NCEA recognises excellence

Students are recognised for high achievement at each level by gaining NCEA with Merit or NCEA with Excellence. High achievement in an individual course is also recognised with Merit or Excellence grades. Merit and Excellence grades will help you gain entry into a university course and are viewed positively by employers.

Other awards

By taking certain subjects, students can achieve University Entrance (UE). UE is usually the minimum requirement for entry to university. Most universities want to see a lot of Merit and Excellence grades in your results. These will improve your chances of gaining entry into your chosen university course. The very best students are encouraged to do the end-of-year New Zealand Scholarship examinations. The material is the same as NCEA level 3, but the standard of performance required is much higher. New Zealand Scholarship requires students to demonstrate high-level critical thinking within complex situations and is well regarded both within New Zealand and internationally.

Using NCEA after leaving school

You need to ensure the subjects you study for NCEA are appropriate for entry into university and other higher education providers both in New Zealand and in other countries. Your teachers can help you with subject choices.

NCEA is a national school-leaver qualification and well recognised overseas. It is well regarded by employers and used for selection by universities, both in New Zealand and other countries. Independent research has shown that if you do well in NCEA, you are likely to do well in your first year at university. Prestigious universities, like Oxford University inthe United Kingdom and Harvard University in the United States of America accept applications from students with New Zealand’s University Entrance certificate and NCEA level 3 endorsed with Excellence. New Zealand also has equivalency arrangements with Thailand and Germany, which means they accept students with NCEA qualifications. Students with NCEA Level 3 have gained access to universities around the world.