Examination Procedures In New Zealand

Tertiary

How you are assessed will often influence the way you study. The two main types of assessment are examinations and class work. Sometimes your overall mark will be a combination of the two.

Examinations

These usually involve writing essays or short paragraphs or answering multiple-choice questions. Examinations take place at the end of each semester.

During an exam, students are not permitted to communicate with other people or eat or drink anything except water. Supervisors check everybody’s student ID card. For each exam there are different rules about what kind of dictionaries, books and calculators are allowed. There are also regulations about pre-empting the exam and what to do if you are sick on the exam day.

The student learning centre at your institution will run workshops about exam techniques and dealing with stress.

Class Work

This includes essays, assignments, laboratory reports, spot tests, fieldwork, presentations, special projects and practical work. Active participation in class may also be taken into account.

Take note of the criteria for assignments. An essay must not exceed the word limit given, and must be handed in on or before the deadline, otherwise you may lose marks or fail the course. Your lecturer may approve an official extension of time if you give a reason and do not ask at the last minute. If you are having difficulty with an assignment, discuss it with your tutor or get help from the student learning centre. They want you to succeed and will be happy to help. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. It is a normal part of student life.

Learning to Speak up for Yourself

Some university courses involve relatively few hours per week of formal lessons. A high degree of self-motivation and self-discipline is needed since you will be expected to do a lot of reading so that you can participate in class discussions. Students are expected to have original thoughts and be able to defend them in debate. This is how we show respect for our teachers – by participating fully in the academic process. In some cultures, it is not appropriate to challenge teachers, however it’s an important part of the British-style education system.

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