Each year the college has one examination period in Term 3 (Seniors) and Term 4 (Juniors) to provide learners with the opportunity to practise examination technique.

Info   NCEA

During examinations, seniors are offered the privilege of study leave, modelling what they may be provided for the NCEA external examinations in November/December.

Dates for 2024
Countdown to senior exams:
2024/09/09 08:45:00

NCEA and Scholarships

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Levels 1 to 3 are offered. These have a mixture of internal assessments and external examinations.

NCEA allows students the opportunities to excel in their own areas of strength. The reporting of individualised results, instead of giving a mark, provides a breakdown of student attainment in every aspect of the subject, giving both students and parents more accurate information upon which to make decisions about future option choices and career pathways.

  • All NCEA (Levels 1 – 3) and New Zealand Scholarship examination sessions are three hours.
  • All exam sessions start at either 9:30 am or 2:00 pm.
Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT)

Guidelines for administration for the MCAT will be published on the Mathematics subject page in July and communicated by circular.


This last document is from a college Information Evening. The presentation covered a diverse range of topics relating to assessment including how NCEA is provided and assessed at Botany Downs Secondary College. Key assessment processes at the college were outlined and a wide range of excellent questions was answered.)

Get information on all courses that may be offered for our Level 1, 2 and 3 students, as well as information on NCEA …

Any student unable to sit their external examination due to ill health must notify the school by contacting the Principal’s Nominee – information listed below:
Derived Grades over NZQA examination period? What will be considered?

Derived grades are for exam candidates who, just before or during the examinations, suffer:
· a temporary illness,
· trauma ( ie. a deeply distressing or disturbing experience) or misadventure (i.e. an event beyond their control)
· another serious event.

Candidates should sit the examination where-ever possible. Candidates who sit the examination but believe that their preparation or performance was impaired or were unable to sit the examination should apply for a derived grade.

Applications must refer to events of a medical or non-medical nature that:
· have clearly had an effect on the candidate during the examination
· Stopped the candidate from attending the examination. You must get a medical certificate on that day.

What won’t be considered?

The temporary illness, trauma or other serious event must be of a significant nature. Applications will not be granted on grounds such as:
· minor ailments
· stress due to examinations
· parents being on holiday
· day-to-day family disturbances
· Death or euthanasia of a pet.

What about long-term conditions?

The following conditions alone are not acceptable grounds for a derived grade application:
· long-term and ongoing illnesses and conditions (e.g. concussion, physical disability, anxiety, epilepsy, depression, anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders)
· chronic relapsing conditions (e.g., glandular fever, ME)
· Ongoing personal trauma.

These conditions are usually managed through conditions and/or modifying the candidate’s assessment programme. However, where there is a sudden change in a managed chronic condition/illness that is documented by a medical professional, and the candidate believes they are unable to perform on the day of the examination as well as they usually have, NZQA will consider an application.

For example, a change in medication might cause a documented and observable change in the way that a chronic condition/illness is managed and have a clear and observable effect on the candidate. In such a case, the impairment is seen as temporary and if a registered professional is willing to support an application, NZQA will consider it.

What has to be provided?

Independent professional evidence is required confirming the temporary illness, trauma or other serious event that affected the candidate’s preparation, performance or attendance on the day of the examination, was beyond their control, and/or made it impossible for them to sit the examination.
For events occurring in the period immediately prior to the examination, the candidate must clearly demonstrate that effective preparation was not possible in the week before the examination and provide evidence that they were under continuous and well-documented care by a registered professional.

Contact the school

Please contact c.vankralingen@bdsc.school.nz (Principal’s Nominee) or phone him directly on 273 2310 ext. 207 to discuss further. An application form for a derived grade can be picked up from Mrs S Clark outside the Deputy Principals offices.

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