Exams earthquake update

An important message for parents regarding your child’s NCEA and Scholarship exams.

This important message is for parents and caregivers whose students are required to sit NCEA and Scholarship exams over the next few days.

You will be aware that, following the earthquake that shook most of the South and Central North Island early on the morning of Monday 14 November, all schools in these areas are being checked to see whether or not they can reopen.

This is what you need to know:

Will my child’s exam go ahead?

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is the body that runs the school examination system.

After assessing this situation, NZQA have decided that Tuesday 16 November NCEA and NZ scholarship examinations will go ahead.

In making this decision, NZQA recognises that the earthquake has had an unsettling impact on many students.

Accordingly, NZQA will provide NCEA students with a derived grade in the event that they cannot reach the exam venue:

  • their school is closed, or
  • they believe that their performance has been adversely impacted (see more below).

Information for parents of NCEA students

If your child’s school is closed, contact your school to see if any alterative exam accommodation has been arranged. If it has not, or if your child cannot reach the alterative accommodation, your child will be eligible for a derived grade.

If you are in an affected area, and your child sits the exam, and their performance is impacted as a result of the earthquakes, your school can apply to NZQA for a derived grade for your child.

Information for parents of New Zealand Scholarship students

NZQA has already arranged alternatives if your child is sitting a New Zealand Scholarship exam and their school are closed. This information should be available on your school’s website. Otherwise, contact your local school.  

Information on school closures

Most secondary schools in the quake affected regions are likely to open on Tuesday 15 November.  NCEA and Scholarship exams will go ahead, as scheduled, in these schools. But some secondary schools could be closed.

Please check your local schools website for information on the status of your local school and for updates on any NCEA or Scholarship exams your child will be sitting over the next few days.

Remember that, in some affected schools, it is possible that the examinations will take place in a different part of the school to the one your child is expecting to report to. Or they could be held at a different venue. Again, please check your school’s website for details.

NZQA is working closely with schools and will continue to do so over the coming days to learn more about how schools have been affected, and how students are being supported.

If you have any questions about NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams, or want to discuss your child’s capacity to complete it following the quake, contact your school in the first instance.

What is a derived grade?

The purpose of the emergency derived grade is to ensure that no student is disadvantaged in achieving to their full potential due to a school, regional or national emergency. If a student is unable to take part in all or some of the national end-of-year NCEA exams, their school can use standard specific work (such as practice exams), which they produced during the school year to submit a recommended grade to NZQA.

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