NCEA Information

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand. NCEAs are recognised by employers, and used for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas.

NCEA General Information

Digital Exams

Make sure you have practised logging in before you sit a digital exam.


COVID 19 – Temporary NCEA Changes & Learning Recognition credits

We know some of our students – and their whānau – are worried that they might not be able to attain NCEA or UE this year, because of the disruption caused by COVID- 19. To help address this and support students, the following changes are being made to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) requirements for this year:

  • Students working towards an NCEA can gain additional credits, based on the number of credits they achieve during the 2020 school year. These additional credits will be known as Learning Recognition credits. For every 5 credits a student achieves towards their NCEA either through internal or external assessment, they are entitled to an additional 1 credit. Students at NCEA Level 1 are eligible for up to a maximum of 10 additional credits while those at Levels 2 and 3 are eligible for up to a maximum of 8 additional credits.
  • Students will be awarded a certificate endorsement if they achieve 46 credits at Merit or Excellence level, rather than the usual 50. Students achieving 12 credits at Merit or Excellence level in a course – rather than 14 – will be awarded a course endorsement.
    • You can read more about Learning Recognition Credits here. Below is a quick summary of key points to note:Only credits achieved in 2020 earn LR credits

      • LR credits are linked to the level at which the credits are achieved
      • Students who are who are multi-levelling and want to use LR credits, will need to ensure these are achieved at the level of the NCEA they are aiming for (or higher)
      • Where students earn LR credits at a higher level than the NCEA they attain in 2020, those LR credits will continue to count towards the higher NCEA level in future years.
  • Current UE requirements have been reduced from 14 to 12 credits in three UE-approved subjects. Students still need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet literacy and numeracy requirements to be awarded University Entrance.
  • External NCEA examinations and NZ Scholarship examinations will now take place from 16 November 2020 to 9 December 2020. This will provide extra time for teaching, learning and assessment in Term 4.
  • The submission date for subjects which require students to submit a portfolio (for example, Design and Visual Communications) has been extended to 12 November 2020, to give students more time to complete their portfolios.
  • View large version of the changes: NZQA changes – Student Summary

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find a calendar of assessments?

  • On this website, go to Students > Calendars > NCEA Level 1/2 or 3
  • Students are invited to NCEA assessment events through their school Google calendar. When they choose to accept the invitation, the assessment event will stay in their Google calendar. This means that their Google calendar should contain all the assessment information related to them for all internal assessments throughout the year.
  • Additionally, course information is published on the WHS student hub at Course Information 2020.


What do I do if I need an extension for an assessment?

If you missed / will miss an assessment due to illness, family trauma or a school sporting/cultural activity you will need to apply for an extension. Please follow the NCEA Internal Assessment Guidelines (updated March 2021) for the correct forms and a further clarification of your rights and responsibilities.

What do I do if I want to appeal my grade?

If you wish to appeal a grade that you have received, fill out the form below and hand in to your Teacher/HOF within 24 hours of receiving your assessment back. Please follow the NCEA Internal Assessment Guidelines for the correct forms and a further clarification of your rights and responsibilities.

University Entrance

University Entrance (UE) is the minimum requirement to go to a New Zealand university.

  • NCEA Level 3
  • Three subjects – at Level 3, made up of:
  • 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.

More Information about University Entrance can be found here

Information On Guaranteed Entry Scores

University Entrance will entitle you to entry to university but it may not immediately get you into the course you wish to study. In addition to the university entrance requirement, some universities work on a GES (Guaranteed Entry Score) for different degrees. For example, at Victoria University the GES from NCEA is 150 points for all degrees except the Bachelor of Architectural Studies and Bachelor of Building Science which requires a Guaranteed Entry Score of 180 points.

The GES is based on the 80 best credits in university-approved subjects and is calculated by awarding points as follows:

  • Excellence = 4 points
  • Merit = 3 points
  • Achieved = 2 points

If you achieve university entrance but not the required GES, the university will most likely waitlist you.

A quick calculation – If you ‘achieve’ 60 credits at level 3, you will get a GES of 120 – not enough. If you ‘achieve’ 30 credits at level 3 and get 30 ‘merit’ credits, you will get a GES of 150 – just enough.

For more information click on the university links below.

Scholarship Information

Scholarships provide significant recognition and financial support to students who are striving for academic success in the tertiary environment. Click the link below to find out the range of scholarships available.

Scholarships Information

Generosity is a government funded site that offers access to more than 4,000 scholarships and grants for individuals. Click here to learn more

Useful Learning Resources