World reaction to Kiwi students' petition against word 'trivial' in History exam

Stressed college student looking down at exam classroom
Photo credit: Getty.

A petition was started last week asking NZQA to consider the marking of this year's Level 3 History exam, when students realised they could not understand one of the words used in a question.

"Trivial" was the word printed on the History paper and some students were not impressed at the "decision of including an unfamiliar word".

The petition, made by one of the students said the word caused "much confusion among the students who were sitting their exam".

And now international media have heard the story.

In Australia, reported that the students had won their case, the headline reading:

"Students win case to have 'unfamiliar' word marked on their own definition."

They reported that the word "trivial" appeared in a Julius Caesar quotation that the students were asked to respond to.

"Events of importance are the result of trivial causes."

The Guardian called it a "fiasco", leading with the student's call for lighter marking due to the confusion.

It reported the students' claims that the "unfamiliar word was too hard, and the exam should now be marked according to each student's different understanding and interpretation of 'trivial."

And the BBC quickly referred to a statement made by the NZQA after the petition was released which explained candidates "would not be penalised for misinterpreting the word 'trivial'."

They explained that 2,600 people had signed the petition since their article went up yesterday.

Now, that has climbed an additional 100 to 2,700. Students are pleased the NZQA have now reviewed the case and given them result they were after.


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