I feel very sorry for those students who have got done over by this experiment of not moderating or scaling the NCEA results. While logically they know and can explain why they did not pass scholarship, the reality is their academic record is permament and blighted.
The absurdity is shown in the NZ Herald which reports even one of the top science students in the world failed NCEA Chemistry.
One students failed chemistry, physics and biology despite having got near perfect results at Level 3. That would be so gutting.
I know how upset I got in 5th form when I only got 96% in School Certificate Maths, as I was certain I had not got any questions wrong (I triple checked my answers and still had 90 minutes spare 🙂
I eventually found out thanks to the newly passed Official Information Act that I had indeed got 100% but they had scaled it. I seem to recall some correspondence with the then Department on how a score of 0% or 100% should be immune from scaling. I was a pushy 5th former!
I also recall School Cert Physics. I walked out of that exam convinced I had failed. All my mates were looked suicidal also as there were subject areas we had not even covered. We then began to suspect it was not us, but the exam, and our teachers confirmed the exam was a shocker – set as closer to 7th form than 5th form level.
My official result came in at around 80% which to put it mildly was a pleasant surprise. I later learned it got scaled up from 41%. It was obvious that if they had not scaled then I doubt a single student in the country would have passed.
Scaling is not perfect, but the consequences of not scaling are far worse, as we see in NCEA.
UPDATE: Level 3 NCEA has also created problems, failing students who had excelled previously in those subjects. One should not under estimate how absolutely gutting this must be for those caught up in this.