What is NCEA?
The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand and is recognised by employers, and for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas.
- Each year, students study a number of courses or subjects.
- In each subject, skills and knowledge are assessed against a number of standards.
- Assessments/Exams to measure how well students meet these standards.
- When a student achieves a standard, they gain a number of credits. Students must achieve a certain number of credits to gain an NCEA certificate.
- There are three levels of NCEA certificate, Level 1 (Year 11), Level 2 (Year 12), Level 3 (Year 13).
- Students are recognised for high achievement at each level by gaining NCEA with Merit or NCEA with Excellence.
NCEA Level 1 = 80 credits (including 10 numeracy & 10 literacy)
NCEA Level 2 = 80 credits (60 @ L2 or higher, +20 from L1)
NCEA Level 3 = 80 credits (60 @ L3 or higher, +20 from L2)
What are Standards?
Each standard describes what a student needs to know, or what they must be able to achieve, in order to meet the standard; and has a defined credit value (based on difficulty, time required to learn master knowledge/skills etc).
As students study new topics, their teachers will explain what will be assessed and how. Teachers ensure that students are prepared for each assessment. Assessments measure what a student knows or can do against the registered criteria of a standard.
What does a Standard look like?
The grades that a student can earn depend on the type of standard being assessed. There are Unit Standards (where all grades may be available, but usually there are just two grades) and there are Achievement Standards (four grades):
Unit Standards (competency based): Achieved (A) student has meet the expected criteria of the standard Not achieved (N) student has not meet the expected criteria of the standard
Achievement Standards (curriculum based): Achieved (A) student has produced a satisfactory performance Merit (M) student has produced a very good performance Excellence (E) student has produced an outstanding performance Not achieved (N) student has not meet the criteria of the standard
What is the difference between 'Internal' and 'External' Standards? Internal Assessments require practical performance, equipment or extended time, and are assessed by classroom teacher with national moderation.
External Assessments include written/digital exams; Portfolio submissions in some areas, eg Visual Arts, Technology, DVC (Graphics), and assessed by an outside marker contracted by NZQA.
What are 'Credits'?
Credits are the value of each assessment. The number of credits per standard vary between 1 and 7. Most standards have a credit value of 3 to 4 and offer between 18 to 22 credits.
What is an Endorsement?
Students have the option of gaining an endorsement if, in a single school year, they achieve: 14 or more credits at Achieved or Merit or Excellence, and at least 3 of these credits from externally assessed standards and 3 credits from internally assessed standards. Note, this does not apply to Physical Education, and level 3 Visual Arts.
What is a Resubmission?
When a student completes an assessment (e.g an assignment or test) and is close to the grade boundary, there may be opportunity to complete a resubmission in order to complete the work to a slightly higher standard. Students are only eligible for resubmissions when:
- It is a minor error
- It can be self-identified and self-corrected
- There has been no feedback or additional teaching
- Within a short time period after submission
When a resubmission takes place, the student will be supervised and will complete the task within a finite period of time. There can only be one opportunity for resubmission per assessment and only if they are eligible based on criteria above.
What is a Reassessment?
When a student completes an assessment and the grade they received is unsatisfactory then a ‘further assessment opportunity’ known as a 'Reassessment' may be offered. This involves:
- A whole new assessment with a brand new context
- Occurs only after more teaching and further learning
- Only be one further opportunity per standard, per year
- Conditions must be consistent with first assessment Student achievement levels are monitored throughout the year by teaching staff, heads of department and deans, to ensure everyone is on track. Therefore it is relatively rare for Green Bay High School to offer reassessment opportunities.
When do Exams Start?
NCEA exams (2023) are taking place from Monday, 6 November 2023 - until Thursday, 30 November 2022. Please CLICK HERE for the offical NCEA Exam Timetable.
New Zealand Scholarships are awarded to the top 2-3% of students in a subject at Level 3. These are external assessments for top students in the senior school, offering competitive monetary awards and are designed to challenge the most capable Level 3 candidates. Teachers can invite students to enter New Zealand Scholarship based on their academic performance and potential. Students can ask their teachers for guidance about the additional work and study requirements and whether or not they would be suitable candidates for entry.
Other Scholarships and Awards:
These are generally monetary awards to assist with continued study beyond school. Tertiary institutions and other organisations provide funds to schools, who make award decisions based on predetermined criteria.
University Entrance (UE):
This is the minimum requirement to go to a New Zealand university. To be awarded UE you will need:
- NCEA Level 3: Three subjects - at Level 3, made up of:
- 14 credits in each of three approved subjects
- Literacy - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of:
- 5 credits in reading
- 5 credits in writing
- Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of: achievement standards – specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects, or unit standards - package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required). Once you have met the requirements for University Entrance it will appear on your Record of Achievement.
Vocational Pathways is a Ministry of Education initiative designed to improve the relevance of learning for students. This happens through indicating how a student’s learning and achievement is valued by employers in sectors of the workforce.
How can we help?
Navigating NCEA can seem a little confusing as first. Becoming familiar with the NZQA official website is a good start and is a place where you will be able to have many of your questions answered. If you have individualised questions regarding specific credits and /or assessments for your child, please contact the senior Level Dean (or) Deputy Principal Kheang Ov for more information. We are happy to help!