National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement - Social Studies 2018 Key Findings

Educational Assessment Research Unit, New Zealand Council for Educational Research, Mustafa Asil

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearchpeer-review


This report is designed to provide a succinct overview of key findings from the 2018 social studies study, compare changes in student achievement since 2014, and report on contextual factors. The report is supplemented by a report focused on curriculum insights, a technical information report and an online interactive statistical application. All reports and the interactive application can be found on the NMSSA (National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement) website.

The National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA) is designed to assess student achievement across the New Zealand Curriculum1 (NZC) at Year 4 and Year 8 in English-medium state and state-integrated schools. The study is organised in five-year cycles. The first cycle ran from 2012 to 2016.

In 2018, NMSSA assessed social studies achievement using a nationally representative sample of about 1,200 students at each year level. A two-stage sampling design was used to construct each sample. In the first stage, a stratified random sampling approach that took into account school decile, geographical region and school size was used to select 100 schools at each year level. In the second stage, a maximum of 12 students were randomly selected from each school to take part in the study2. Results were reported on a measurement scale called the Nature of Social Studies (NSS). Questionnaires were also used to gather contextual information from students, teachers and principals.

NMSSA last assessed social studies in 2014. The 2014 and 2018 NSS measurement scales were linked on the basis of assessment tasks that were used at both points in time. This allowed results from the separate studies to be compared. The linking process involved reconstructing the 2014 achievement distributions using the plausible values approach employed in 2018. This means that achievement statistics presented in this report vary from the statistics presented in the original 2014 report.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew Zealand
PublisherMinistry of Education New Zealand
Commissioning bodyMinistry of Education
Number of pages68
ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-927286-51-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-927286-50-0
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement - Social Studies 2018 Key Findings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this