Overview of derived grades

What is a derived grade?

A derived grade is a grade reported by a school based on pre-existing evidence.  Students can apply for a derived grade if:

  • they believe their preparation for, or performance in, an external exam was impaired, or
  • they were unable to sit an exam for reasons beyond their control.

It is based on (or derived from) pre-existing authentic, standard specific evidence (such as practice exams) produced during the year by the student.

What is an unexpected event grade? (previously called emergency grades)

After an exceptional event beyond the control of students, which stops them from attending an examination, impairs their performance in an examination or prevents them completing an examination NZQA may invoke the unexpected event  process. It can be applied to an individual student or to a whole group of candidates who are all affected in the same way.  Unlike a derived grade, there is no application form for an individual student to complete.

So, for example, after an earthquake in their area a school will have to be checked for safety, and exam sessions may be cancelled until it is declared safe. In such a case, all candidates at the school would be treated in the same way and considered for unexpected event grades.

Making an application

Information for candidates

Information for Principal's Nominees

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