What is NCEA?
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.
How does it work?
- 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.
NZQA has a formal quality assurance process. This is to ensure that each standard is assessed fairly across all students, regardless of the school they attend. This includes internal moderation, external moderation and MNA system checks. MNA reports for specific schools can be found here.