in a fair and equitable environment.

Exam Processes

Onscreen marking of scanned exam papers

NCEA Levels 1-3 end of year paper exam responses will be scanned and marked onscreen using the NCEA Online marking tool (RM Assessor).

Return of student NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams 2022

Students can view all their NCEA L1-3 and New Zealand Scholarship end of year assessed exams (digital and paper responses) online using their Learner Login account details.

Check out our website for more information about how exam material is returned to students, and the reviews and reconsiderations processes.

Results Publication and Return to Candidate Processes

NCEA results will be released no later than the third week of January 2023. The results’ release date will be published at the end of exams in early December.

Students sitting NCEA 2022 end of year exams will be able to use their Learner Login details to access their digital or scanned paper exams online from the end of January. Students sitting NZ Scholarship can also access their scanned exam and grade online from 9 February. These will be available online until the end of June 2023. This includes any scanned blank paper answer books, but not blank digital ones. 

Paper based exam booklets won’t be returned in the mail, with the exceptions of Level 3 and NZ Scholarship Visual Arts portfolios (digital submissions will not be returned). A few other exceptions may be returned by mail (e.g. Braille papers). This change brings together paper and digital marking using the NCEA Online platform and is an important step forward in our digital assessment journey.   

See the NCEA Results section of our website for more information.


General Notices

Digital Assessment - "Digital first" for NCEA L1 external assessment in 2024

This term the New Zealand School Trustees Association will be sending a letter on NZQA’s behalf to Chairs of Boards (cc Principals) about their school or kura digital participation in 2022, encouraging them to engage with NZQA so they can take part or increase the level of participation in what’s offered in 2023. This is being done in preparation for 2024 which will be the first year of “digital first” for all Level 1 standards where digital assessment is offered.

This letter will include information about what your school/kura has offered in 2022, that is:

· How many digital practice exams (DPE) were offered

· Whether or not Literacy and Numeracy was offered

· Whether or not RAS pilot subjects assessed digitally were offered

· The proportion of external standards the school has entries for that are offered digitally

· The proportion of students in Years 11-13 entered for one or more digital standards.

Insights Papers

Insights papers focus on equity issues, good practice and bringing to life administrative data that will support education system improvement. They can be accessed here.


Te Marautanga o Aotearoa University Entrance subjects – mainstream and immersion unit requirements

Mainstream schools with students studying in a kaupapa Māori context (such as through an immersion unit) must notify NZQA of the students undertaking any of the TMoA subjects below for University Entrance by 1 December:

. Hauora

. Ngā Mahi a te Rēhia

. Ngā Toi Ataata

. Ngā Toi Puoro


Details about this process can be found here.

Code self-review attestation (for schools approved to enrol international students)

The Code attestation form for schools is due 1 December 2022

If your school is a Code signatory, we have emailed your school’s key Code contact with a link to complete the annual Code self-review attestation form. This is an online form, which will take around 10 minutes to complete. The link is unique to your school – please do not share your link.

As a Code signatory, you must complete an annual attestation, even if you have not enrolled any international students this year. This is to ensure that your school meets all Code requirements, and continually reflects on practice to ensure the safety of international students.

For resources to support your self-review process, please click here.

If your school has not received our email, or if you have any questions on this process, please email us via

Level 3 Visual Arts clarification

Visual Arts teachers and Principal’s Nominees are reminded that all Level 3 and NZ Scholarship Visual Arts portfolios must be physically sent to the marking venue, including those of candidates who have applied for a derived grade. The ONLY exception to this is Moving Image portfolios, which are sent in digitally using the submission instructions on the Visual Arts subject resource page on the NZQA website.

Schools are responsible for making courier arrangements for the collection of your NCEA Level 3 and NZ Scholarship submissions on the nominated collection date - Thursday 10 November. You may use any courier company. NZQA does not supply pre-paid courier tickets for the delivery of Level 3 and NZ Scholarship materials to the marking venue. Physical copies of these submission instructions are included in your schools’ pack sent in Term 4 (18 – 21 October).

Any queries should be emailed to

Student Login credentials for school leavers

Please advise students leaving school at the end of the year to check the email address they use for their Learner Login to ensure it remains accessible. Email addresses are used for logging into and resetting NZQA accounts. If your leavers are using a school email address, they should update this to a personal email account before their school email account is deleted.

Updating contact information

Please check that your school contact information is accurate, particularly mobile phone numbers, so we can contact you, or the Principal, in case of an unexpected event during the exam or summer holiday periods. Guidelines on how to update contact information are included in Appendix 1.

PN Checklist

Leading up to exams

. Familiarise yourself with the exam management resources

. The Exam Centre Self-Review (Appendix 3) may assist with your planning

. Provide secure storage for exam material

. Check the accuracy of the data you have submitted to NZQA and correct any errors - Digital Exams entries in Key Indicators

. Complete any outstanding SAC processes for 2022

. Become familiar with the Derived Grade process and ensure that Derived Grades are included in a datafile

. Check the Candidates' Last Login report in your Provider Login to ensure all students sitting digital exams can login

. Keep in contact with your ECM about any changes re candidate entries and maintain a Late Entry roll (see Appendix 1)

. Ensure that NCEA and NZ Scholarship fees for international fee-paying students have been paid by 31 October

. Distribute exam admission slips to students

. Share the student checklist for digital exams (PDF, 161KB) with students and teachers

. Brief school staff about their responsibilities during the exam period

Exam Day/s

. Confirm with office staff about school processes for candidate absences and derived grade applications

. Advise staff daily on which exams are being held and where

. Organise staff for checking calculators at relevant exams

. Download and save exam candidates' NSNs, admission slips and the SAC exam timetable

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