National Certificate of Educational Achievement
NCEA is the qualification available to students in the senior school. NCEA has been under review and changes will be made after consultation with all stakeholder groups, phased in from 2020.
Subjects in the senior school offer a number of Achievement Standards and/or Unit Standards. Each of these standards has a specified number of credits attached to it. All the credits from both Unit and Achievement Standards across all of a student’s subjects are added together to make up the NCEA qualification.
Unit Standards are all internally assessed in class during the year, normally on an achieved or not achieved basis although some new standards do allow you to gain an achieved, merit or excellence grade.
Achievement Standards may be internally assessed in class during the year, externally assessed by an examination at the end of the year or by a portfolio being sent away to be assessed. They are gained with an achieved, merit or excellence grade.
Subject Endorsements - Students are able to gain a (subject) course endorsement with Merit or Excellence. To gain a Merit endorsement, 14 credits with either Merit or Excellence, including 3 internal and 3 external credits are required for each course (except for Physical Education). To gain an Excellence endorsement, all 14 credits must be Excellence. This endorsement must be achieved in the current year for each level.
NCEA can be awarded with a Merit or Excellence endorsement at each of the three levels.
- 50 (or more) Merit and Excellence credits for a Merit Endorsement
- 50 (or more) Excellence credits for an Excellence Endorsement
Literacy credits are available in a range of level 1 and 2 subjects. Ten literacy credits from level 1 or above are necessary for NCEA qualifications. Check here for further details about literacy credits.
Numeracy credits are available primarily from mathematics. Ten credits from level 1 or above are necessary for NCEA qualifications. Check here for further details about literacy credits.
This is normally undertaken in Year 12.
To gain Level 2 NCEA, a student must gain 60 credits at Level 2 or above. Students must have Level 1 numeracy and literacy to gain NCEA Level 2. Students who do not achieve this in the one year can count Level 3 credits the following year for both Level 2 and Level 3. However, students new to NCEA (from schools overseas or doing other qualifications) do need to gain 80 credits, including literacy and numeracy.
This is normally undertaken in Year 13.
To gain Level 3 NCEA, a student must gain 60 at Level 3. The other 20 need to be at Level 2 or above including those used for Level 2 NCEA. Students must also have Level 1 Numeracy and Literacy to gain NCEA Level 3. Again, students new to NCEA (from schools overseas or doing other qualifications) do need to gain 80 credits, including literacy and numeracy.
Scholarship opportunities are provided for students who have the ability to demonstrate higher order thinking skills and independent learning. A proven record of excellence, particularly in externally assessed standards, is an advantage. Scholarship is an award, not a qualification and is aimed at the top five percent of students throughout New Zealand.
All scholarship subjects are externally assessed with a written examination or through a portfolio at the end of the year. This is in addition to the examinations required for Level 3 NCEA. Students are advised to sit no more than 3 scholarship examinations. There is an extra cost involved here.
Information about University Entrance is under a separate entry in Useful Information.