Scanning Service

This document contains instructions for schools who want to access the NZCER scanning service for PAT: Mathematics, PAT: Reading (Comprehension and Vocabulary), PAT: Listening (available for tests 3 to 8, not tests 1 and 2 which are booklets), PAT: Punctuation and Grammar and Science: Thinking with Evidence.

To use the scanning service all answer sheets must be placed in batches using the updated batch header sheet for the correct test.

Please read the following instructions before batching, packaging and sending answer sheets to the NZCER Marking Service.


1.  Completing the answer sheets

When completing the PAT assessments we recommend students mark their responses using blue or black pen on the answer sheets. This gives a darker, more reliable result for our scanning process to pick up the selected response for each question without having to rely on manual input.  However, if pencil has been used this should be fine as long as the shading is dark enough.

Students will at times wish to change their initial response. In this situation the student simply puts a cross through the incorrect pen response and fills in another circle.


2.  Preparing the answer sheets

Before batching the answer sheets please check that:

·      All students have used the properly printed answer sheets for the test administered (not photocopies)

·      Students have clearly shaded in their answers (not ticked, or shaded too lightly)

·      There are no other markings on the answer sheet (for instance ticks)

·      Student names are clearly printed on each answer sheet

If there are problems with an answer sheet the student’s responses should be transferred to a new sheet.

NOTE:   The use of photocopied test material (including answer sheets) is a breach of copyright. We can not scan photocopies.


3.  Batch header sheet

Unique batch header sheets are needed for your school to organise the answer sheets for analysis. You can access the required batch headers from the ‘Site Management’ page of the NZCER Marking website and selecting ‘Batch Header’. Please note that you will use these batch headers throughout the year. The batch header files will open with Adobe Acrobat. The Adobe Acrobat program can be freely downloaded from the internet ( if it is not already installed on your computer.

Important information:

1.        Please check that the school details recorded on the batch header sheets are correct.

2.        Print off as many batch headers as you need.

3.        Ensure that each batch header matches the test sat by the students (mathematics, comprehension, vocabulary, listening, punctuation and grammar or science). It is essential that you use the relevant batch header sheet for the correct test type.

4.        Usually one batch header sheet will be needed per class for each test type. However, a class will require more than one batch header sheet for the same test type if different tests have been administered to groups within a class and/or different Year levels are present in the same class. For example, a composite Year 4 and 5 class that is administered PAT: Mathematics Test 1 at the Year 4 level and PAT: Mathematics Test 2 at the Year 5 level will need two PAT: Mathematics batch headers; one for the Year 4 students and one for the Year 5 students.

5.        Each batch header sheet must be placed at the top of its respective pile of student answer sheets. The answer sheets should not be stapled to the batch header. Instead, a paper clip or folded piece of paper can be used to keep the batch together.

6.        The maximum size for one batch is 40 answer sheets. If a class or group size is greater than 40 then the answer sheets will need to be separated into smaller batches and a batch header sheet completed for each one. If a class or group is divided into smaller batches the class name provided should be unique for each batch, for instance, Room10A and Room10B.


4.  Packaging the answer sheets

Please make sure the answer sheets are securely packaged and have a clear return address label. Ideally, all answer sheets should be sent to us as one package. This will improve our processing and “turn around” time.

Please return all answer sheets to:

NZCER Marking Service

Level 10, Education House

178-182 Willis Street

PO Box 3237



5.  Processing time

Once we receive your answer sheets you will be sent an email to confirm receipt by NZCER. If all the batch headers and answer sheets have been completed correctly and student labels (barcodes) are used, we aim for a “turn around” period of approximately 5 working days from receipt of the answer sheets. However, in periods of high demand there may be delays.  Term 1 and Term 4 are periods of high demand and this process can take between 10 to 15 working days. 

Once the answer sheets have been scanned and the data uploaded to the NZCER Marking website ( you will be sent an email to confirm that this is available to view.


The cost for the scanning service is $2.50 per answer sheet. Note: Scanning is not available for STAR tests or PAT Listening Test Booklets 1 and 2: Listening. Listening booklets can be data entered by us at the higher cost of $3 per booklet.

An invoice will be sent to the school after the answer sheets have been processed and returned to the school.

Further questions

If you have any further questions the NZCER Assessment Services team can be contacted at