Some 48 per cent of candidates passed the NCTJ‘s National Certificate Examination last month, the lowest pass rate since April 2006.
Poor shorthand notes, errors in copy and holes in legal knowledge have been blamed for the drop in pass rate. Some 66 per cent of candidates passed in August while 57 per cent passed in March.
The chief examiner said that the pass-rate showed that the NCE was ‘continuing to be a robust test and challenging final hurdle on the path to seniority.”
Of the 161 candidates who sat the NCE on November 7, 78 were successful in all four areas: news interview, news report, newspaper practice and logbook – and so made the grade as senior reporters.
Some 65 per cent of candidates passed the news interview, 58 per cent passed the news report, 60 per cent passed newspaper practice and 97 per cent passed the logbook.
Joanna Lean from Warrington Guardian won the Society of News Editors Award for best news interview.
Jenna Thompson from Grimbsy Telegraph won the Esso Award for best news report.
Peter Truman from Croydon Guardian won the Ted Bottomley Award for newspaper practice.
Christopher Hill from Eastern Daily Press won the Newsquest Award for best logbook.
All received prizes of £250.