Scholarship Drama - examination requirements

Information for:

  • Heads of Drama
  • Exam Centre Managers
  • Examination Supervisors.

1. Personnel required

For each examination centre, NZQA will provide an Examination Supervisor to conduct the examination.

For each waiting-room, the school must provide a teacher as waiting-room supervisor. Where a school has a single candidate, no waiting-room supervisor is required.

In schools where more than one candidates is waiting, a second staff member will need to be available to escort candidates to and from the toilet, if required. The drama teacher may not be either supervisor.

A school-supplied technician may be present to set up and advise on the use of the camera and recording equipment. The technician may operate the camera and equipment for the supervisor.

The technician may be a teacher other than the Drama teacher, but must not be a current student, a friend or a relation of any Scholarship Drama candidate. The technician may also check that the mp4 files are complete and audible, and named appropriately ready for uploading to NZQA. 

2. The Performance Space(s)

The school will provide appropriate Performance Space(s), prepared as detailed below.

Note: No more than SEVEN candidates can be examined in any one Performance Space because of time constraints. Therefore, for every additional seven candidates, the school must prepare another Performance Space with the appropriate equipment.

No Drama teacher may be present in the Performance Space(s) at any time during the examination.

The Performance Space is to contain:

  • a performing area approximately 4m by 4m, clearly marked with tape on the floor
  • stage dressing of no more than two plain chairs or stools, and one plain table or equivalent, e.g. boxes
  • artificial lighting or natural light with flat, even coverage of the space - no coloured gels are to be used
  • lighting should provide general cover that allows the camera to create a clear image of the performer. Avoid backlight from windows
  • a neutral background – not high contrast, patterned, ornamented, pink or red
  • no enhanced sound or effects such as smoke
  • no costuming or props
  • blank paper and pens which candidates may use to prepare for their Impromptu Performance
  • a static camera in a frontal position able to capture the whole area without repositioning or refocusing
  • the camera will have an appropriate data storage device (such as an SD card) to reliably record each candidate's performances
  • a backup camera and recording system for each Performance Space
  • an electronic timer with a large number display.

3. Submission of recorded performances to NZQA

Performances are to be submitted to NZQA as an mp4 file.

Schools should:

  • Record the three performances for each candidate as an mp4 file
  • Check with the candidate that all three performances have been recorded in full
  • Name the file with one of the three naming conventions:

Naming convention




[Surname]-[First name].mp4


[NSN]-[Surname]-[First name].mp4


The candidates’ annotated scripts and authenticity declarations will be sent in hard copy to NZQA in the usual manner.

4. Permission to publish student evidence

NZQA, as part of their support for students and teachers, select and publish exemplars of student work to show the level of achievement reached.

The exemplars are published in a secure website which is accessible only by teachers.

Where videoed images of a student may be used for this purpose, the student’s consent is required (and the parent/caregiver’s consent for students under 18 years).

It would be helpful for teachers to discuss this with their students well before the examination date. If students choose to permit their work to be published in this way, they need to complete the second section of the Authenticity Declaration (PDF, 113KB) form and take it to the examination room.

5. The waiting room

The school will provide a waiting room for candidates, adjacent to, but out of sight and earshot of, the Performance Spaces(s). All candidates may use the same waiting-room. A room with easy access to a toilet is desirable.

It is the school's responsibility to ensure that candidates are familiar with, and have a copy of, the Waiting-room Rules.

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