Deriving grades from school-based evidence for external assessment

How can I gather student evidence?

Grades from school-based evidence for externally examined standards must be derived from authentic evidence, specific to and covering all criteria of the standard and be subject to a quality assurance process.

The evidence for a derived grade must be collected prior to the start of the external examination period.

Student evidence can come from an assessment event such as a class test, practice examination or gathered as part of the teaching and learning process.

How can these grades be quality assured? 

Schools should continue to make sure that all grades they submit for externally examined standards have undergone a quality assurance process, and hold evidence of this. If schools cannot confirm this, grades should not be reported until any issues have been resolved. 

As for internal assessment, the process must assure both the evidence gathering process and grades. It could include:

  • Checking that the assessment provides authentic, valid, standard-specific evidence from which a grade can be derived.
  • Checking that the grades awarded are valid by 
    • using a suitably qualified “second pair of eyes” where one is readily available through, for example:
      • the use of panel marking of an end of topic test held under examination conditions
      • having a colleague in that subject area check a sample of grade boundary decisions from evidence templates.


    • using a justification process to provide confidence in assessor judgements where a suitably qualified “second pair of eyes” is not readily available through, for example:
      • recognising assessor involvement with external examination marking for this standard/subject/level
      • checking whether the school-based grades correlate with a comparative profile of practice exam results and NZQA external examination grades achieved in previous years
      • reviewing external moderation history of assessor judgements consistent with the standard
      • checking that the assessor's use of assessment schedules, NZQA exemplars and past student answer booklets as benchmarks is appropriate.

Submitting grades derived for externally assessed standards to NZQA

Submit grades in your regular data files. They can be updated and amended in subsequent data submissions. You will be able to review the grades submitted through the report section of your Provider login.    

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