Heads down as pupils prepare for NCEA exams

 Kaikorai Valley College pupils (from left) Cam Hall (18), Samara Marks (18), Eddie Bernhardt (16...
Kaikorai Valley College pupils (from left) Cam Hall (18), Samara Marks (18), Eddie Bernhardt (16) and Tabitha Dasler (18) are spending long hours revising for NCEA exams which are set to begin next Wednesday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
More than 9000 Otago and Southland secondary school pupils have been locking themselves away with nothing but food, drink and revision material in preparation for NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which begin next week.

In Otago, 6299 pupils will sit NCEA exams and 362 will sit New Zealand Scholarship exams.

In Southland, 2786 pupils will sit NCEA while 70 sit Scholarship exams.

They are among about 140,000 pupils nationwide working hard on their exam preparations at the moment.

This year, 1013 pupils from six schools across Otago are entered to sit some of their NCEA exams on digital devices, as the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) works towards having NCEA exams available online.

No Southland pupils will sit online exams.

The Otago pupils are among about 8000 from 52 schools nationwide who will sit NCEA levels 1-3 English, media studies and classical studies digital pilot exams instead of the equivalent paper exam.

A printed exam paper is available for these pupils, if required.

An NZQA spokesman said the authority aimed to have NCEA exams available online for 14 subjects at different levels in 2019. The range of subjects would be expanded in 2020 and beyond.

"Since 2014, almost three-quarters of New Zealand secondary schools and around 30,000 students have experienced at least one digital trial or pilot exam, with very positive feedback from students," he said.

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams run from next Wednesday until November 30.

Results will be available online from mid-January 2019.

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