Course Information


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

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. 

NCEA level Requirements:

· Level 1 80 credits are required at any level (level 1, 2 or 3) including literacy and numeracy. Schools can explain the literacy and numeracy standard pathways they are using. 

· Level 2 60 credits at level 2 or above + 20 credits from any level 

· Level 3 60 credits at level 3 or above + 20 credits from level 2 or above 

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. For more information, read about Endorsements. 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. NCEA and other national certificates are recognised by employers and used as the benchmark for selection by universities and polytechnics. Ōtaki College offers NCEA programmes that allow access into all university and polytechnic undergraduate courses in New Zealand. NCEA is also readily accepted overseas, including by universities.

Use the following link to open the NCEA Exam Timetable (PDF version). You can also view this information by visiting the NZQA Website: NCEA Timetable

Watch this video provided by the NZQA, explaining how NCEA works: NCEA Video

Please contact Mr Hamish Wood (Principal's Nominee) for more information regarding NCEA at Ōtaki College. Telephone: 3648204 ext 707 or Email: