About NCEA Level 2

(To view this video in other languages like Te Reo Māori, Samoan or NZ Sign Language go to How NCEA works on the NZQA website)

In Year 12 the qualification students are studying towards is the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 2. In order to achieve this qualification students must:

  • Gain 60 credits at level 2 or above. These can be credits gained from both Achievement Standards and Unit Standards.
  • Have 20 credits from any level. They can be credits you have already used for NCEA Level 1.
  • Have NCEA Level 1 literacy & numeracy (check the Level 1 section of this book for details about this.)

The standards in each course may be internal or external and are usually a mixture of both.

  • Endorsed Certificates: Students can gain NCEA qualifications with a Merit or Excellence endorsement:


    • For a certificate to be endorsed with Merit, the student must gain 50 credits with Merit or Excellence at the level being studied or higher.
    • For a certificate to be endorsed with Excellence, the student must gain 50 credits with Excellence at the level being studied or higher.
  • Course Endorsement gives recognition for students who perform exceptionally well in individual courses.


    • A course will be endorsed with Excellence when the student achieves 14 or more credits with Excellence in the course.
    • A course will be endorsed with Merit when a student achieves 14 or more credits with Merit or Excellence in the course.
    • These 14 or more credits must include a minimum of 3 internally assessed credits and 3 externally assessed credits. Exempted from this rule are courses that include 14 or more credits in Physical Education or Religious Studies
    • The course must be completed within one school year.

Assessments have strict criteria attached to ensure fair assessment for all. Make sure you check the College procedures regarding assessment in the NCEA assessment guidelines that are given out at the start of the year.

NB: Students who wish to achieve University Entrance in Year 13 are required to gain 10 Level 2 literacy credits (5 reading, 5 writing).