As debate over the controversial NCEA examination system continues, a recent study conducted by researchers at Auckland University has shown that NCEA is a more effective indicator of students’ success at university than Cambridge exams.
29,000 NCEA results and 600 Cambridge International Examinations results were compared with the grade-point averages of 2877 first-year students, with the study finding NCEA almost five times more accurate than Cambridge in predicting the students’ results at university.
Auckland University Education Professor John Hattie says the result is due to “NCEA [being] similar to the university structure”. While NCEA has still has room for improvement, he believed it was the right system to “try and get right.”
Education Minister Steve Maharey welcomed the research, saying that it showed “[NCEA] [sets] students up well for learning at university and later employment.”
However, there is some dispute over the findings, with Auckland Grammar School headmaster John Morris pointing out that it was only based on one university.
Hattie is urging university bosses to consider changes to their entrance standards, but the implications that the research may have on future university enrolments remains unclear.
A spokesperson from Auckland University said he could not comment as the university had not yet studied the report.