NCEA Subject Resources

Changes to external assessment resources available on NZQA’s website and school portal

Assessment evolves over time, and NZQA is committed to maintaining the accuracy of the materials it publishes to align with current practice. As part of this commitment, only the last 3 years of external assessment resources will be made available on NZQA's website.

This decision was made in response to an external review of NZQA's provision of annotated exemplars of student work, which recommended that external assessment exemplars be kept online for no more than 3 years. This recommendation has been expanded to include all external assessment resources, including past examination papers, assessment schedules, and assessment reports.

Read the review report [PDF, 437 KB]

New date for removal of resources

We had advised that the older external assessment resources would be removed by the end of September 2023, but as a result of feedback received, these will remain on our website until 1 December 2023 to give users the opportunity to download what they need before they are removed. 2017-2019 resources that had already been removed will shortly be made available again on the website until this date.


Exemplars for past examination papers are not currently published on an annual basis. As a result, from December 2023, we will keep the most recent 3 sets of exemplars published, which may be more than 3 years old. Each set will include the assessment schedule and examination paper for the exemplar.

Going forward, we will be updating our external assessment exemplars to more recent content.

Draft-for-pilot and draft-for-implementation information

For information on the draft-for-pilot NCEA Level 1 Achievement Standards and associated materials, please visit the Ministry of Education’s NCEA Education website.

Updated draft-for-implementation Level 1 Achievement Standards will be available on the NCEA Education website by the beginning of Term 4.

Subject resource pages are available for the following subjects










Digital Submissions

To submit candidate digital submissions, schools will need to be familiar with accessing and submitting work to the Digital Submission Upload link via the NZQA Schools' Provider Login. The following documents are specific to the role of the Principal's Nominee:

Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, nau mai rā ki te paetukutuku nei o Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau.

Haere ki te Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau

Ringa Toi Exhibition

Ringa Toi is an annual exhibition that showcases the artwork of secondary school students with a focus on Toi Māori. Read more.

Te Reo Māori Translation

Examination papers translated into Te Reo Māori
Te Reo Māori translation subjects

Glossaries For Translated NCEA External Examinations

Science and Technology
English–Māori (PDF, 1.4MB)
Māori–English (PDF, 1.4MB)
English–Māori (PDF, 165KB)
Māori–English (PDF, 168KB)
Social Studies
English–Māori (PDF, 204KB)
Māori–English (PDF, 206KB)

Types of Documents

Each NCEA subject resource page may include some or all of the following types of documents:

Assessment report

An overview of the performance of candidates in the external standards of a subject, for use by teachers and candidates.

Assessment schedule

The markers' guide – what was accepted, or looked for in candidate answers.

Assessment specifications

Provide the assessment parameters for each externally assessed achievement standard. Should be read alongside the applicable standards. Cover information such as format of examination paper and context of questions (where appropriate), as well as equipment candidates can bring and use. For portfolio subjects, the specifications cover submission date, and type and volume of materials that may be submitted as evidence.

Cut scores

Defines how the different levels of performance were separated from each other. For Grade Score Marking, these are the cut scores (PDF, 66KB) between the grades N, A, M, and E.

Examination paper

The set of questions to be answered by candidates in the exam room. In some cases there will be a single document; in others there may be separate documents.

Exemplar of examination paper

An actual student answer script, with annotations from the marker indicating why the script was assessed in the way it was.

Exemplar for internally assessed standard

An extract of student evidence, with commentary by the moderator explaining key aspects of the standard (for teacher use).

The standard
(unit or achievement)

Defines the learning outcomes (what the learner will be able to do, or explain, or demonstrate, or understand, etc), as well as the assessment criteria.

New content will be added as it is developed or becomes available.

NZQA thanks the students whose work has been published as exemplars.

Standards and previous exam documents (and associated reports, schedules, etc.) are also available by searching: search NCEA standards.

Quality Assured Assessment Materials trademark and NZQA Approved trademark

NZQA has established trademarks to assure teachers of the quality of assessment materials used when assessing secondary school students for qualifications. Only those materials certified by NZQA as suitable may carry these trademarks.

Find out more about Quality Assured Assessment Materials trademark and NZQA Approved trademark.

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