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NCEA External Examinations

Alan McIntosh —

This is a good time to remind students and parents of the importance of these exams, and ensure that everyone is familiar with the rules and regulations that accompany this examination period.

NCEA Examination start on the morning of 7th November  with Level 2 French.  Please note, alll examinations starts at either 9:30am in the morning or 2.00pm in the afternoon.

NCEA External Examinations are a one off opportunity.

There are no re-sits, second opportunities, or negotiations to sit an External Examination on another day because a student has made work commitments.

For students sitting Scholarship Examinations, should you decide not to sit the exam, could you please inform me, (Mr McIntosh) so I am not trying to chase anyone up on the day because you have not turned up.

While there has been an assembly held to remind students of the rules and regulations of sitting External Examinations, I have outlined the main rules below, so both students and parents can refer to them.



Students entering in external examination are required to agree to follow the rules and to comply with the decisions of NZQA. 

These rules ensure assessment conditions for all students are fair and allow them to present original work. Students must not break the rules in any way. NZQA will investigate any possible breach of the rules and may withhold results where the breach is proven.

NCEA External Examinations and New Zealand Scholarship Examinations are three hours in length. Examination sessions start at either 9.30am or 2.00pm. To find out the date and time of your son’s Examination, see the NZQA Examination timetable. This has been emailed to all parents earlier in the year, or you may use the following link:



Your admission slip.  This lists all the external standards you are sitting as written Examinations. It does not show internally assessed standards or external standards for which you submit a portfolio

Check that the details on your admission slip are correct.  If there is a mistake, please inform me, (Mr McIntosh) as there might not be any booklets for students in the exam.

• Students must take this admission slip to every exam. It must be face up on your desk during all exams.

• Do not write on it, in any way, at any time.

• Do not give the admission slip to someone else to look after. The long number is the students NSN (National Student Number). The Exam Code (the letter and number) is to help students find the correct exam room and then to check that they have the right desk and booklets. If students lose their admission slip, they need to see Mr McIntosh, Miss Nesbit, or Mrs Thompson so they can reprint a new admission slip.  Alternatively, students can log onto their own learner login on the NZQA website and print off their new admission slip. If a student does this, they must then get it signed by the Mr McIntosh or Mr Gilmore before you enter to sit the exam.

Keep your admission slip safe. You may need it later for a derived grade application.

Students are responsible for taking the correct equipment to their Examinations and making sure that it is working order.

All equipment required for each examination must be placed in a clear plastic bag. Students are required to have:

• Blue and Black pens only

• An approved calculator for subjects where a calculator has been used during the year. Calculators must be silent, hand-held, non-printing and work from their own power. Students cannot keep notes, routines or store files in the calculator memory. Teachers and/or supervisors will check the calculator memory is cleared before it can be brought into any examination room.


Students are allowed to bring items for an emergency evacuation into the examination room in a clear, sealable plastic bag. This pack must stay under the chair and not be touched or opened without the permission of the supervisor. Contents may include a mobile phone (switched off), another electronic device, keys, money, bus pass and medicines.


Do not bring the following items into an exam room unless sealed in the emergency evacuation pack:

  • Blank paper or refill paper 
  • Correcting fluid
  • Books, written notes or electronic notes
  • Cell phones or pagers  
  • Watches (of any kind)
  • English dictionaries, foreign language dictionaries, or Te reo Māori dictionaries or translators
  • Any electronic device which has the capability to store, communicate and/or retrieve information except approved calculators. 


All examinations will be held at Shirley Boys High School. Most examinations will be held in the hall, but in some instances other rooms may be used at the Examination Centre Managers discretion.

When students arrive, they must report to the hall, and the front window of the hall foyer. This will inform them of what room their examination is in. If students are not sure where their examination room is, or if they cannot find their desk for their exam, they need to find Mr McIntosh, or Mr Gilmore to help solve any issues.

On the day of the examination, students need to arrive at least 20 minutes before the examination starts. If a student arrives more than 30 minutes after the exam has started,  they will not be able to sit the exam or enter an examination room.


• At all times, listen to and follow the instructions of the supervisor.

• Sit at the desk allocated to them. The examination booklets at this desk will have been selected and coded specifically for the individual student.

• Once seated, check all answer booklets have the student’s NSN and Examination Code on them as listed on their Admission Slip.

• When told, students should check that all pages in each examination booklet are printed correctly.

• If a student has any problem, they should put their hand up.

Students cannot leave in the first 45 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the examination, even to use the toilet.


• Not borrow equipment from someone else.

• Not talk to, communicate with, or do anything to disturb other students.

• Not read or copy another student's work.


  • Follow all the instructions on the front cover of the Examination booklet.
  • Use only black or blue pen.
  • Not write in pencil unless instructed to do so. Work in pencil or erasable pen will not be accepted if a student applies for review or reconsideration.
  • Write neatly, so the marker can read the answers.
  • Cross out any work they do not want marked.
  • Not write or draw anything that may be regarded as offensive.
  • Not write to the marker or write in the part of the answer booklet 'For assessor's use only'.
  • Not write answers for one standard in the answer booklet for another. Where  they fill up their answer booklet, they may request extra paper.
  • Fill in their details at the top of any additional sheets of paper provided and put them inside the answer booklet.


  • Students must stop writing when the supervisor tells them to.
  • Students must hand all material to be marked to the supervisor before they leave.
  • If students take any work outside the examination room, it will not be marked.


For examinations where calculators are not allowed, students may leave their calculators in their emergency and evacuation pack. This pack must be a clear plastic bag so that supervisors can see what is in the pack, and left underneath the student’s chair throughout the entire Examination.


Students may apply for a derived grade if:

  • He was not able to sit the examination because he was sick.  He had an accident or there was some special situation beyond his control.
  • OR  He thinks that he did not do as well as he could have in the examination because he was sick, he was  injured or there was some special situation beyond his control.

If students find themselves in this position, they need to collect an application form from the school reception, and an information sheet. Read both carefully. Hand the completed application form, with suitable supporting evidence, to Mr McIntosh by 12:00 noon on Thursday 6th December. If you do not meet this deadline your application may not be accepted by NZQA. Applications for a derived grade will not be accepted after results have been released. There is no derived grade for NZ Scholarship examinations.

If a student finds themselves in a position of having to fill out a application form for a derived grade, the form must be accompanied by one of the following supporting evidence.

  • For medical reasons you require to have a registered health professional complete the appropriate section. A visit to a health professional needs to be timely so that the nature, extent and timing of the illness or impairment can be attested to.
  • For non-medical reasons eg trauma, bereavement, misfortune. An independent professional (eg. Police, counsellor) must complete this section. Non-medical reasons (eg. trauma, ongoing impact of a bereavement) should be supported with additional evidence as appropriate (eg. Funeral director).


Calculators are only allowed to be brought into the following Examinations.

  • Level 1,2,3 Accounting
  • Level 1,2,3 Agricultural and Horticultural Science
  • Level 1,2,3 Business Studies
  • Level 1,2,3 Calculus
  • Level 1,2,3 Chemistry
  • Level 1,2,3 Economics
  • Level 1,2,3 Geography
  • Level 1,2,3 Mathematics with Statistics
  • Level 1,2,3 Physics
  • Level 1,2,3 Statistics
  • NCEA Level 1 Home Economics
  • NCEA Level 1 Science

Alan McIntosh
Principals' Nominee