The role of moderation in the National Senior Certificate examination

  • W Coetzee
  • R Johl
Keywords: National Senior Certificate, English First Additional Language, moderation, assessment, quality assurance


With the results of the Senior Certificate Examination (SCE), previously, and the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination, currently, under constant scrutiny, evidence of the authenticity and credibility that proper moderation processes can give, is becomingly increasingly important. This article focuses specifically on moderation processes applied to English First Additional Language, which was one of the first subjects to be assessed in the form of a national paper, prepared by the National Department of Education. In the Senior Certificate Examination that was written until the end of 2007, two of the three papers were compiled nationally but
the literature paper was still assessed on a provincial basis. A writing portfolio was also assessed and moderated provincially. A question that needed to be asked was whether all the papers and portfolios were standardised and whether the moderation processes were equally valid and effective in all provinces. Furthermore, the question whether the national papers were moderated sufficiently, also arose. With the NSC the portfolio plays an even bigger role and the question remains whether moderation
processes really guarantee the validity of the assessment and final mark allocated to each learner. Assessment as well as moderation procedures for English First Additional Language are discussed but the main focus is on how the full process can be quality assured.

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eISSN: 0259-9570