2024 has seen NCEA change how New Zealand assesses External Exams. The Common Assessment Activities – otherwise known as the CAAs or Literacy and Numeracy exams became the ONLY way students can achieve their Lit/Num credits.

The other major change that has also happened in Year 11/Level 1 of NCEA is the introduction of External Assessments that are conducted during the school year and must be uploaded to NZQA by the students before the end of the year exams start. These external assessments come in the form of students creating a portfolio of work. This is overseen by the school and students have up to 4 hours to start and complete this assessment.

There are also a number of external examinations that schools and students may choose to sit at the end of the year during the traditional Term 4 exam month.

For us here at Darfield High School, most subjects have chosen to use the Portfolio External Assessment option, and only a few have chosen the external exams (either as well as the portfolio or instead of) in Term 4.

To try and accommodate all 3 types of assessments, we have chosen to spread these out over 3 weeks at the end of Term 3. 

The CAA exam dates are set by NZQA and will happen for us from Tuesday 10th of September to Thursday 12th September. School will be running as normal, there is no study leave in this week. Only those students who have not yet been successful in passing these will need to sit them again. For example: If a student has passed the reading and writing but not the numeracy, the numeracy exam on the 12th September is the only one they need to re-sit.

Our Derived Grade Exam Week is Week 9 of Term 3, Monday 16th September to Friday 20th September. The purpose of these is to a) let students know how they are progressing and what areas they need to work on before the actual exam in Term 4 and b) as a back-up grade if a student is legitimately absent from the term 4 exams and applies for a Derived Grade. NZQA uses the term 3 grades to provide these if approved. Only Year 12 and 13 students will have STUDY LEAVE during this week. Any Year 11 students who may also have a Derived Grade Exam will be at school and only leave classes for that exam. To enable this to occur, all Year 11/Level 1 Derived Grade Exams are held in the morning session.

Year 12 and 13 Visual Art students are required to book in with their teacher for 2 x 2hour sessions in Week 9 as their portfolios are due early Term 4.

Week 10 of Term 3, Monday 23rd September to Friday 27th September, is the first time the NEW External Portfolio Assessments will be being held. Year 11 students will have STUDY LEAVE during this week and come into school for their assessments as per the timetable. Year 12 and 13 students will be back at school and school will be running as normal for them.


Derived Exam information   PDF, 56.1 KB