NCEA Information

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand.

NCEA is recognised by employers, and used for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas.

How it works:

  • Each year, students study a number of courses or subjects.
  • In each subject, skills and knowledge are assessed against a number of standards.
    For example, a Mathematics standard could be: Apply numeric reasoning in solving problems.
  • Schools use a range of internal and external assessments 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, depending on the difficulty of the standards achieved. In general, students work through levels 1 to 3 in years 11 to 13 at school.
  • Students are recognised for high achievement at each level by gaining NCEA with Merit or NCEA with Excellence. High achievement in a course is also recognised. For more information, read about Endorsements.

 Assessment Policy 2018

Term Dates 2020

Term One:
Tuesday 28 January to
Firday 27 March

(Due to Covid-19: the Term 1 School holidays have changed to Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive (a reminder that the Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools))

Term Two:
Wednesday 15 April to
Friday 3 July

Term Three:
Monday 20 July to
Friday 25 September

Term Four:
Monday 12 October to
TBC