Half of Otago pupils take exams online

Leaving school yesterday after finishing her first online exam is Queen's High School pupil Jess...
Leaving school yesterday after finishing her first online exam is Queen's High School pupil Jess Pelvin-Phillips (17). PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Secondary school exams began yesterday, with more than half of Otago pupils opting to swap their pens and paper for a keyboard.

Of the 6200 Otago pupils enrolled to sit NCEA exams, 3400 are entered to sit some of their exams online.

Exams continue until December 14.

Some subjects, such as physics and mathematics, are not able to be taken online.

Sixty-eight exam sessions are available in an online format.

For the first time a scholarship exam, media studies, is available online.

Otago Secondary Principals’ Association president Lindy Cavanagh-Monaghan said online exams were the future.

As long as a school’s infrastructure was suitable and had a reliable, high-speed internet connection, pupils would be able to take exams online.

Pupils still had to be at school for the exam, but were able to use their own laptops, Ms Cavanagh-Monaghan said.

The system was not perfect, as having some pupils take the test online while others did it on paper meant twice as many supervisors were needed.

There was always the risk of internet issues as well, which could interrupt pupils and potentially unsettle them and affect their score, she said.

However young people were ‘‘increasingly familiar’’ with working on a computer and the push for more online exams was a positive one, she said.


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