About NCEA Level 1

(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)

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA Level 1) is the qualification which is undertaken by students in Year 11.

The qualification is a mixture of internal and external assessments. External assessments mainly take place in end of year examinations.

Students are awarded grades of; Achievement, Achievement with Merit, Achievement with Excellence or Not Achieved when assessed against Achievement Standards. The result depends on how well the student has met the requirements of the standard. Unit Standards are assessed as either Achieved or Not Achieved.

There are approximately 20 - 24 credits available in each course and each standard has a set number of credits attached to it. Credits from Achievement Standards and Unit Standards all contribute towards NCEA.

For a student to be awarded NCEA Level 1 they must achieve 80 credits from assessments at Level 1 or higher. They must also meet the Literacy and Numeracy requirements. Students can gain Literacy and Numeracy in the following ways:

  • Literacy – a minimum of 10 credits from either:
    • Specified Achievement standards available through a range of courses – (minimum total of 10 credits) or
    • Three specified Literacy Unit standards (total of 10 credits, all of which must be achieved).
  • Numeracy – a minimum of 10 credits from either:
    • Specified Achievement standards available through a range of courses, or
    • Three specified Unit standards, all of which must be achieved.

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

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 which include 14 or more credits in Physical Education or Religious Studies.
  • The course must be completed within one school year.

At the beginning of the year all students will be given an information booklet which outlines the school policies and procedures for NCEA.

To find out more information about NCEA you can visit the NCEA website at www.ncea.govt.nz