Exam breaches

Western Leader - - EDUCATION & TRAINING - KATA­RINA WIL­LIAMS AND JES­SICA LONG

Ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials are urg­ing stu­dents sit­ting their NCEA ex­ams not to roll the dice by at­tempt­ing to cheat, de­spite the ‘‘high stakes’’ in­volved.

Last year, New Zealand Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Au­thor­ity (NZQA) for­mally in­ves­ti­gated 338 stu­dents for break­ing the rules.

Of those in­ves­ti­ga­tions, 326 breaches were con­firmed, up from the 290 seen dur­ing the 2015 exam pe­riod.

Among the most com­mon rules bro­ken was when stu­dents were caught with a cell­phone (123 cases), while eight used a cell­phone dis­hon­estly. A fur­ther 65 cases in­volved a stu­dent with notes.

Nine stu­dents were also in­ves­ti­gated over ‘‘au­then­tic­ity is­sues’’, which in­cludes pla­gia­rism and im­per­son­ations.

How­ever, NZQA deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive as­sess­ment, Kris­tine Kilkelly, pointed out that breach­ing the rules did not al­ways mean a stu­dent was cheating.

‘‘Stu­dents are not al­lowed to take cell­phones or notes into an ex­am­i­na­tion, but it can­not be as­sumed that ev­ery stu­dent with a cell­phone or notes in­tended to cheat.

‘‘The ma­jor­ity of breaches re­lated to stu­dents fail­ing to fol­low in­struc­tions.’’

Re­sults for this year’s fi­nal ex­ams were due to be pub­lished in mid-Jan­uary.

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