The National Certificate of Educational Achievement - NCEA

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement is New Zealand’s national qualification and is internationally recognised. It provides the pathway to tertiary education and workplace training.

NCEA Requirements

  • Any subjects can count towards the NCEA requirements.
  • Credits towards a certificate can be accumulated over more than one year.

NCEA Endorsements

NCEA certificates can be awarded with a Merit or Excellence endorsement at each of the three levels.
For a level certificate to be endorsed, students need a specified number of Merit or Excellence Credits at that level. The Credits required for a certificate endorsement are:

  • 50 Merit credits (or higher) for a Merit endorsement.
  • 50 Excellence credits for an Excellence endorsement.

NZQA also offers subject (or course) endorsements. Students will need to be taking Achievement Standards to achieve a Merit or Excellence endorsement and for most subjects there also needs to be a combination of both internal and external assessment.

For further information about endorsement, please visit the NZQA website (

University Entrance

University Entrance is the minimum requirement to begin a degree programme at university. 
To qualify you will need:

*    See next page.

**  From specified list of standards, able to be viewed at This is the minimum requirement. Auckland University, from 2016, requires 17 credits in English + Level 2 or 3, in addition.