Understanding NCEA Qualifications
UNDERSTANDING NCEA QUALIFICATIONS
This section will help you understand the NCEA Qualifications. Credits will be gained by external examinations and/or internal assessments in either achievement or unit standards. The results will show credits and grades for separate skills and knowledge.
The National Certificate in Educational Achievement is awarded at three levels:
Requires 80 credits, including ten (10 each in literacy and numeracy). English and Mathematics courses allow this requirement to be met in most cases. These credits are also available through other subjects. Each student needs to check where they expect their numeracy and literacy credits to come from.
Requires 80 credits, of which 60 must be at Level 2 or above on the qualifications framework. Students cannot be awarded NCEA Level 2 without fulfilling the Level 1 requirements for numeracy and literacy (10 credits in each).
Requires 80 credits, of which 60 must be at Level 3 or above on the qualifications framework (the other 20 must be at Level 2 or above). Students cannot be awarded NCEA Level 3 without fulfilling the Level 1 requirements for numeracy and literacy (10 credits in each).
Recognising High Achievement
Certificates can be "endorsed" to reflect high achievement in a significant number of standards. Course endorsements will show that students have performed well in an individual course.
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. Only one certificate endorsement can be awarded for each student in a calendar year.
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: 14 or more credits at Merit or Excellence, and at least 3 of these credits are from externally assessed standards and at least 3 credits are from internally assessed standards. Note, the external requirement does not apply to Physical Education as this subject is fully internal.
A course endorsement is not a qualification. Course endorsements are only available in courses that have achievement standards. A course endorsement can be gained independently of a qualification. For example, a student may achieve a Merit endorsement for their Level 2 Mathematics course regardless of whether they achieve NCEA Level 2.