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FAQs

What is NCEA?

NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) covers three levels. Level 1 is normally studied at Year 11, Level 2 at Year 12 and Level 3 is studied at Year 13. Internally assessed Achievement Standards are assessed during the year as tests, assignments or as portfolios of work; most externally assessed Achievement Standards are tested at the end of the school year as written exams called 'external exams'. Each NCEA at each Level is awarded to a student who obtains sufficient credits at the Level. Credits are obtained by achieving a grade value ('Achieved', 'Merit' or 'Excellence') from assessment of an Achievement Standard. A course of work in a subject will typically comprise 24 credits, made up of up to nine Achievement Standards (Achievement Standards have values of between 2 and 6 credits each). More information about NCEA.

What is a Study Guide

Full coverage of the year’s work for most subjects.

  • Notes, examples, illustrations, photos, diagrams, questions and answers.
  • Year 9–10 titles cover Levels 3 to 4 of The New Zealand Curriculum.
  • Level 1–3 titles cover NCEA Level 1–3 Achievement Standards.
  • Up to date, accurate and easy to follow.
  • To support classroom work, internals and for end-of-year revision.

What is a Learning Workbook?

Brief coverage of one or more Achievement Standards in a workbook.

  • Coverage of a single Achievement Standard or a popular combination such as the externals or all Standards in a workbook.
  • Provides notes, examples, illustrations, photos, diagrams, questions and answers.
  • Year 9 & 10 / Level 4 & 5 titles cover The New Zealand Curriculum.
  • Level 1-3 titles cover NCEA Level 1-3 Achievement Standards.
  • To support classroom work, internals and for end-of-year revision.

What is an AME Workbook?

For end-of-year revision and exam practice.

  • Brief end-of-year revision notes and examples.
  • Contain recent exam questions for essential exam practice.
  • Answers spaces as given in the exams so answers are of the detail expected.
  • Answers provided show ‘Achieved’, ‘Merit’ and ‘Excellence’ information.
  • Scholarship titles contain recent scholarship questions and more advanced notes and examples.
  • Usually purchased from Term 3 but useful earlier in the year to revise and practice for exams as the year’s work is covered.

    What is a Start Right Workbook?

    The New Zealand Curriculum for younger students

    • Titles to cover English, Maths, Science, Social Studies and Homework.
    • English, Homework, Mathematics & Social Studies titles cover Levels 1 to 4 (Years 1 to 8) of The New Zealand Curriculum.
    • Science covers Level 2 to 4 (Years 3 to 8) of The New Zealand Curriculum.
    • Support learning for the National Standards.
    • Footers identify how material on each page relates to The New Zealand Curriculum.
    • Examples, illustrations and material relevant to New Zealand students.
    • Answers provided to check, improve and guide student learning.

    What is the difference between a Study Guide and an AME Workbook?

    A Study Guide covers the year's work for a subject at a particular year, concentrates on the content and is best used all year round for revision and to support classroom work. An AME Workbook is a briefer book, with a compilation of recent NZQA questions, is often write-in and concentrates on the end-of-year NCEA externals and last minute revision.

    Why buy an ESA Study Guide?

    No matter how enthusiastic or well-meaning your teachers are, the back up and support provided by a Study Guide is vital - over 100 000 ESA books are purchased every year by students for this reason. ESA Study Guides are written specifically for students to support the year's classroom work. They are widely recommended by teachers - they have respectively been called 'the bible' and the 'no-nonsense' books. Used regularly, to support classroom work, a Study Guide will be your best investment for complementing your classroom work and succeeding at school.

    Why do students purchase ESA Study Guides?

    Students tell us:

    • They are sick of photocopied notes or workbooks involving simply 'filling in the gaps'.
    • They don't always understand the teacher and the work they are doing.
    • They just 'want to get on with it' and 'learn the work'.
    • They like the structure that Study Guides provide.

    How should a student use their ESA Study Guide?

    We recommend you use the Contents page or the Index any time throughout the year to look up any topic, concept or word for any work you have trouble understanding in class or to reinforce class work. When you find the topic, use it to:

    • Try a worked example.
    • Locate missing data or try a few key questions.
    • Fill in missing classroom material or work you don't understand.
    • Check the course material from the revision notes in the Study Guide.

    Why do students use AME Workbooks?

    The very brief notes and NCEA questions in the AME Workbooks are best for last minute revision to practise for the Externals - the end of year NZQA examinations. You can practise actual recent NZQA exam questions, go to the Answers and mark them and read the tips and explanations offered. AME Workbooks can be used any time during the year as externally assessed Achievement Standards are covered but especially at the end of the year for end of year revision and exam practise.

    Why should parents buy Start Right Workbooks for their younger children?

    Start Right Workbooks have been written to enable parents (and many teachers) to:

    • See what, in understandable terms, is meant by the curriculum, at the Level and Year 'their child is at'.
    • Allow parents to see the terminology being used, see and understand what is being taught, the skills needed and thus offer back-up and support to their children.
    • Provide friendly homework opportunities that reinforce school programmes and classroom work and which a parent can understand, explain, mark and support.

    Which books does ESA have available?

    To see which books are available go to the online catalogue. ESA cannot give more accurate publication dates until a book is in its final stages because the new NCEA editions take time - authors and checkreaders have to interpret the Achievement Standards and write and check new material. Determining how long this will take is difficult to judge.

    How can I be advised of a new edition or title?

    Go to the book(s) you are interested in and click the 'Email me when available' and enter your email address, or send us your email address (click here) and tell us what book(s) you are interested in. When the book(s) are available we will advise you by email and you can then place an order or go to a local bookshop. Alternatively, keep an eye on the ESA website.

    Why does ESA not have some titles?

    In most cases because we are still searching for capable authors.

    Why are some titles late in being published?

    Increasing demands in the last three or four years upon teachers' time and commitment along with the updating of NCEA means it has becoming increasingly difficult for authors and checkreaders to find the time to write or check material.

    Why can't I find the School Journals mentioned in the Start Right Workbooks?

    Down the Back of the Chair is the Ministry of Educations resource ordering website for Schools and Educational Facilities in NZ who supply School Journals and Ready to Reads

    It has been brought to our attention that the School Journals prior to 2011 are now obsolete and will not be able to be accessed from anywhere.

    This will affect the following Start Right Workbooks:

    • Year 3 English
    • Year 4 English
    • Year 5 English
    • Year 6 English
    • Year 7 English
    • Year 7 Homework
    • Year 8 English

    What are your Shipping and Delivery timeframes?

    See our Shipping and Delivery page.

    What is your Returns and Refunds Policy?