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Examining English in Britain and New Zealand
English in Aotearoa (2011)
  • Doug McCurry, ACER
This article analyses and compares the General Certificate of Education examinations of subject English of two British examination bodies, and examination tasks for the senior English standards of the New Zealand National Certificate of Educational Achievement. The aim is to gain an overview of the similarities and differences in the way senior English is examined by these bodies. The comparison shows a preponderance of questions about literature texts in these examinations. The strengths and weaknesses of the different questions are analysed and assessed. It is argued that there are significant problems with some of the propositional questions in the examinations, and that extract-based tasks are on the whole better examination tasks than propositional questions. An optimal design that has been used in an Australian system for examining text study is presented, and design principles for an optimal external English examination are presented.
  • Curriuculum,
  • Evaluation,
  • English,
  • Secondary education,
  • Test content,
  • Tests,
  • New Zealand,
  • United Kingdom,
  • Assessment
Publication Date
April, 2011
Citation Information
Doug McCurry. "Examining English in Britain and New Zealand" English in Aotearoa Iss. 73 (2011)
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