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The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
Either do NZ Curriculum and exams or NOT
Don't do half and half/ pick and choose
If they struggle, go slower. Its how well they learn not how fast!
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) exams are for Year 4 (standard 2) through to Year 13 (Form 7) in English, Writing, Maths, Science and Computer Skills. They are sat in the second term of the school year. Cost is $6.50 /exam, $13 for the writing exam as it is hand-marked.
The strands tested in the English exams are Syntactical Language, Textual Language, Factual Reading, Literary Reading and Spelling.
Skills tested in Science are Observing and Measuring, Interpreting Data, Inferring, Predicting, Concluding, Investigating, Reasoning and Problem Solving.
Writing covers different types/ styles of writing each year eg Letter, Descriptive, Newspaper reporting etc and follows a genre-based approach to writing assessment.
Ten areas are assessed: pronouns, Conjunction and tense, sentence structure (independent, dependent, and embedded clauses) syntax and clause structure, spelling and punctuation skills.
Computer skills cover knowledge of computer use, systems, language etc.
Maths tests (for year 4-8) cover Number, Measurement, Space, Change and Data. For Years 9 – 13 they cover Number, Algebra, Measurement, Space, Geometry, Chance and Data.
The aims of the exams is to provide an opportunity for students (and parents) to gain a measure of achievement, monitor their progress and a comprehensive analysis of the students performance is given (ie areas of weakness and strengths are easily identified).
Exams are 45-60 minutes and must be supervised by a non-family member.
You need to register yourself as a “school”, by sending a copy of your child's exemption form and a request to register to: Education Assessment Australia, P O Box 8020, Alexandria, NSW 2015, Australia or contact 0800 778 010 for information.
The NZ contact is Brent McDonald firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 09 372 6691. (He sells past exams and answers too)
The results are percentile rankings rather than raw scores so a child is doing well to get 50.
The results provide a very detailed analysis of your child's results to the other children in NZ.
One NZ principal stopped promoting UNSW exams as he felt it tested 'guessing' rather than knowledge.
The STAR test is a Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading. It tests a number of reading elements including word recognition, comprehension (both sentence and paragraph) and vocabulary. As well as providig summative information ie right/wrong answers it also provides diagnostic infomration on problem areas as well as what strategies the child is using in order to read.
Contact: NZ Council for Educational Research.