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Common mistakes NCEA students make in NCEA exams and how we can help (Part 3)

Here are some common mistakes that I have witnessed in NCEA students and how I have supported them to improve their grades.


Is your teenager thinking about their NCEA mock exams? It is likely their school is close to going on study leave so the students can study and then sit their NCEA mock exams. The great thing about Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd, is that even if you are in NCEA level 1, 2 or 3 - we can support you!


We also know the common mistakes within our NCEA subject areas, and that is why our tuition is valuable. This is because we can teach NCEA students to thinking clearly and then navigate the issues at hand. Read on to find out another common NCEA mistake and how Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd can fix the problem.


NCEA students can feel overwhelmed and make mistakes that can cost them their grades.  This is why Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd offers effective support to prevent this from happening.
'Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd' offers valuable support to help NCEA students. NCEA students can make mistakes when overwhelmed that can cost them their grades. We know how to prevent this from happening.


Writing one sentence answers or brief statements.


A common mistake NCEA students make in NCEA exams has something to do with time management. NCEA Students can spend too much time on one question and run out of time to answer the other questions. This can result in an undesirable grade. This is why it is important to plan and practice this skill too.


It's important to read the questions first, know what type of answer is expected in each question, know which questions require more care and development (the 'C' section usually requires an in-depth look into the question), then divide the time up accordingly to ensure the NCEA exam is completed.




How can our NCEA tutor teacher(s) help prevent this?


In our NCEA English tutorials, we practice the process of undergoing the NCEA English exams. We practice reading the questions, practice responding to common NCEA exam questions, and allocate time to answer NCEA questions. Within my NCEA tutorials, the NCEA student and I work together to make sure they develop a structure to follow so the NCEA exam flows nicely for them.


I always ask my NCEA students after each NCEA English, NCEA Drama and NCEA Dance exam, what did you do first?

I expect to hear that they looked at both exam papers and worked out which NCEA exam paper was which.


I would then ask, "what did you do next?" I would expect to hear that they read the questions and followed a process of elimination to decide which NCEA question they felt they could answer more confidently.


I would continue this series of questions to make sure they were following the process we developed together. They always feel great knowing they knew what to do when I wasn't there guiding them.


They always feel great knowing that they knew what to do when I wasn't there guiding them.


What else do you do in your NCEA tutorials to prepare for NCEA exams?


We practice writing formally usually the basic structure known as S.E.E.D. This is an acronym for statement, example, evidence and discussion. They will know how to confidently write in this manner because during our NCEA English tutorials we focus on responding to questions using this structure. This skill set is also valuable for other NCEA examinations and NCEA assessments. In most NCEA subjects, NCEA students need to know how to answer questions, formally. So, this skill carries through their entire education. Repeating this every lesson/NCEA tutorial should ensure the NCEA student will know the answer on the day of their NCEA exam(s).


They will also look into what keywords mean in NCEA questions and what the keywords want you to do e.g., analyse, discuss, annotate, evaluate, describe. We look at these keywords and the NCEA student learns will learn how to correctly answer the NCEA questions.


Look out for the fourth part of this blog series about another common mistake NCEA students make in NCEA examinations. If you haven't seen the first instalment, make sure you check it out here.


NCEA tutorials are available now:



Tovah O'Neill

Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd



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