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NCEA Overview


Here at PASS we pro-actively aim to equip our students towards achieving their National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA) qualifications and beyond. 
We are blessed to have highly qualified and committed teachers and support staff who strive for the best outcomes for our students. 
NCEA is a national qualification on the New Zealand Qualification Framework.  Standards that secondary school students achieve as part of NCEA can be used as building blocks for other qualifications.



Credits are the currency of the NCEA qualification. Generally speaking one credit represents ten hours of learning and assessment. This includes teaching time, homework and assessment time. Credits can be accumulated over more than one year. If a unit and an achievement standard assess the same learning outcome, only the credits for ONE standard can be counted. In other words they are ‘mutually exclusive’.

Students need a total of 80 credits for each NCEA qualification:

80 credits at any Level, including credits in literacy and numeracy.

                               The literacy and numeracy requirements for NCEA Level 1 are:

                               Literacy requirement            Minimum of 10 credits

                               Numeracy requirement         Minimum of 10 credits

60 credits at Level 2 or above, plus 20 credits from Level 1 or above.

60 credits at Level 3 or above, plus 20 credits from Level 2 or above.


New University Entrance From 2014

University Entrance (U.E) will continue to be the minimum requirement to go to a New Zealand University. From 2014, to be awarded U.E you will need:

NCEA Level 3

Three subjects – at Level 3 or above, made up of:

Once you have met the requirements for University Entrance it will appear on your Record of Achievement.

When students perform consistently above the ‘Achieved’ level, their result(s) can be ‘endorsed’ to reflect that high achievement.  This can occur at either the Certificate or individual course level.


University Approved Subjects

Applicants to New Zealand universities require credits in approved subjects.

Following are our foundational Year 11 (NCEA Level 1) subjects we can provide students through face-to-face delivery.

Core Approved Subjects

Co-Curricular Subjects

MIT Trades Academy (Level 2)

NZQA website link for further information: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/qualifications-standards/awards/university-entrance/approved-subjects/

Certificate Endorsement

If a student gains 50 credits at Excellence, their NCEA will be endorsed with Excellence. Likewise, if a student gains 50 credits at Merit (or Merit and Excellence), their NCEA will be endorsed with Merit. The Record of Achievement shows endorsement awards.

Credits earned can count towards an endorsement over more than one year and more than one level. However, they must be gained at the level of the certificate or above. For example, Level 2 credits will count towards endorsement of a Level 1 NCEA, but Level 1 credits will not count towards endorsement of a Level 2 NCEA.


Subject Course Endorsement

Course endorsement provides recognition for a student who has performed exceptionally well in an individual course.

Students will gain an endorsement for a course if, in a single school year, they achieve:

Note: this does not apply to Level 3 Physical Education, as they have no external examination.

A course endorsement can be awarded even if a qualification for that level is not achieved. For example, a student may achieve a Merit endorsement for their Level 2 Mathematics course regardless of whether they achieve NCEA Level 2.

A course endorsement is not a qualification.



Scholarship is a monetary award to recognise top secondary school students. Scholarship exams are externally assessed and are an additional set of exams. They do not attract credits, nor contribute towards a qualification, but the fact that a student has gained a Scholarship appears on their Record of Achievement. Students awarded scholarships often gain preferential entry into tertiary level courses.