Hundreds of students sitting their NCEA exams last year were
found cheating - taking in cellphones, extra notes and even
having someone else sit the exam for them.
In a report released by the NZ Qualifications Authority, a
total of 298 pupils were found to have breached exam rules.
That figure has dropped dramatically from the 425 in 2012.
All the cases from last year were investigated by the
Authority, which found that 273 were substantiated.
The nature of breaches range from dishonest practice, failure
to follow instructions, authenticity or impersonation and
influencing / assisting or hindering.
Among the 24 cases of dishonest practice, 12 pupils had been
using a cellphone to access answers during an examination and
eight people had brought in extra notes.
There were 21 cases of issues surrounding authenticity -
including the impersonation of students - and eight people
had very similar answers.
A spokeswoman for the NZQA said they would be unable to
comment further about the breaches - particularly as focusing
on a particular region could identify a student.
However, the report reveals that an independent contractor is
brought in and makes recommendations on decisions.
"When NZQA receives a report of a possible breach, an
investigation is initiated. A letter is sent to the person or
persons involved, accompanied by copies of any relevant
information or reports about the possible breach.
"The person is invited to make a written comment to NZQA.
Investigation may include consultation with the school or
other agencies and or face-to-face meeting with the person
Secondary Principals' Association president Tom Parsons said
the system had tightened up over the years and students knew
"You've got to be pretty gutsy to take a cellphone out in an
exam. The kids know that things are more closely
Mr Parsons, principal at Queen Charlotte College in Picton,
said teenagers sometimes found the pressure of performing
well just too much.
"Students are competitive. There's a lot of parental pressure
on them, a lot of family pressure and school pressure. Some
students are just not resilient and can't handle it, so they
resort to cheating."
Mr Parsons said young people caught in breach of the rules
were often those who didn't need to cheat in the first place.
"I had a kid one year who was found cheating. I looked at his
paper and said to him: 'You could've done this easily. Why
did you do this'?
"He said he knew he could do the exam, but he was just under
so much pressure."
- By Vaimoana Tapaleao of the New Zealand Herald