Assessment opportunities in schools

Students should not be assessed for a standard until the teacher is confident that achievement of the standard is within their reach, or until the final deadline for assessment, if there is one. 

The need for further assessment can be minimised when teachers:

  • ensure students understand the standard and the test, brief or assignment (the performance criteria or achievement criteria, the range statement and, if applicable, link with the curriculum)
  • discuss exemplars of successful work in different contexts with students
  • give students adequate practice opportunities
  • give students extensive feed forward and feedback
  • assess students when they are ready.

See Gathering evidence of achievement

Feed forward and feedback

Some assessments build over a period of time up to a final submission.  For example, a teacher will provide feedback over a period of time in the case of a performance task, a writing assessment or a portfolio of a year’s work.  In general, feedback (comment on progress) and feed forward (suggestions for next steps) should become less specific the closer the student is to the submission date, in order to avoid the teacher effectively doing the assessment for the student.

Further assessment opportunities

When a student has not provided evidence of achievement for any grade from previously assessed work, schools can offer a maximum of one further opportunity for assessment of a standard within a year. See Assessment and Examination Rules and Procedures.

  • A further assessment opportunity occurs when a new, quality-assured assessment is provided for students after their first opportunity and after further learning has taken place.
  • A maximum of one further opportunity for assessment means none or one.  It does not mean one must be offered. It is the school’s decision whether a further opportunity will be offered for any standard.  If it is not manageable to offer a further opportunity, then students should be advised from the outset that there is only one opportunity to be assessed against that standard. 
  • If a further opportunity for assessment is offered to any student, it must be made available to all students entered for that standard, including those who did not complete the original assessment for a reason acceptable under the School's policy on missed and late assessment.  This is regardless of their performance on the first opportunity.  Therefore, further assessment opportunities need to be carefully planned
  • Any further opportunity conditions must be consistent with those for the first opportunity.

All students must be able to use the further opportunity to improve their original grade

Results of a further opportunity

Students must be awarded the highest grade they have achieved over both opportunities:

  • If a student has not achieved the standard, they must have access to any grade from Not Achieved to Excellence when further evidence is gathered.
  • If a student achieves a lower grade on the second attempt, the higher grade achieved on the first attempt is the result that must be reported to NZQA.

Manageability of a further opportunity

It is the school’s decision whether a further opportunity will be offered for any standard.  Students should be advised from the outset that there is a single opportunity to be assessed against that standard if it is not manageable to offer a further opportunity.


A resubmission may be offered when a student can gain an Achieved grade, if they correct errors or omissions in their work in a short period of time.


  • must be limited to specific aspects of the assessment and no more than one resubmission may be provided
  • must take place before the teacher gives any feedback to the whole class (or any student) on the work done.  If more teaching has occurred after the first assessment opportunity, resubmission is not possible.
  • should be closely supervised to manage authenticity
  • may be offered only where a teacher judges that a mistake has been made by the student, which the student has be capable of discovering and correcting themselves.  For example, the student has handed in the assessment, but hasn't made a particular calculation correctly.  In such cases, the teacher may consider it appropriate to allow a student to resubmit a specific part of the assessment.  The amount of information a teacher provides to a student in identifying the error is important in this context. In the case above, the teacher might say “your method is fine but there is a problem with your calculations….”  However, the teacher would not say, “there is a problem with your use of brackets in this calculation.”

See Authenticity

For rules about further assessment opportunities, see Assessment and Examination Rules and Procedures.

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