Changes to NCEA and UE for 2021

All New Zealand students have experienced disruption from COVID-19 this year, and changes have been put in place to help give you a fair opportunity to get your NCEA or University Entrance (UE) this year.

As in 2020, these changes include Learning Recognition credits (LRCs), which are based on the number of credits you achieve during the 2021 school year.

In addition to these changes, end of year exam and portfolio submission dates for all students have been delayed, providing more time for teaching, learning and assessment.

There are different tiers of support available for different groups:

Students outside of Auckland

Students outside of Auckland are eligible for LRCs.

You are entitled to 1 LRC for every 5 credits earned through assessment, up to a maximum of:

NCEA Level Maximum LRCs
1 8
2 6
3 6

To receive a Course Endorsement, you will need 14 credits at Achieved or Merit or Excellence level in a course (with at least 3 credits from external assessment and 3 from internal assessment where these requirements usually apply).

To receive Certificate Endorsement, you will need 50 credits at Merit or Excellence level.

To be awarded University Entrance you will need 14 credits in each of 3 UE Approved Subjects (you also need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet literacy and numeracy requirements).

Students in Auckland

  2021 Normally required
Learning Recognition Credits Entitled to 1 LRC for every 4 credits earned through assessment.

Up to a maximum of:
NCEA Level 1 – 16 LRCs
NCEA Level 2 – 12 LRCs
NCEA Level 3 – 12 LRCs
 
Course Endorsement 12 credits at Achieved or Merit or Excellence level in a course.* 14 credits at Achieved or Merit or Excellence level in a course.*
Certificate Endorsement 44 credits at Merit or Excellence level. 50 credits at Merit or Excellence level.
University Entrance 12 credits in each of 3 UE Approved Subjects.** 14 credits in each of 3 UE Approved Subjects.**

* You will still need to achieve at least 3 credits from external assessment and 3 from internal assessment (where these requirements usually apply).
** You will still need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet literacy and numeracy requirements.

Students who have faced additional significant disruption

You are eligible for:

  • The support available for students outside of Auckland; and
  • Further support if there has been additional significant disruption at your school from an event outside the school’s control, and you have been unable to attend on-site, based on external health or safety external advice or directives. (More information is available in this table (PDF, 175KB).)

Please talk to your school about what support is available for you.

A table of these tiers of support is available here (PDF, 175KB).

What else you need to know

LRCs will be calculated based on all the credits you have achieved in the 2021 academic year – including credits you earned before the COVID-19 lockdown, and in your end of year exams.

In the meantime, keep working to make sure that you achieve the standards you need for your NCEA. Remember that if you continue to achieve you will be able to gain LRCs that will count towards your NCEA. You don’t need to do anything else. NZQA will do the calculations before you get your results.

Schools should continue providing NZQA with grades from valid standard-specific evidence, which can be used for a Derived Grade or unexpected event grade, if students are unable to sit end of year exams for a reason beyond their control.

An NCEA achieved or UE awarded in 2021 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 2022 or beyond.

 
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