NCEA exams started today

NCEA exams started today. They finish December 4th although most students finish before that. The first exams for Level 1 – Year 11 students – was Maths at 9.30 this morning. Level 1 Science is tomorrow morning and English next Monday. About 50,000 students sit this exam. Students throughout the whole country sit the same exam at the same time. Because Friday November 13th is a holiday for Canterbury – it is Anniversary Day – there are no exams that day.

Level 2 English, for Year 12 students, was this afternoon at 2 o’clock. Level 2 Maths is tomorrow afternoon. All exams are 3 hours.

Level 3 English – for Year 13 students – is Thursday afternoon. Some of the best Year 13 students also choose to sit Scholarship exams. The first Scholarship exam was Drama, last Friday morning. English is Wednesday morning.

NCEA – the National Certificate of Educational Achievement – has both internal assessment and external assessment. Internal assessment is done during class time and marked by the teacher although there is a system of check moderation to make sure that the teacher has marked the work fairly. Practical work is usually assessed by the teacher. External assessment usually means exams and these are marked by a panel of teachers.

Students receive their results mid-January.

Listen to November 12 2012 for more about NCEA exams.


• achievement (n) – success
• assess (v) assessment (n) – to mark student’s work, to judge how good it is
• internal (adj) – inside; here it means class work is marked by the teacher
• external (adj) – outside; here it means an exam marked by unknown people
• check moderation (n) – other teachers check the marking
• panel (n) – group of specialists

Note the use of simple present tense for a planned future activity e.g. Level 2 Maths is tomorrow afternoon. Students receive their results mid-January.

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