Pupils begin NCEA exams

Hard at work . . . Bayfield High School students William Brundell (17) and Ruth Bridgman (16) are busy studying for their end of year NCEA exams. PHOTO: ELLA STOKES

Brain power is in high demand all over New Zealand today as NCEA examinations begin.

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement is the main national qualification for secondary school pupils in New Zealand.

NCEA is recognised by employers, and used for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas.

This year, 6498 Otago region pupils will be putting pen to paper for their exams.

Throughout the year, pupils have been completing internal assessments gaining credits to go towards their final mark but today marks the beginning of their external exams.

Pupils typically sit NCEA level 1 exams in year 11, level 2 in year 12, and level 3 and NZ Scholarship in year 13.

Two hard at work studying are Bayfield High School pupils William Brundell, who sits his level 3 exams this year, and Ruth Bridgman, who sits her level 2 exams this year.

The pair said exam time was always stressful, but it was good going into them knowing you already had some credits behind you from gaining them throughout the year.

“By level 3, you sort of know what to expect,” William said. “It was definitely the scariest when we first had to do exams in year 11.”

Ruth said the best way she prepared for her exams was just to “practise, practise, practise”.

Early in term 3 and 4, 661 students from six schools around the Otago region entered for NCEA digital examinations.

These are part of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s digital trials and pilots.

As part of NZQA’s pilot of digital assessment, 661 pupils in the Otago region have opted to sit digital versions of the paper NCEA examinations.

These are digital pilots and do count towards NCEA results.

NCEA external exams will go from today through until December 1.


Number of pupils in Otago sitting exams:

NCEA level 1: 2531

NCEA level 2: 2453

NCEA level 3: 1886

Total: 6498

(This figure is lower than the sum of the above numbers as pupils can enter into examinations at different NCEA levels or Scholarship.)