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We heard that New Zealanders are confused by the ability to ‘carry over’ credits, and want an NCEA which is easier to understand. We also heard strongly that workload has become unmanageable in some schools, and for some students and teachers.

This website has been wound up and is no longer maintained. For up-to-date information and resources about the NCEA Change Programme, go to NCEA.education.govt.nz.



What we’ve heard?

People identified some of the factors that increase workload as:

  • the focus on accumulating credits
  • the number of assessment tasks
  • pressure to allow multiple resubmissions (allowing a student a short period of time to correct minor errors which have prevented the awarding of a higher grade), sometimes outside the intended scope of the rules.

Key changes

  • Remove the ability to ‘carry-over’ 20 credits from a lower level NCEA, and make each Level of NCEA a 60 credit qualification.
  • Introduce clear guidance on the number of credits that a student should enter each year; 120 credits at levels 1 and 2, and 100 credits at level 3.
  • Only allow resubmissions that take a student from ‘Not Achieved’ to ‘Achieved’.

What you need to know

We will remove the ‘carry over’ and set the number of credits required for each level of NCEA at 60 (plus the 20 credit literacy and numeracy co-requisite).

When each subject is rebuilt as a coherent suite of four standards, worth about 20 credits (covered in change 3), students taking up to 5 or 6 subjects per year would not exceed this credit limit.

Schools would only offer a resubmission opportunity to students where a minor error prevents them from reaching the ‘achieved’ grade (not for merit and excellence). This would not affect the provision of further assessment opportunities (a further assessment for the same standard using a new assessment task, after further learning has taken place).

These changes would simplify NCEA’s requirements, and give clearer direction around the volume of work expected of each student. Teachers would still have flexibility to create individualised courses, while reducing the workload and taking some of the pressure off teachers and students.

Students at Colab

NCEA Change Package Overview 2019

Read the NCEA Change Package Overview 2019 for more detail about the changes, the journey we took with New Zealand to get to them, and what an NCEA programme could look like.

cover image of overview document

Around 16,000 New Zealanders took part in the year-long review of NCEA, and the Ministry of Education is to continue to work with stakeholders to confirm a detailed design and implementation plan for the changes by the end of the year.

Read the other changes

  1. Make NCEA more accessible
  2. Mana ōrite mō te mātauranga Māori
  3. Strengthen literacy and numeracy requirements
  4. Have fewer, larger standards
  5. Simplify NCEA’s structure
  6. Show clearer pathways to further education and employment
  7. Keep NCEA Level 1 as an optional level