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Haere mai, welcome to the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement

NMSSA Data for Research | Data Available




Specific learning areas were assessed in the years as set out in Table 1.

The datasets and variables may vary between learning areas. The core variables are listed in Table 2.

Key reports and data are available at the end of the year after the assessment–programme year.
For example, maths was assessed in 2018 and was reported on at the end of 2019.

Researchers will be provided with the final digital data that are submitted to the Ministry of Education annually. Only datasets that have been anonymised will be provided so that no participating student, teacher or school can be identified (i.e., no student NSN numbers, school numbers).

Electronic copies of the data dictionaries that detail the codings used in the datasets, as well as clarifying any differences between the instruments and the variables in the data set, will be provided. Any data matching requests to other datasets will be handled by, and authorised by the Ministry of Education.

The transfer of data will be done securely as outlined in the Data Access Request form.

Please contact David Berg for specific questions about data available for any particular year or learning area, at: david.berg@otago.ac.nz

NMSSA office: Tel 0800 808 561                   Email nmssa.earu@otago.ac.nz


Table 1: Learning areas and years programme was conducted in schools (2012–2021)
 Learning areas:
Cycle 1
Cycle 2
 English: All modes
  Listening and Viewing
 Health and Physical Education 2013 2017
 Learning languages (including te reo Māori) 2015 2021
 Mathematics 2013 2018
 Science 2012 2017
 Social Studies 2014 2018
 Technology 2016 2021
 Literacy and mathematics across the learning areas
 and key competencies in the classroom
Note: Key reports are released at the end of each year following the assessment in schools i.e. maths, assessed in 2018, was reported on at the end of 2019.
Table 2: Core variables
 Student Demographic NMSSA ID, Gender, MOE Region
Urban Area, School Type
School Decile, Total Roll
Percent of school roll that is Maori
Percent of school roll that is Pasifika
Special Education Needs
  Achievement Achievement scale scores
Individual (in-depth) task responses
  Contextual See Student questionnaire
Attitude scale score
Opportunities to learn
 Teacher Demographic Specialist teacher
  Contextual See Teacher Questionnaire
Self-efficacy and confidence to teach
Learning opportunities provided
Professional support in school/class
Professional development
 Principal Demographic School NMSSA ID, School Decile
  Contextual See Principal Questionnaire
Provision for learning
Provision of professional support
Table 3: Overview of learning areas in Cycle 1 and 2
 Cycle 1
Cycle 2
Learning areas
 2012  • English: Writing  • Science  
2013    • Health and Phys Ed  • Maths & Statistics
2014    • English: Reading  • Social Studies
2015    • The Arts  • English: Listening and Viewing
2016  • Technology  • Learning languages (incl. te reo Māori)
2017  • Health and Phys Ed  • Science  
2018  • Maths and Statistics  • Social Studies  
2019  • English: All modes    
2020  Programme re-scheduled to 2021 (Covid)
2021  • The Arts  • Learning languages
    (incl. te reo Māori)
 • Technology
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National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement
Educational Assessment Research Unit
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Dunedin 9054
New Zealand
Updated February 2021