The NCEA Blues

Child number two has recently received her NCEA level 2 results and while she passed everything it took us a long time to figure out the actual outcome of the results.
English was the bugbear. She ended up with 12 credits and out of a possible 24; so she passed 50 percent of the unit standards (NZQA speak for subjects within subjects e.g. Level two English contains 8 units standards). So I thought she passed however to get UE you need 8 credits in English but 4 have to be from writing unit standards and 4 have to be from reading. Nowhere on the examine results does it tell you which unit standard is reading and which is writing; daughter number one had to find it on the NZQA website!
Solution: please put (W) or (R) next to the result.

I am also a believer in needing to learn from your failures. As a student, when scaling was still around, I got 47% from 7th form calculus. I was stunned as I had only completed 17% worth of questions; yes the exam was that hard they scaled it that much. I learnt lots from that we experience (don’t give up). While I can tolerate the A,M,E marking system it would be much much more beneficial if there were percentages next to the grade. As I have mentioned previously there can be a 10% range in your mark, say 50% to 60%, and you still get a A for achieved.

Another thing I found out is that the exam questions are broken into sections of Achievement, Merit and Excellence questions. The scurrilous thing is that if you get all the Excellence questions right but muck up on the Achievement questions (as can happen) you can only get Achieved.
Daughter number two was particularly unimpressed with her economics results, she passed everything but not to her standard. She just doesn’t know where she went wrong and is querying whether it is the ‘even if you get the excellence questions right you have to pass the achievement questions first’ rule; if it is she is going to be ticked off and I wouldn’t want to stand in her way; feisty.

So please let the child (and parent) know where they sit in their range of grades. They have worked hard, they deserve to have all the information.


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