September 2022
NZQA Hono-ā-īmēra (EmaiLink) mō ngā kura katoa #6 -

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

Key Dates Planner 2023

External Moderation Guidelines

Key Dates

PN Checklist

Digital Examinations

  • Digital Practice Exams
  • Digital External Examinations
    • Remind students
    • Ask teachers

The Assessor Practice Tool

Special Assessment Conditions

  • Submitting applications
  • Processing approvals
  • Attaching SAC entitlements to exam sessions

Management of school practice exams/assessments for individual derived grade applications or derived grades at scale

Examination Management

  • Request to change examination centre

Managing COVID-19 at Examination Centres

Visual Arts: Managing COVID-19 Disruptions


  • School Contact Details


Appendix 1. NZQA Examinations Late Entries Process for 2022
Appendix 2. 2022 PN Access to Exam PDFs (PDF, 242KB)

Key Dates Planner 2023 

NZQA |Mana Tohu Mātauranga o Aotearoa is committed to making sustainable and responsible decisions for the environment by decreasing our global footprint. Consequently, schools may opt out of receiving physical 2023 planners. If your school does not want to receive any 2023 wall planners, please fill in this form by Monday, 31 October.

External Moderation Guidelines

The Guide to the NZQA External Moderation Application for Schools and TEOs has been updated on the NZQA website, particularly Appendix D regarding digital submissions and large files. You can download the updated PDF from the External Moderation page.

Key Dates

26 Sept


30 Sept



. Applications for Learning Disorder close for 2022

. First time applications for entitlement open for 2023

Last day to sit digital practice exams on the NZQA platform

1 Oct

Data file submission due – include all confirmed entries into internally assessed standards and entries assigned to courses

17 Oct


DCAT Term 4 assessment period 17 October - 28 October

19 Oct

Admission Slips for candidates 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

>Digital Examinations

Digital Practice Examinations

Access to the digital practice exams for assessment ends on 30 September. Markers will have access until 16 October. Student access to their answers continues through to 4 November.

Digital External Examinations

Remind Students

· They access digital examinations by first clicking the ‘Access your external assessment | Tirohia ō aromatawai ā-waho’ banner on the NZQA home page

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

· If they have any problems creating or using their Learner Login, they can call the NZQA Contact Centre on 0800 697 296.

· They should go through the preparation for digital exams information on our website.

· They can access 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.

Ask teachers

· To check digital exam entries for their courses through their NZQA login. Use the Digital Examinations link in Key Indicators. Consult with your PN about any late additions or changes to digital exam entries.

· To check that students have created and/or used their NZQA login recently. They can do this by checking the entries in Key Indicators and clicking on “Last Login Date” to sort.


>The Assessor Practice Tool

The Assessor Practice Tool (APT) has been developed to support teacher-assessors to make accurate judgements of student evidence. Teacher-assessors make judgements on 10 samples of student evidence and receive immediate feedback on each judgement. NZQA is seeking feedback and insights from teachers about the APT to inform further development of the tool.

The APT is currently being piloted with three subjects:

· Design and Visual Communications (DVC) achievement standards 91628 and 91629

· Mathematics with Statistics achievement standards 91580 and 91582

· Media Studies achievement standards 91494 and 91496.

Please advise teachers that they can access the APT using their Education Sector Login until 17 October. The APT is available here.

Further subjects will be added in Term one, 2023.

>Special Assessment Conditions

Submitting applications

The deadline for applications made under the Learning category is the end of Term Three.

Applications under the Sensory, Medical or Physical categories can be made until the end of the examination period. Please submit these as early as possible.

Processing approvals

Applications are being processed as quickly as possible. Please check to ensure that any requested evidence is provided. In some cases, applications cannot be processed because applications are incomplete.

Attaching SAC entitlements to exam sessions

We acknowledge that the volume of SAC entitlements that need to be attached to exam sessions is putting pressure on our systems and can impact on the overall performance of the website. We apologise for this and appreciate the patience and persistence being shown by school staff who are completing this process

· Please continue to attach SAC entitlements to exam sessions. Exam Centre Managers need this information as soon as possible

· Please discuss with your ECM the requirements for SAC students, particularly if you have not yet completed the attachment process

· Please discuss with your SENCO whether or not a SAC student with CO should be offered a digital exam

· If you cannot confirm with students which SAC entitlements are required, please attach your best guess. It is possible to edit these later. For exam planning purposes, it is better to add entitlements now and then later remove these via an edit rather than to add new entitlements later.

· A short video explaining this process can be found here (MP4, 37MB) and the guide can be found here (PDF, 233KB).

If you would like advice and guidance in any particular instances please contact NZQA’s SAC team ( or your School Relationship Manager for advice.

>Management of school practice exams/assessments for individual derived grade applications or derived grades at scale

Evidence collected for a derived grade or derived grade at scale (previously referred to as Unexpected Event Grades) must:

· meet the requirements of the standard

· be authentic

· mirror the format and conditions of the standard

· be pre-existing - collected before the start of the external assessment

Information on gathering school-based evidence for external assessments is available here.

Senior Management is responsible for ensuring that all derived grades are based on valid, authentic evidence and have been subject to quality assurance processes. Evidence of the assessment task, schedule and verification or justification processes is required to be held and may be requested for review by NZQA. Further information is available via Derived Grade Mythbuster and Matapakitia Assessment Matters.

Where schools do not already have templates to record their verification or justification processes, NZQA has provided Derived Grade Quality Assurance Check Templates.

Principal’s Nominees are reminded to check that mark books are setup to ensure your data file submission to NZQA includes Derived Grade results for unexpected events (Rule 5.5c.).


>Examination Management

It is worthwhile checking out the Examination Management page on the NZQA website. You will find links to the following sites:

· Becoming an Examination Centre

· Recruiting your Examination Centre Manager

· Working with the Examination Centre Manager

· Preparing for Digital Examinations

· Briefing students

· Briefing school staff

· Managing late external entries

· Examination timetable clashes

· Requests to change an Examination Centre

Request to change examination centre

If you have a request for a student to sit at another exam centre, follow the process detailed here. This process has recently been enhanced and is now an online form. If you have already used the previous form, you do not need to complete it again through this process.

>Managing COVID-19 at Examination Centres

Please refer to the 13 September bulletin for guidance on managing COVID-19 at schools – these guidelines also apply during the NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams.

· In all exam rooms there must be a gap of 1.5 metres between students in all directions. This distance is measured from head to head and not from desk edge to desk edge. This gap provides enough distance between students to ensure they are not touching or breathing directly on each other and exam supervisors can safely walk between desks.

· Some people may choose to wear face masks and use hand sanitiser. Encourage respect – people are being proactive in keeping themselves and others safe.

· Keep exam rooms well ventilated.

· Avoid situations where students need to congregate in any indoor spaces before and after the exam.

· Make sure you follow your school protocols for managing students who arrive at an examination session in an unwell state, particularly if they display COVID-19 symptoms, or symptoms of any other infectious disease.

Exam Centre Managers will ensure that any of their staff who are household contacts of people with COVID-19 and have symptoms stay home and their supervision duties are covered by someone else.

>Visual Arts: Managing COVID-19 disruptions

We are aware that the ongoing disruptions caused by COVID-19 have affected some students, disrupting their preparations for their external portfolios. The Panel Leaders, who are experienced Visual Arts teachers, have discussed the implications of this and wish to highlight the following:

· The purpose of the standard at Level 3 is not to produce highly resolved work but for students to show their thinking.

· Student thinking can be shown in a variety of ways, including drawings, experimental works and thumbnail studies.

· There may be more PPMT (processes, procedures, materials and techniques) and less-resolved work than in pre-Covid years, especially in the first and second panels.

Panel Leaders encourage candidates to send in their portfolios, regardless of the level of finish. All work submitted on the panels contributes evidence of the student’s learning and thinking, which are all important aspects of the standard. For example, in Printmaking, “thinking notes” could include thumbnail studies or small sketches and collages. Students can show their working drawings for Painting and Design. Photography and Sculpture students can experiment, investigate and show the evidence of this. In summary, portfolios should be process driven.

Panel Leaders expect that they may see “space” between works this year. This selection and placement of work contributes to the editing and presentation of the portfolios, which is a key part of the portfolio process.

The standard for Level 3 can be met at all levels of achievement in different ways to how students have done so in the past.

>PN Checklist

Preparation For Exams:

. Follow the late entry process as per the instructions in Appendix 1 of this EmaiLink

. Check the accuracy of the data you have submitted to NZQA and correct any errors

. Liaise with your ECM regularly

. Complete any outstanding SAC processes for 2022

. Become familiar with the Derived Grade process

. Check translated papers for errors

. Check the Candidates' Last Login report in your Key Indicators to ensure all students sitting digital exams can log in


. Update your school's contact information through your Provider Login (School's Administration > Profile)

. Confirm entries into internally assessed standards and entries assigned to courses for 1 October data file

. Encourage staff to consider standards that they would like to suggest for inclusion in the Assessment Plan 2023 (External Moderation Plan for 2023)

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