NCEA Information

This year, most senior students will be working towards a National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) at levels 1, 2, or 3. Each course has a set of achievement or unit standards which give credits when you provide evidence you have met the criteria for the standard.  A Standard is a statement that defines what a student must know and be able to do in order to gain credits towards qualifications on the NZQF.

  • Achievement Standards: outcomes are graded into Not Achieved (NA), Achieved (A), Achieved with Merit (M), and Achieved with Excellence (E).
  • Unit Standards outcomes are graded into Not Achieved (NA) or Achieved (A)
  • For each standard in which you gain "Achieved‟ (or higher), you will be awarded credits.
  • Some standards will require evidence from work done in class (internal) - other standards are awarded through assessment from outside school (external e.g. exams).

A National Certificate of Educational Achievement is issued by NZQA at 3 levels:

Credits required for a certificate

  • Level 1 - 80 credits at any level - including 10 literacy and 10 numeracy requirements 
  • Level 2 - 80 credits - A minimum of 60 credits from level 2 or higher + 20 from Level 1 and Level 1 Literacy and Numeracy
  • Level 3 - 80 credits - At least 60 credits from level 3 + 20 from Level 2

The certificate can be endorsed with Merit or Excellence if 50 credits are gained at that level or higher.

The outcome for a course can be endorsed with a Merit or Excellence Course Certificate if 14 credits are gained at that level or higher, with at least three of these credits from both internal and external standards.

Meeting the Level 1 Literacy and Numeracy requirements​​​​​​​

For 2018 students can achieve the literacy and numeracy requirement for NCEA Level 1 by meeting one of two credit requirements:

LITERACY: the new 10 credit literacy requirement or 10 credits across the designated subject

NUMERACY: the new 10 credit numeracy requirement


You will qualify for entrance to a University in New Zealand if you have:

  • a minimum of 60 credits at level 3 or higher on the National Qualifications Framework, including a minimum of 14 credits at level 3 or higher in each of two subjects from an approved subject list, with a further 14 credits at level 3 or higher taken from no more than two additional domains on the National Qualifications Framework or approved subjects.
  • a minimum of 14 credits at level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau on the NQF
  • a minimum of 8 credits at level 2 or higher in English or Te Reo Maori; 4 credits must be in Reading and 4 credits must be in Writing. The literacy credits will be selected from a schedule of approved achievement standards and unit standards.