Pass rates rise after NCTJ makes 'radical changes' to senior journalism exams

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Pass rates for the revised senior journalism exams have risen after the National Council for the Training of Journalists made “radical changes” to the qualification after a record low for passes.

Just under two thirds (63 per cent) of trainee journalists who sat the new level six National Qualification in Journalism over the five months to November this year qualified, making a total of 69 candidates.

Earlier in the year the NCTJ refreshed the NQJ to reflect industry changes, including introducing a new online exam for trainees testing digital, social media and news journalism skills.

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It followed the lowest pass rate for candidates since the NQJ replaced the NCE in 2013 as the new senior reporter qualification when in July fewer than half (47 per cent) of the 36 candidates who sat the exams passed them.

Chief examiner Andy Martin said: “The NQJ results have been extremely heartening. The new assessments reflect the reality of daily life in the newsroom today with all the pressures, challenges and demands upon multimedia journalists.

“We can be confident that the NQJ gives today’s journalists the very best and most relevant platform upon which to build their career, equipping them to carry out a role that arguably has never been more important.”

Of the more than 8,000 exam sittings for the entry-level Diploma in Journalism, exactly one third (66 per cent) passed all modules, including shorthand at 100 words per minute.

In total, 94 per cent passed the diploma.

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