Get your school ready for digital exams

This page provides the support and information schools, Principal’s Nominees, teachers and technical support people need to get ready for digital exams. 

Information for students can be found here

teacher helping student with computer

What's new

Updates or additional information may be added during the year, so check here to see any updates. 

Date
 
Update

06/07/2020

  Schools and students will be able to use NZQA’s digital exam platform for their practice external assessment in English, Agricultural and Horticultural Science and Classical Studies at all NCEA levels in 2020. More information can be found here

28/05/2020

  Find out what's new (and what's the same) for digital exams in 2020 in this one page flyer (PDF, 115KB)

22/05/2020

  Updated information for 2020 digital exam preparation for schools released on the Getting Ready for Digital Exams page

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IT Support

Getting ready for digital exams

General information on the steps you'll need to take to prepare for digital exams

Downloadable resources

Self-guided tutorials and Q&A sessions

Workshops and live Q&A sessions to prepare you and your school for digital exams, wherever you are on your journey

NZQA will be running two self-guided tutorials in preparation for 2020 exams. More information and links to register will be available in July.

  • Getting ready for digital exams: a self-guided tutorial
    This self-guided tutorial is designed for schools who are dipping their toe into digital exams for the first time, or need a refresher on preparing.
    Registration information will be available in July

  • Scaling up your digital exams: a self-guided tutorial 
    This self-guided tutorial is designed for schools who want to increase participation in digital exams and considers the next steps you need to take to be confident. This might mean more digital exam sessions or more students in each session.
    Registration information will be available in August

Quicklinks

Links to other information to help with preparing for digital exams

Principal's Nominees

Getting ready for digital exams

General information on the steps you'll need to take to prepare for digital exams

Downloadable resources

Self-guided tutorials and Q&A sessions

Workshops and live Q&A sessions to prepare you and your school for digital exams, wherever you are on your journey

NZQA will be running two self-guided tutorials in preparation for 2020 exams. More information and links to register will be available in July.

  • Getting ready for digital exams: a self-guided tutorial
    This self-guided tutorial is designed for schools who are dipping their toe into digital exams for the first time, or need a refresher on preparing. 
    Registration information will be available in July

  • Scaling up your digital exams: a self-guided tutorial 
    This self-guided tutorial is designed for schools who want to increase participation in digital exams and considers the next steps you need to take to be confident. This might mean more digital exam sessions or more students in each session. 
    Registration information will be available in August

  • NCEA Online Q&A sessions
    NZQA will be running Q&A sessions for new schools and schools scaling up. These will be facilitated by School Relationship Managers. 
    You will have an opportunity to ask your questions about digital exams as well as hear what other schools are doing and work collaboratively with other schools to problem solve common issues. 
    You should complete a self-guided tutorial or read through the Getting ready guide for digital exams before attending a 
    Registration information will be available in July.

Quicklinks

Links to other information to help with preparing for digital exams

Teachers

Getting ready for digital exams

General information on the steps you'll need to take to prepare for digital exams

Downloadable resources

Quicklinks

Links to other information to help with preparing for digital exams

Common questions

Can schools access the same software you use – for example to use for practice exams?

NZQA planned to explore offering a service for practice exams for delivery in 2021. As part of the COVID-19 response to support schools and students, we are developing a proposal for an early and limited implementation of NCEA Online Practice Exams in 2020. We are working with a small group of Principal Nominees and Subject Association representatives to scope a limited service. More details will be available in June.

Which exams are being offered digitally in 2020?

In 2020 we’ll offer 58 exam sessions across 21 subjects and three levels. A full list of subjects being offered can be found here.

Do schools need to supply digital exam supervisors with a device?

Yes, schools will need to provide a device for digital exam supervisors so they can access the supervisor dashboard to monitor students’ digital exam activity.

A Chromebook is fine for a smaller exam session of fewer than 20 students.  For larger cohorts, a larger screen is recommended so the supervisors can more easily view and monitor a larger number of students.

Do students have to set up language keyboards for Te Reo Māori, Te Reo Rangatira and foreign languages?

Students will be able to use a different language, as appropriate for the subject, by switching the language keyboards.
The language keyboards software packs must be downloaded and fully enabled prior to entering the exam.
We recommend students become familiar with language keyboards throughout the year, ideally using the same device they will use in the exam.

Can students with a Special Assessment Condition do a digital exam?

Yes, students with a SAC entitlement can sit a digital exam. As a school, you should consider the resources you will need to plan for to allow SAC students to sit a digital exam, such as space, supervisors and exam assistants. You can find more information on providing Special Assessment Conditions for digital exams here.

Can VPN, LanSchool software or “incognito” browsers affect the authenticity software in a digital exam?

We have not identified any VPNs or incognito browsers that would circumvent the technical, human and process controls we have in place.
We recommend disabling all background software to ensure it does not interfere with the exam invigilation software.

How can students find their digital exam answers from last year?

NZQA keeps digital exam responses for students until 30 June of the year following the exam. These can be accessed by students through the digital exam platform. More information can be found here.

Can students copy and paste within the browser to move paragraphs around etc.?

Yes, students can copy and paste within the exam browser but not from outside the exam browser.
You can see how this works by using the practice activities under Have a Play.
We recommend students use full screen mode so they do not accidentally move outside the browser window while navigating the exam.

What happens if there is a widespread loss of connection during a digital exam?

In the event the issue is not resolved within a short period of time, exam supervisors may choose to revert to paper exams.
Students will not need to repeat the work they’ve already completed in the digital exam.
Extra time will be given to make up for time lost due to the loss of connection.

What can cause a widespread loss of connection?

There are a range of reasons that can cause a loss of connection during a digital exam.
NZQA, N4L and the exam software provider will be monitoring connectivity through all exams.
If an issue is identified, they will contact your ECM to inform them and work to resolve the issue.

Where to get support

NZQA is here to support your school provide digital exams to students. If you have questions about digital exams, get in touch. 

• Contact your school relationship manager by phone or email.

• Email us at ncea.online@nzqa.govt.nz

 

 
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