What is NCEA?
How does NCEA work?
NCEA is the National Certificate of Educational Achievement.
- Year 11 / Form 5 students are able to achieve credits at Level 1 through both Unit Standards and Achievement Standards.
- Year 12 / Form 6 students are able to achieve credits at Level 2 through both Unit Standards and Achievement Standards.
- Year 13 / Form 7 students are able to achieve credits at Level 3 through both Unit Standards and 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 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 two possible grades students can be awarded are Not Achieved or Achieved. Like Achievement Standards, Unit Standards also have a credit value that counts towards the NCEA. Unit Standards are all internally assessed.
Gateway, Computing, Mechanical Engineering, Food Technology, Sport Leadership and Tourism all include Unit Standards.
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.
The Level 1 literacy and numeracy requirements must also be met.
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.
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 Level 1 literacy and numeracy requirements must also be met.
In January next year, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority will issue students with an NCEA Report for each subject. 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.
To access your official NCEA results please login into http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/login/
To check your progress during the school year login into https://portal.westlake.school.nz/
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.)
To help students understand how their results were arrived at, the judgement statements used by markers are made available on this website. After students have looked closely at their answer booklets they may want to apply for a review or reconsideration of their results.
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 scripts 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.
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 Jackson for assistance.
Information and Costs – Reviews and Reconsiderations 2017
How close am I to the grade boundaries?
Before sending external papers in for a reconsideration it is recommended that you check how close your result is to the cut score (this is the boundary score between each grade) and ask your teacher or seek advice from Mr Jackson. Please click on the link below to see how close you are to the grade boundaries.
If a student gains 50 credits at Excellence, their NCEA will be endorsed with Excellence. Likewise, if a student gains 50 credits at Merit (or Merit and Excellence), their NCEA will be endorsed with Merit. The Record of Achievement shows endorsement awards.
Credits earned can count towards an endorsement over more than one year and more than one level. However, they must be gained at the level of the certificate or above. For example, Level 2 credits will count towards endorsement of a Level 1 NCEA, but Level 1 credits will not count towards endorsement of a Level 2 NCEA.
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.
A course endorsement 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.
Students are qualified for entrance to a university in New Zealand when they have obtained:
- a minimum of 14 credits, including a minimum of 14 credits at Level 3 or higher in each of three subjects from an approved subject list
- a minimum of 10 credits at Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau on the National Qualifications Framework
- a minimum of 10 credits at Level 2 or higher in English or Te Reo Maori; 5 credits must be in Reading and 5 credits must be in Writing. The literacy credits will be selected from a schedule of approved achievement standards and are offered in subjects other than English. Please check the course booklets as to the subjects where these credits are offered.
For up-to-date careers and tertiary course information visit:
- Careers Services site – www.careers.govt.nz
- For Australian Universities – www.curriculum.edu.au/ozjacwed/
- For UK Universities – www.eduationuk.org
- For studying in USA – www.fulbright.org.nz (all the information you need to prepare for studying in the USA. SAT information etc.).