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NZ Scholarship info is empty

"Scholarship in 2005", the website says, "will be different from… 2004". Well, that’s great. Another change — one to numbers, as I understand, a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it, but the thing is, we don’t know.

Even if the NZQA relased information regarding this year’s scholarship assessments, it still carries a mysterious atmosphere, as if we were given a plan of a haunted house. We’ll have no idea of what any of this stuff means until February next year when we receive our results. In February, when they give us detailed notes on how the marking schedule worked for those exams.

But until then, we’re left guessing. What’s the best strategy? Is it to answer much as you can, or to ensure you’ve answered enough of the hard questions? How does the ranking work? How many questions will there be? Will minor errors be penalised severely?

And is it really true we’re using numbers? The very concept’s scary. Are they actually going to give each question a mark out of eight and aggregate the scores to finish with a number?

Who knows what could come of this year’s scholarship exams? Hopefully, we’ll see less of a debacle and more of an appreciation. But if they rank students, doesn’t that mean standards are lost? Or if standards are kept, isn’t variation inevitable? Is it really so likely that more than three percent of students will meet the standard at all?

NZQA may claim to release valuable information for candidates, but it seems to me we are still left guessing in the dark. The marking schedule is a mystery — so, with no other way to ensure or aid success, we’ll just have to go in and chance it.

Best of luck, all.

Related links

  • NZQA Press Release: NZ Scholarship 2005 will reward best students
  • NZQA: Details of NZ Scholarship 2005
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