The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand. It was introduced as the main secondary schools qualification between 2002 and 2004. NCEA is recognised by employers, and used for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas.
How it Works
In each subject, students’ skills and knowledge are assessed against a number of standards. Course outline sheets are issued at the start of the year. These have details of the standards offered in each subject, their credit value and how and when they will be assessed.
Subjects use a range of internal and external assessments to measure how well students meet these standards.
When a student achieves a standard, they gain a number of credits. Students must achieve a certain number of credits to gain an NCEA certificate.
Grades (NAME) are assigned to each standard: N Not Achieved; A Achieved – for satisfactory performance; M Merit – for very good performance; E for outstanding performance.
- If a student gains 14+ credits at Excellence level in an individual subject, they will gain an excellence endorsement for that subject.
- If a student gains 14+ credits at Merit (or Merit and Excellence) level in an individual subject, they will gain a Merit endorsement for that subject.
- Course Endorsements enable students with strong performances in individual courses to gain Excellence or Merit endorsements in those courses overall.
- If a student gains 50 credits at Excellence, their NCEA certificate will be endorsed with Excellence.
- If a student gains 50 credits at Merit (or Merit and Excellence), their NCEA certificate will be endorsed with Merit.