It has been revealed that both the Police and Forensic handwriting experts were called in last year to help detect and repremand students accused of cheating within their NCEA exams. An education source has provided information that police investigations are underway in one particular case, where it is believed a student has deliberately altered an answer booklet sent back for re-assessment. However the result of the investigation is not publicly known.
This police crack down highlights the lengths NZQA will go to in order to ensure fairness is upheld amongst all students sitting their exams. This is not the first time the police have been involved to investigate NCEA cheating allegations, as many questionable student scripts have been analysed over the years by forensic experts.
While NCEA exams are detrimental to a students future study options, some individuals choose to take the risk and try their hand at cheating. Last year a phenomenal 299 students were investigated for suspected exam breaches. It was found that out of the 299 individuals, 280 had cheated and 18 had been cleared of wrongdoing. Of those students that cheated 116 cases involved cellphones, 58 were caught with prepared notes, 19 had ‘unauthorised material’ on them and 23 were interacting with others.
Sue Chalmers, NZQA divisional manager of assessment has said how exam centre managers are trained to ensure exams are run fairly and no student will be exempt from the rules when it comes to cheating. However the NZQA have not released information regarding how many students have been stripped of grades.