What is a derived grade

Derived grades are available for candidates who suffer from an illness, trauma or misadventure that happens at the time of the NZQA external assessments in November.

A derived grade is ...

A derived grade is available for a candidate who for an approved reason:

  • has been unable to attend an NZQA external examination or submit a completed externally assessed portfolio
  • attended an NZQA external examination session and their performance has been significantly impaired
  • has been unable to attend an external assessment because of selection for National Representation in a sport, academic or cultural event.

Approved reasons include:

  • a temporary acute non-recurring illness
  • trauma – a significantly disturbing or distressing experience
  • misadventure - an event beyond a student’s control or an exceptional circumstance 
  • a sudden and significant change to a long-term illness occurring at the time of the examinations

The school provides a grade based on (or derived from) pre-existing authentic, standard-specific evidence produced during the year by the candidate (such as from practice examinations or formal tests).

Candidates should sit the examination wherever possible. Where the candidate’s derived grade application is approved, and they sit the examination, the better result will be awarded.

Who do I talk to about a derived grade?

Talk to your school’s Principal’s Nominee in the first instance. They will be able to advise you on the eligibility criteria, who to see to support your application, and provide you with an application form.

Who makes the decision?

NZQA approves derived grades based on the information provided in a candidate’s application.

Will NZQA accept late applications?

Under exceptional circumstances NZQA may accept a late application (made after the closing date in early December) but not after release of results in January.

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