NCEA - National Certificate of Educational Achievement

New Zealand’s main qualification for secondary students is the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

Click on the link to a brief video that may help your understanding -  short animation 

Students gain credits towards NCEA by meeting standards (internal - during the school year and external – at the end of the year). Some subjects have no external assessment, but most have a mix (often half during the year and half in an exam or portfolio in November). The number of credits varies for each assessment depending on the time it takes and the level of difficulty.

Each course a student studies offer standards that are assessed in different ways including reports, essays, assignments, tests, experiments, practicals, performances, exams, portfolios, etc. Each standard describes a specific skill or area of performance that a student must demonstrate in order to achieve credits. Most courses at Nelson College for Girls offer around 15-20 credits each.

Students are awarded one of four grades for each standard they complete: Not Achieved (N), Achieved (A), Achieved with Merit (M) or Achieved with Excellence (E). They receive the credits if they achieve, or gain Merit or Excellence.

Unit standards are trade or tertiary developed performance standards that count for credits towards NCEA. However, when completing unit standards students will only be awarded either Achieved (A) or Not Achieved (N)* (except for some selected Unit Standards eg. Legal Studies which can be awarded with Merit or Excellence.)

REQUIREMENTS TO ACHIEVE NCEA:

NCEA Level 1

  • You must gain 80 credits at any level. 
  • This must include literacy (10 credits) and numeracy (10 credits) from specific approved standards.

NCEA Level 2

  • You must gain 80 credits. 
  • At least 60 of these must be from Level 2 or above but 20 can come from Level 1. 
  • You must have Level 1 literacy and numeracy.

NCEA Level 3

  • You must gain 80 credits. 
  • At least 60 of these must be from Level 3 or above and 20 can come from Level 2. 
  • You must have Level 1 literacy and numeracy.

LITERACY AND NUMERACY

To meet the literacy and numeracy requirements, students must gain 10 credits in literacy and 10 credits in numeracy from specific standards. These are indicated in the course descriptions. It is important to note that numeracy is mostly only available through Mathematics courses whereas literacy is available through a wider range of subjects.

ENDORSEMENTS

Students can gain certificate or course endorsements at all levels of NCEA. These recognise high achievement. 

Certificate endorsement

The requirements are 50 or more credits at Merit or Excellence level overall, eg. NCEA Level 1 with Excellence.

Course endorsement

The requirements are 14 or more credits in a specific course at Merit or Excellence level including at least 3 credits from internally assessed and at least 3 credits from externally assessed standards, eg. Year 11 English with Excellence.

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