What is NCEA?

NCEA is the National Certificate of Educational Achievement.

  • Year 11 students are able to achieve credits at Level 1 through both Unit Standards and Achievement Standards.
  • Year 12 students are able to achieve credits at Level 2 through both Unit Standards and Achievement Standards.
  • Year 13 students are able to achieve credits at Level 3 through both Unit Standards and Achievement Standards.

Achievement Standards

Achievement Standards – each subject is divided into several categories called Achievement Standards. Each Achievement Standard is assessed separately, so a student will gain several different grades for the one subject – one grade per Achievement Standard.

Achievement Standards identify the learning outcomes students must achieve, plus the expected national standards of work.

Some are assessed internally by subject teachers during the year and some are assessed by external examination at the end of the year.

There are four possible grades students can be awarded: Not Achieved, Achieved, Achieved with Merit or Achieved with Excellence. Each Achievement Standard is typically worth about 2 – 4 credits and there are approximately 20-24 credits per subject that can be awarded.

Unit Standards

Unit Standards are offered in some courses. These courses have a focus on industry standards or offer an alternative to Achievement Standards which follow a more traditional course description. The majority of Unit Standards offer two possible grades students can be awarded - Not Achieved or Achieved. There are now some Unit Standards that are awaded like Achievement Standards.

Like Achievement Standards, Unit Standards also have a credit value that counts towards the NCEA. Unit Standards are all internally assessed.

Assessment Procedures & Handbook

All students and parents are encouraged to make themselves familiar with the Assessment Handbook. Paying particular attention to the information on Further Assessment Opportunities, re-submissions and breaches of authenticity.

NCEA Results

In January next year, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority will issue students with an NCEA Report for each subject (assuming NZQA fees have been paid). On it will be recorded:

  • the Achievement Standards and/or Unit Standards the student entered
  • the credit value of each
  • whether they are internally or externally assessed
  • the grade achieved
  • the number of credits gained in each Standard

NQF Result Notice

Results are also made available to students online at approximately the same time as the results are released. These results are provisional until all reviews and reconsiderations have been processed. Students are encouraged to check that they can log on with their credentials well ahead of results being released, phone the help desk - 0800 697 296 is there are any issues.

Reviews and Reconsiderations

Students may want to apply for a review or reconsideration of their results. These can be applied for in the period immediately following the release of the results.

For externally assessed Achievement Standards, answer booklets are returned to students (for Graphics, the folio is returned to the school). After students have looked closely at their answer booklets they may want to apply for a review or reconsideration of their results.

Review

If you consider a processing error (such as one or more sections unmarked, or the incorrect transfer of grades) has been made, you can request a review of external assessment material. This involves checking that all of the script has been assessed and the results have been correctly recorded and transferred. It does NOT involve re-marking the script.

Fill in the application form included with your result notice and send it with the relevant answer booklet/s.

Reconsideration

If you think your answer booklet has not been assessed (or ‘marked’) correctly, you can apply for a reconsideration. This involves reassessing all answers in the answer booklet using the original assessment schedule – in other words re-marking it – and also checking mechanical processes like transferring results.

NB: If you apply for a review, you can’t ask for a reconsideration of the same Achievement Standard. There is a different reconsideration process for Visual Arts. Contact Mr Tester for assistance.

It costs $20.00 for each booklet to be reconsidered. Fill in the application form included with your result notice and send it off with a cheque and relevant answer booklet/s. This fee is refunded should the grade change.

Course Endorsement

Course Endorsement provides recognition for a student who has performed exceptionally well in an individual course. Students will gain an endorsement for a course if, in a single school year, they achieve:

  • 14 or more credits at Merit or Excellence, and
  • at least 3 of these credits from externally assessed standards and 3 credits from internally assessed standards. Note: this does not apply to Physical Education, Religious Studies and Level 3 Visual Arts.

A course endorsement is not a qualification, it can be gained independently of a qualification. For example, a student may achieve a Merit endorsement for their Level 2 Mathematics course regardless of whether they achieve NCEA Level 2.

Image showing breakdown of NCEA credits

NCEA Level 1

A total of 80 credits need to be gained for students to be eligible to receive the NCEA Level 1 Certificate.

Students who have gained credits in Unit Standards and Achievement Standards at Level 1 in Year 10 will be able to count them towards NCEA Level 1 in Year 11. You will have achieved an NCEA Level 1 Award when you meet the following requirements:

80 credits required at any level (Level 1, 2 or 3)

  • including 10 in Literacy (Reading & Writing) and
  • 10 in Numeracy (Mathematics)

Note that Literacy and Numeracy Credits are available in subjects other than just Mathematics and English. These are outlined in the course selection booklets.

NCEA Level 2

In order to achieve an NCEA Certificate at Level 2, students need 60 credits at Level 2 or above and 20 credits from any level.  The 20 credits most often come from the work completed in Year 11.

Students who have gained credits in Unit Standards at Level 1 or 2 in previous years will be able to count them towards NCEA Level 2.

To be eligible for University Entrance students must gain 10 Level 2 English credits in Reading and Writing and 10 Numeracy Credits at any Level. Note that the credits can be gained over more than one year.  The reading and writing credits can be gained in courses other than English.  The numeracy credits can be gained in subjects other than Mathematics.

NCEA Level 3

In order to achieve an NCEA Certificate at Level 3, students need 60 credits at Level 3 and 20 credits from Level 2 or above.

To be eligible for University Entrance students must gain 10 Level 2 English credits in Reading and Writing and 10 Numeracy credits at any level.

Note that the credits can be gained over more than one year.

University Entrance

Students are qualified for entrance to a university in New Zealand when they have obtained:

Study Websites

For up-to-date careers and tertiary course information visit:

  1. Careers Services site – www.careers.govt.nz
  2. For Australian Universities – www.curriculum.edu.au/ozjacwed/
  3. For UK Universities – study-uk.britishcouncil.org
  4. For studying in USA – www.fulbright.org.nz (all the information you need to prepare for studying in the USA. SAT information etc.).

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to assist with the payment of entry fees for National Secondary Schools qualifications (i.e. NCEA). To be eligible to apply you must be the fee-payer (normally parent/guardian) and meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • be currently receiving a Work and Income or Study Link benefit, or have a current Community Services Card (benefit-based applications) 
  • are not currently receiving a benefit, or do not have a current Community Services Card, but do have a joint family1 income that would entitle you to receive a Community Services Card (income-based applications) 
  • have two or more children who are candidates, irrespective of family income, and the total fees you would have to pay would otherwise be more than the $200 multiple candidate maximum (multiple candidate applications). 

You cannot claim financial assistance for international fee-paying students. The application process is simple, download and complete this form and return to the school's main office.