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

A number of schools also offer alternative qualifications. At Saint Kentigern, in addition to NCEA, our students can select to follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme in their final two years at school. 

We are very pleased with the performance of our students at all three NCEA Levels; their results have consistently improved year by year, placing Saint Kentigern Senior College as one of the top performing colleges in the country. NCEA is the qualification pathway that the majority of our students select.

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Understanding NCEA

At each Level of the qualification (Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3), students are assessed on the learning they gain in each topic of subjects they select.

Achievement Standards
Individual NCEA subjects are subdivided into Achievement Standards, some of which are assessed internally during the academic year and some externally through the NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) 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 16-20 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. 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. These certificates show that a student has achieved the required number of credits at a 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 subjects. 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.


Click here to download the 2020 Senior College Course Handbook