Changes to NCEA and UE for 2020

Please note this page contains information relevant to the 2020 school year. The changes noted below (including changes to thresholds and requirements, and the earning of Learning Recognition Credits) do not apply for study undertaken in the current school year.

You may be worried about the disruption from COVID-19 and whether you can get your NCEA or University Entrance (UE) this year.

This page explains several changes which will help you gain the qualification or award you were aiming for.

On 8 September, the Minister of Education announced additional changes for students in Auckland.

You may also want to see information about health and safety in exams (also available in te reo Māori).

An NCEA achieved or UE awarded in 2020 will be regarded the same as one achieved in any other year, allowing you to progress to the next level of study (including university for UE recipients) in 2021 or beyond. 

Changes to NCEA

If you are working towards NCEA you can gain additional credits, based on the number of credits you achieve during the 2020 school year (after 1 March 2020). These additional credits will be known as Learning Recognition credits.

For students in Auckland, you will earn 1 extra Learning Recognition credit for every 4 credits you achieve through internal or external assessment. If you are mainly studying for NCEA Level 1, you can get up to 16 Learning Recognition credits. If you are mainly studying for Level 2 or Level 3, you can get up to 12 Learning Recognition credits.

Students outside of Auckland will earn 1 extra Learning Recognition credit for every 5 credits you achieve. If you are mainly studying for NCEA Level 1, you can get up to 10 Learning Recognition credits, or if you are mainly studying for Level 2 or Level 3, you can get up to 8 Learning Recognition credits.

If you don’t complete your NCEA this year, your Learning Recognition credits will count again in 2021.

Your teachers will help you to track your progress. If you need any more information talk to your teacher or ring NZQA on 0800 697 296.

Certificate endorsements and course endorsements

To get a certificate endorsement this year you need 46 credits at Merit or Excellence level, instead of the usual 50. Auckland students will need 44 credits. Your Learning Recognition credits can’t count towards an endorsement.

To get a course endorsement this year you need 12 credits at Merit or Excellence level in a course rather than 14. You still need to achieve at least 3 credits in externals and 3 in internals.

Changes to exam dates and portfolio due dates

Portfolio due dates and exams for NCEA and NZ Scholarship have been moved later to give you more time to learn and prepare.

Please check the updated exam timetable.

If you take subjects where you submit a portfolio (like Design and Visual Communications), the due date for your portfolio is now 12 November 2020.

Changes to University Entrance

UE requirements have been reduced from 14 to 12 credits in three UE-approved subjects. You will still need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet literacy and numeracy requirements to be awarded University Entrance.

It is still important that you complete the standards necessary for the course of study you want to undertake at university. Check any important prerequisites with the University you want to attend.

And finally

Keep working to make sure that you achieve the standards you need for your NCEA. Remember that if you continue to achieve you will be able to gain additional credits this year that will count towards your NCEA. You don’t need to do anything else. NZQA will do the calculations before you get your results.

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