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

Since the introduction of NCEA, the College has been very pleased with the performance of our students at all three NCEA Levels; their results have consistently placed Saint Kentigern College as one of the top performing schools in the country. NCEA is the qualification pathway that the majority of our students will select.


Understanding NCEA

At each Level of the qualification (Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3), students are assessed on the learning attained in their selection of subjects.

Achievement Standards

Individual NCEA subjects are subdivided into Achievement Standards, some of which are assessed internally (and moderated externally) during the course of the academic year and some externally through the NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) national examinations at the end of the year. Each successful assessment earns credits that contribute to a certificate at Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3. Most subjects offer between 16-24 credits.

How many Credits are needed?

Each subject has a set number of Achievement Standards with each Standard worth a set number of credits that count towards the NCEA. This diagram shows how many credits are required to be awarded a certificate at each level. Including 10 in literacy and 10 in numeracy, there are four different levels of assessed results for Achievement Standards:

  • Not Achieved (N or NA) — The student has not met the required standard
  • Achieved (A) — The student has met the required standard
  • Merit (M) — The student has achieved the standard with Merit
  • Excellence (E) — The student has achieved the standard with Excellence

Endorsement of Certificates

Students who have been successful receive NCEA certificates at the end of each year of study (Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3). These certificates show that a student has achieved the required number of credits at a particular level. To encourage students to do their best, those who gain sufficient credits at Merit (50 credits at Merit or above) or Excellence (50 credits at Excellence level) will have this recognised on their certificates.

Endorsement of Courses

Course endorsement provides recognition for students who perform exceptionally well in individual courses. A course endorsement can be gained independently of a qualification. For example, a student may gain a Merit endorsement for their Level 2 Mathematics course without achieving the NCEA Level 2 qualification.


Saint Kentigern College Senior School Course Handbook

The Senior School Course Handbook provides an enormous amount of detailed information on about both NCEA and IB Diploma curriculums and the range of optional subject choices available at each Year level.

2017 Saint Kentigern College Senior School Course Handbook