328 exam breaches investigated

Secondary school pupils sitting New Zealand Qualification Authority-administered level 1 to 3 exams last year breached rules more than 300 times.

Six breaches involved pupils from Otago schools.

NZQA figures released this week detailed 328 investigated breaches of examination rules.

Nearly 140,000 candidates sat level 1 to 3 examinations in 2007.

In 2006, 336 breaches were investigated.

As a result of last year's incidents, the results of 116 candidates were withheld.

NZQA qualifications deputy chief executive Bali Haque said exam supervisors were encouraged to report all possible breaches, "no matter how minor".

In cases where misconduct was resolved, a warning letter was sent to the candidate.

When misconduct was proven, a candidate's results were withheld.

Last year, 114 candidates were investigated for accessing banned information or materials, including paper or notes they had taken into exams, or communicating with other candidates; 49 breaches were proved.

A further 100 candidates were investigated for not following instructions, 48 of whom breached rules by taking cellphones into examinations.

Also in this category were candidates who left examinations within the first 30 minutes; failed to stop writing at the end of the exam; or were investigated for offensive or inappropriate language in their answer booklets.

Twenty-eight breaches were proved.

In 75 cases, candidates were investigated for influencing, assisting or hindering other pupils during the exams.

Twenty-three breaches were proved.

Five candidates were investigated for "possibly altering" their answer booklets before they were sent in for reconsideration.

Four cases were proved.

Otago cases

John McGlashan College: One pupil, level 1 science (proved), offensive language.

Kavanagh College: One pupil, level 3 chemistry (proved), extended absence from exam room/dishonest practice.

Kings High School: One pupil, level 3 accounting (proved), dishonest practice - notes.

Logan Park High School: One pupil, mathematics level 2 (proved), unauthorised materials.

Mount Aspiring College: One pupil, mathematics level 3 (proved), notes.

Wakatipu High School: One pupil, English level 1, (proved) hindering.


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