Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT) 2020

The Common Assessment Tasks (CATs) will continue on their scheduled dates for schools which are in Alert Levels 1 or 2. This page provides advice on delivery of the CATs, and guidance if students are not able to undertake the MCAT assessment.

Where students are unable to sit the MCAT because of COVID-19 restrictions, NZQA is extending the timelines for gathering the required evidence under your “missed assessment policy”. Details are outlined in this message.

Schools and kura should deliver the MCAT as planned wherever possible. Use your missed assessment policy to determine a valid grade for any student not sitting the MCAT as planned.

NZQA considered changes to the assessment dates, but is conscious of the pressure on school timetables in Term 4, and the disruption any changes would cause for schools that have planned other activities around the CATs. On balance, NZQA has decided to retain the existing dates.

Preparations in the event of further disruption

Please bear in mind that schools need to be prepared if there are any changes in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. Specifically, schools and kura need to continue to collect standard-specific, quality assured evidence for possible Derived Grades or Unexpected Event Grades or, in the case of the MCAT, to meet your “Missed Assessment Policy”.

You can use the External Assessment Evidence Gathering Templates or any other practice assessment activity. Go to the Mathematics and Statistics subject page and look under the heading Resources for Externally Assessed Standards to find ‘Evidence Gathering Templates’.

NZQA is continually reviewing the COVID-19 situation and our response, and will provide any additional advice or information required.

Mathematics Common Assessment Tasks (MCAT): Achievement Standard 91027

The Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT) is planned to take place as scheduled on 15 or 17 September (14 or 16 September in Cook Islands schools).

Schools and kura should proceed with the MCAT where this is possible.

Where a school or kura has been operating under Alert Level 3 conditions during Term 3, but has moved into Level 2 prior to the MCAT, and students have had adequate opportunity to prepare for the assessment, schools should make all reasonable endeavours to deliver the MCAT as planned.

In circumstances where it would not be reasonable to proceed, or where the school determines it would not be reasonable to expect some or all of your students to be ready for the assessment, you should use your missed assessment policy to determine a valid grade for any student not sitting the MCAT.

Normally this evidence must be gathered before the date you selected for the MCAT. However, in this circumstance, you can gather evidence up until 15 November. This date is before the first day of NCEA examinations. It provides at least 2 weeks for schools to derive a quality assured grade from the evidence gathered before the 2 December deadline for submission of final grades for Achievement Standard 91027 verification.

NZQA will facilitate access to assessment resources to assist schools gather valid, standard-specific evidence. These may also support schools who prefer to use a test to gather evidence. We will provide further information to schools on these by 28 August.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if students returned in time to sit the MCAT but my school was in Covid-19 Alert Level 3 or 4 for several weeks in Term 3?
Where it is reasonable to expect students to complete the MCAT as planned, they should. However, if your school determines the preparation of some or all students has been impaired, you can apply your missed assessment policy for those students instead.

If students sit the MCAT can they access the missed assessment policy?
Other than for the usual reasons (e.g. illness on the day), only a student whose preparation has been affected by Covid restrictions (see the flowchart (PDF, 60KB)) will be able to access the missed assessment policy.

How can I gather valid evidence for a missed assessment grade?
You can use the Assessment Evidence Gathering Template (PDF, 275KB) or the sample template for recording evidence gathered at a class level (DOCX, 51KB), or any other practice assessment activity.

What processes do I need to have to ensure that the grade awarded is credible?
As for any grade awarded, you must follow the quality assurance process for externally assessed standards.

Schools should pay particular attention to the justification procedures set out under the existing quality assurance process for derived grades.

How will verification work this year?
There are no changes planned to the verification process outlined in the Administration Guidelines (PDF, 566KB).

Are there any changes in the dates for submission for verification?
No, the dates are as listed in the Administration Guidelines (PDF, 566KB).

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