NCEA Information

Students in Years 11-13 study towards gaining the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

NCEA is administered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as part of the National Qualifications Framework. To complete the National Certificate of Educational Achievement students must earn credits.  Most full year courses offer about 20 credits.  Year 11 and 12 students taking six subjects will probably be entering for about 120 credits.  Year 13 students taking five subjects at Level 3 will be entering for about 100 credits.

NCEA qualifications are offered at three levels.  The criteria for these qualifications at the different levels are summarised in the table below:

Level Credits Required Must Include
  • 80 credits at Level 1 or higher
  • 10 credits for literacy
  • 10 credits for numeracy
  • 60 credits at Level 2 or higher
  • Another 20 credits at any other level (these may include credits already counted toward Level 1)
  • Level 1 literacy & numeracy must also be met
  • 60 credits at Level 3 or higher
  • Another 20 credits at Level 2 or higher
University Entrance From 1 March 2014, to be awarded UE you will need:

  • NCEA Level 3
  • Three subjects – at Level 3 or above, made up of:
    • 14 credits each in three approved subjects



From 1 March 2014, to be awarded UE you will need:

  • Numeracy – 10 credits at Level 1 or above  made up of:
    • achievement standards – specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects or
    • unit standards – package of three numeracy standards (26623, 26626, 26627 – all three required)
Scholarship Scholarship is a monetary award to recognise top students. It does not attract credits nor contribute towards a qualification.

The Scholarship exams enable students to be assessed against challenging standards, and are demanding for the most able students in each subject.

Achievement Standards

In a full Achievement Standards course most of the standards will be assessed by external exams and the more practical or performance aspects will be assessed internally. Students can gain Achieved, Merit or Excellence grades in these standards.

Unit Standards

Unit Standard courses are fully internally assessed. A student who achieves these standards will receive credits towards their NCEA. Students can only gain an Achieved grade. Unit Standard courses are not recommended for students intending to attend University.

Course Endorsement

Course endorsement is an integral part of the NCEA improvements package. Course endorsement will provide recognition for students who perform exceptionally well in individual courses. Students will be able to have their strengths in individual courses recognised with a course endorsement at Merit or Excellence. The key objective of course endorsement is to motivate students to achieve their potential in one or more courses.

Students will gain an endorsement for a course where they achieve:

  1. 14 or more credits at Merit or Excellence at the lower level that supports the endorsement
  2. at least 3 credits from externally assessed standards and 3 credits from internally assessed standards
  3. sufficient credits in a single school year.


Physical Education and Level 3 Visual Arts will be exempt from (2) above.

Te Kauwhata College NCEA Information and Policies Booklet

A booklet giving more information and policies relating to NCEA is attached.

TK NCEA Information Booklet