National Certificate in Educational Achievement

National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main New Zealand qualification for secondary school students. Most NCEA subjects assessed are a combination of internal assessments (which happen at WHS during the year) and external assessments (end of year examinations or external marking of portfolios). The “credits” earned from these exams go towards a student’s NCEA qualification.

Knowledge and skills are assessed using “Achievement Standards”, with results recognised at four levels: Not Achieved, Achieved, Achieved with Merit, Achieved with Excellence.

Courses that offer “Unit Standards” are also credited towards NCEA at Levels 1, 2 and 3. These standards are all internally assessed, with most Unit Standards results recognised at two levels: Achieved or Not Achieved.

NCEA is intended to act as a learning goal and to encourage lifelong learning. Students start to earn credits at high school and continue to build up their credits with a tertiary provider or in the workplace.

Watch the NCEA video for an introduction to NCEA.

Level Endorsement – Merit or Excellence

Obtained if 50 Merit and/or Excellence credits are achieved across courses.

Course Endorsement – Merit or Excellence

Obtained if in a single school year 14 Merit and/or 14 Excellence credits are achieved in a subject with at least 3 of the credits being external. The exception is for Physical Education where all credits are internal.

NCEA Level 1 (Year 11)

Awarded when 80 Level 1 (or higher level) credits are earned. This must include:

  • 10 credits in the specified standards that count toward literacy
  • 10 credits in specific standards that count toward numeracy

NCEA Level 2 (Year 12)

Awarded when 80 credits are earned – with at least 60 at Level 2 + Level 1 Literacy and Numeracy.

University Entrance (UE)

University Entrance for senior students is awarded for achievement of NCEA Level 3 (60 Credits or higher), and for achieving UE Numeracy and UE Literacy standards across a range of subjects. For more detail on University Entrance requirements visit the UE Page.