Understanding NCEA

New Zealand's National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) are national qualifications for senior secondary school students.

To recognise the disruption caused by COVID-19 there are some changes to NCEA for 2020. Information about these changes is available here.

How NCEA works

NCEA challenges students of all abilities in all learning areas, and shows credits and grades for separate skills and knowledge. It enables students to gain credits from both traditional school curriculum areas and alternative programmes. For more information, see How NCEA works.

Changes to NCEA and UE for 2020

You may be worried about the disruption from COVID-19 and whether you can get your NCEA or University Entrance (UE) this year. On 8 September, the Minister of Education announced additional changes for students in Auckland.

An NCEA achieved or UE awarded in 2020 will be regarded the same as one achieved in any other year, allowing you to progress to the next level of study (including university for UE recipients) in 2021 or beyond. 

For more information, see Changes to NCEA and UE for 2020 which explains several changes which will help you gain the qualification or award you were aiming for. 

Earning & using Learning Recognition credits

Everyone working towards NCEA in 2020 will have had their learning and assessment programme affected by COVID-19. To recognise this impact of this disruption, some changes have been made to NCEA and University Entrance for 2020.

One of these changes means you will earn Learning Recognition credits, based on the number of credits you achieve through internal and external assessment. For more information, see Earning and using Learning Recognition credits.

Using NCEA after leaving school

NCEA and other national certificates are recognised by employers and used as the benchmark for selection by universities and polytechnics. NCEA is also readily accepted overseas, including by universities. When applying for employment, prospective employees can create a summary of their results from their Record of Achievement. For more information, see Using NCEA after leaving school.

Awarding of NCEA level 2 after leaving school

Many students are also completing NCEA – often at Level 2 – in attempting new qualifications while undertaking tertiary study. For more information see Awarding of NCEA Level 2 after leaving school.

NCEA and the Whānau workshops

NCEA and the Whānau is a programme of free workshops that have been designed to help whānau better understand NCEA.

When parents and whānau understand NCEA and are engaged in their child’s learning journeys, young people are more likely to succeed. For more information see NCEA and the Whānau

NCEA ma le Pasifika workshops

To help Pasifika families to better understand NCEA, we have designed NCEA ma le Pasifika workshops. This is a programme of free workshops designed specifically for Pasifika parents and their families. When parents and family are engaged in their children's learning journey, they are more likely to succeed in school. For more information see NCEA ma le Pasifika Workshops

NCEA and business

Employers need to understand the secondary qualifications system in New Zealand, in order to understand the information that prospective employees present them with. For more information, see NCEA in business.

History of NCEA

Since its introduction in 2002, the NCEA qualification system has progressively been improved through a number of initiatives. For more information, see History of NCEA.

 
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