NZQA Information

NZQA Information

The NCEA Qualification

There are three NCEA qualifications:

    • NCEA Level 1 requires 80 credits. Of these, 10 credits must be from prescribed literacy standards and 10 credits must be from numeracy standards.

    • NCEA Level 2 requires 80 credits, 60 of which must be from level 2 standards or above.

    • NCEA Level 3 requires 80 credits, 60 of which must be from level 3 standards or above. The remaining 20 credits from Level 2 or above.

At each level your certificate may be endorsed with Merit (if you gain 50 or more credits at merit or excellence at this level or higher) or Excellence (if you gain 50 or more credits at excellence at this level or higher)

Each course you are entered into may also be endorsed with Merit (14 credits @ M or E) or Excellence (14 credits @ E) – included in this must be at least 3 internal and 3 external credits. (Some subject exceptions like PE). These credits must be earned in the same year.

University Entrance

University Entrance (UE) will continue to be the minimum requirement to go to a New Zealand university. As a minimum - to be awarded UE you will need:

  • NCEA Level 3

  • Three subjects - at Level 3 or above, made up of 14 credits each, in three approved subjects

  • Literacy - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of: 5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing (see Literacy and Numeracy information link above)

  • 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).

Literacy and Numeracy information for Level 1.

You are advised to check the individual university websites for specific information regarding entry requirements.

NB: The Cambridge qualification is not recognised by NZQA for UE literacy or numeracy purposes.


Scholarship is achieved through additional examinations which are marked differently to achievement standards in order to rank students for financial awards. Scholarship awards recognise excellence in secondary school students. The following subjects are offered at Scholarship level. Click Here

Scholarship study is based on Level 3 content, but the nature of the questions are more searching. Go to the NZQA website to find out more

The NZQA cost of entry will be $30 per subject. There may be costs associated with tutoring offered for some subjects, via NetNZ. International Students will be charged $102.20 per subject. There are several financial incentives available for students doing well in Scholarship. See the NZQA website for further details.

Check with your teacher to see if you should attempt scholarship.

Finding information about NZQA and NCEA:

The NZQA website has most of the information you will need.

It is also important that you register with NZQA as a learner. This will enable you to access information on your own entries, grades, progress towards a qualification, order certificates and your vocational pathways credits.

NCEA Assessment Regulations:


Any student may appeal an assessment decision for internally assessed work. This could be because you feel you were unfairly treated, did not receive the same assessment conditions as other students or because you disagree with the grade you have received. There may be other reasons as well.

  • The initial appeal should be made to the subject teacher within 7 days.

  • An appeal form must be filled in giving reasons and given to the teacher. (Forms available from your teacher or the Principals Nominee)

  • You should not apply for an appeal simply to improve your grade.

  • The signing of a grade in the markbook ends the appeal process.

  • Principals Nominee makes the final decision.


All students will annually sign an Authenticity Statement which declares that all internally assessed work will be their own.

  • All website acknowledgements in assessment work must be accompanied by a full web address - not just a site.

  • If work is found to be copied or plagiarised you will receive a “Not Achieved” grade.

  • Teachers regularly do checks of student work using computer programs to check work has not been copied and pasted.

Derived Grade

This can be used for external assessments (exams) when you are sick or cannot sit a particular exam (there are strict guidelines as to what is allowed). See more information here

  • Grades are based on your formative assessments during the year. NZQA procedures are followed.

  • School exams and tests are very important and should be taken seriously for this reason.

For internal assessments an application for an extension may be made if there is sufficient evidence available from other related work in the course. See your teacher in the first instance.

Computer Failure

Students are reminded that computer failure is generally not an acceptable reason for the late handing in of an internal assessment.

  • Always back-up your work, copy onto a hard-drive or flash drive and print off paper copies at regular intervals.

  • Keep all of your hand written workings.

  • Work can be emailed to your teacher at school.

Course Completion Requirements and Attendance

Satisfactory attendance must be maintained. As a guide, more than 8 missed periods a term, in any one subject, without reasonable explanation may jeopardise placement or assessment in a course.

  • Students on official school trips must have sought assessment extensions prior to departure and must complete all course work on their return to school.

  • Skipping scheduled classes to complete internal assessments in another subject will result in an investigation by the PN and Dean and appropriate consequences will be enforced in the interests of fairness to other students. Your grade in that internal could be in jeopardy, as may any reassessment or resubmission opportunities. A letter will be sent home.


An extension must be sought BEFORE the due date of the assessment.

  • Request an extension from your subject teacher giving valid reasons, providing supporting letters from parents, doctors, etc. If necessary, the teacher will fill out a form and apply for the extension to the NQF coordinator (Ms Ashton) This decision is final.

  • You will not automatically be granted an extension.

Late Assessments

It is your responsibility to get your work in on the due date.

  • If you are sick on that date, then your assessment must be dropped off at the office or to your teacher by someone else or emailed to your teacher. If you cannot do this, you MUST contact your teacher immediately and have sufficient evidence to support your condition.

  • You will receive a ‘Not Achieved’ grade if your work arrives late (unless there are exceptional circumstances).

  • You may still receive a future reassessment opportunity, if one is available for that standard, only if you can show evidence that work has been attempted in the first place.

Missed Assessments

  • Planned absences/School Trips: Extensions must be arranged before you leave. Note that if you take a holiday during the school term (even if permission has been granted) this may result in forfeiting some assessment because too much course work may have been missed or the assessment requires simultaneous timing of the class.

  • Short-term absence/Illness: A letter from parents/caregivers should be given to the teacher. A medical certificate may also be requested. No award will be made if there is insufficient explanation for absence.

  • Unexplained/wilful absence - a not achieved grade will be awarded.

  • An estimated grade can only be given if the teacher has seen or holds sufficient valid evidence for that standard.


Read each course outline to see which standards are subject to reassessment.

  • Reassessment is not always possible (cost, time, authenticity problems, difficulty at providing a new assessment)

  • Reassessment is only offered if students display that they have undergone sufficient learning since the first assessment AND that they made some effort to complete the first attempt.

  • Resubmission is different to reassessment and may only be available when you have made minor errors or are very close to a grade boundary.

  • There is a maximum of ONE reassessment opportunity per standard if it is available.

  • Not all courses will offer reassessments or resubmissions.

Special Assessment Conditions

If you have documented learning difficulties, it is possible to receive special assessment conditions from NZQA for internal and external assessments - see Mrs Bosley (the SENCO) at the start of the year. You will require written evidence to support your application. For further information click here

Financial Assistance

NZQA offers financial assistance for payment of fees (Income and beneficiary-based). Get a form from the school office.

NZQA FEES. At the time of writing these are $76.70 for NZ students. A Scholarship fee of $30 per subject will be charged from 2015. International students must pay $383.00 and $102.20 per Scholarship subject. See the school office for information on international fees or financial assistance.