NCEA and NZ Scholarship Exams to proceed

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

“The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe way, so students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned,” Chris Hipkins said.

“In regions experiencing COVID-19 disruption in Term 4 – when students are normally preparing for exams – NZQA has confirmed these students will be eligible for an ‘Unexpected Event Grade’, recognising the work they have done.

“While students will be expected to attend exams where possible, this long-established Unexpected Event Grade process will reflect – at a larger scale – what happens in any year when a student’s attendance or performance in exams is affected by an illness or injury.

“Students in these regions who cannot attend an exam because of a specific COVID-19 disruption will receive their Unexpected Event Grade. Where they do attend the exam, they will receive the better of their exam grade or their Unexpected Event Grade.

“Unexpected Event Grades are based on evidence gathered by teachers during the year, and undergo a quality assurance process to make sure they relate to the standard being assessed.

“NZQA will work with schools on measures that align with public health guidance to protect students and staff in exam rooms. Social distancing is, of course, a normal part of exam conditions.

“While classroom teaching and learning was disrupted by COVID-19, students have continued to work hard, and deserve the opportunity to safely demonstrate what they have learned. Today’s decision provides certainty, while ensuring those who are not able to perform at their best will have their specific circumstances recognised,” Chris Hipkins said.