National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)

·       National Certificate in Educational Achievement is the main New Zealand qualification for Secondary school students.


·       Most NCEA subjects are assessed using a combination of internal assessment (during class time) and external assessment (end-of-year exams or outside marking of portfolios), with “credits” earned going towards the NCEA qualification.


·       Knowledge and skills assessed using “Achievement Standards” are recognised at four levels:

  • not achieved
  • achieved
  • achieved with merit
  • achieved with excellence.


·       NCEA  is awarded at Level 1 (Year 11) when 80 Level 1 credits are earned. The 80 credits need to contain:

o  L1 Literacy (10 credits in English or Te Reo) and

o  L1 Numeracy (10 credits in Mathematics)



·       NCEA is awarded at Level 2 (Year 12) when 80 credits are earned – with at least 60 at Level 2 or above, plus L1 Literacy and L1 Numeracy.



·       NCEA is awarded at Level 3 (Year 13) when 80 credits are earned – with at least 60 at Level 3 or above, plus L1 Literacy and L1 Numeracy.


·       U.E is gained by a combination of:

                i.         Level 3 NCEA plus

               ii.         U.E. Literacy plus

              iii.         L1 Numeracy plus

             iv.         At least 14 credits in three approved L3 subjects.




New Zealand Scholarship

New Zealand Scholarship is a separate award from NCEA, and is assessed by way of end-of-year external examinations.  The examinations are separate from the Level 3 examinations. Students can gain awards in individual subjects, and various other special awards.


·       More information on NCEA can be found at:  

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