Teachers’ and Students’ Experiences of Standards-Based Assessment in New Zealand

Teachers’ and Students’ Experiences of Standards-Based Assessment in New Zealand

The implementation in New Zealand of a standards-based assessment system for secondary qualifications since 2002 has changed the focus of assessment in the last three years of secondary schooling. Students are now assessed against both internally assessed (school-based) and externally assessed (national examinations) standards. The standards, which are registered on the National Qualifications Framework, have a credit value, and attainment of sufficient credits leads to the award of a certificate, generally the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). These are at different levels (1, 2 and 3) comparable to each year (11, 12 and 13) of schooling.

This paper examines Year 13 teachers’ and students’ experiences of internal and external assessment associated with the NCEA based on feedback from a range of studies, using information from interviews and surveys. The issues identified by the teachers and students are evaluated within a framework reflecting the key principles underpinning standards-based assessment in order to show how standards-based assessment is impacting on teachers’ classroom practices and students’ attitudes towards gaining national qualifications. Implications for national assessment systems using a standards-based approach and for the development of secondary school qualifications are discussed.


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  • August 2, 2018 Create Date
  • August 2, 2018 Last Updated