NCEA: National Certificate in Education Achievement
NZQA: New Zealand Qualifications Authority
NSN: National Student Number

Is Te Kura accredited to assess standards leading to NZ qualifications?
Yes, Te Kura is accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and offers many standards. Go to our subjects and courses pages to see a full list of what you can study.

What is NCEA?
The National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) is New Zealand’s national qualification for senior high school students. There are three levels of NCEA and in general, students work through levels 1 to 3 in years 11 to 13.

  • For NCEA Level 1, you will need to gain at least 80 credits at level 1 or above. You must also meet specific literacy and numeracy requirements.
  • For NCEA Level 2, you will need to gain at least 80 credits, of which at least 60 need to be at level 2 or above. You will be able to count (re-use) up to 20 of your level 1 credits.
  • For NCEA Level 3, you will need to gain at least 80 credits, of which at least 60 need to be at level 3 or above. You will be able to count (re-use) up to 20 of your level 2 credits.
  • For University Entrance, you will need to gain at least 42 credits at level 3 or higher. These 42 credits are made up from specific requirements, plus literacy and numeracy.

Students can be recognised for high achievement at each level by gaining their NCEA with Merit or NCEA with Excellence. This is called certificate endorsement.

High achievement in a course is also recognised. This is called course endorsement.

Only credits that have been paid for will count towards any qualification/s and endorsements.

More detailed information about these qualifications is available from the NZQA website.

NCEA fees

How much does it cost to register for NCEA?
You will pay an annual fee of $76.70, which is to be made to Te Kura. Do not confuse the NCEA fee with any enrolment fee or donation you make to Te Kura.

Is there any financial assistance to reduce my NCEA fee?
Financial assistance is available to reduce the NCEA fee. It is an annual application so you must apply again even if you applied last year.

All Te Kura students enrolled in NCEA courses will receive a ‘blue’ financial assistance application form. The first posting of this form will be in late April. We will also automatically post another form as part of the NCEA Payment and Registration pack we will send you in early June.

Only students who apply for financial assistance can pay the reduced fee.

A single student who has been approved for financial assistance will pay $20.00. The amount of the reduced fee for more than one student is detailed on the application form.

You cannot apply for a previous year.

I have two children at different schools registering for NCEA this year and we qualify for financial assistance. What should I do?
Submit one application with details of all NCEA students in your household to Te Kura.

Te Kura will ensure the other high school receives the correct information.

Te Kura does not accept NCEA payments for students who are not enrolled with us. Payment will need to be split between the school/s and you will be advised how to do this.

Why do I need to pay an NCEA fee?
All students enrolled in NCEA courses must pay an annual NCEA fee.

It is not an exam fee. It pays for any credits you gain to show officially on your NZQA record.

You need to pay for your credits in the year they are awarded, otherwise NZQA will charge an additional late payment fee.

Only paid credits count towards qualifications. This includes all levels of NCEA, University Entrance and other national certificates.

How do I register my NCEA credits?
You will receive an NCEA Payment and Registration pack in early June.

This pack will include your personalised NCEA Payment and Registration form, an additional financial assistance application form, instructions to help you complete the forms and a return envelope.

You will be given a date to complete and return the form/s to the Qualifications team, together with instructions about payment.

If you enrol after June, you will be sent this pack soon after enrolment.

If you misplace your form, contact the Qualifications staff at Te Kura for a replacement.

Do I have to pay the NCEA fee if I’m not sitting exams?
Yes, the annual NCEA fee is to pay for any results you gain in the current year. This includes internal results as well as any results you may gain from exams.
Remember only paid results will transfer onto your Record of Achievement and count towards your qualification/s.

What happens if I don’t pay the NCEA fee?
NCEA results are not available to students unless the fee is paid. Unpaid results will not transfer onto a Record of Achievement and will not count towards any qualification.

NZQA will automatically charge a $50.00 late payment fee if you wish to pay for results gained in a previous year.

Do I have to pay for NCEA fees every year?
Yes, NCEA fees are payable every year you are enrolled in an NCEA course.

If you are eligible, you must apply for financial assistance every year as well.

When is the last day I can pay my NCEA fee this year?
You will be given a return deadline date on the NCEA Payment and Registration pack you will receive in June.

What happens if I’ve already paid my NCEA fee to my previous school this year?
Still complete and return your Payment and Registration form. Write a note on the form saying how much you paid and the name of your old secondary school.


Can I sit end of year exams?
Te Kura students sit their exams with other students at a high school in their local area.

You will register for exams by completing the NCEA Payment and Registration form. This form is also a payment invoice for your NCEA fee.

Permission must be given from your chosen secondary school for you to sit your exams there. Follow the instructions in your Payment and Registration pack to help you arrange this.

You will also be expected to visit your chosen high school to formalise the exam arrangement.

There will be practice exams in term 3 if you have registered for end of year exams. These practice exams are very important if for any reason you become ill or are unable to sit your end of year exams and wish to apply for derived grades.

What if I get sick at exam time?
If you are unable to sit your exam/s because you were sick, had an accident or there was some special situation beyond your control, or you think you did not do as well as you could have in the exam because you were sick, injured or there some special reason beyond your control, contact Jo Parmenter at Te Kura to request a Derived Grade application form and information sheet.

Can I sit exams if I live overseas?
If you are a full-time student enrolled with us, you will be able to sit your external exams overseas. Please contact the Qualifications team for more information. This does not apply to students living in the Cook Islands or Niue.

Fee-paying students must return to New Zealand and arrange to sit your exams at a secondary school here.

I’ve already registered for exams at my old school.
Your NCEA entry will be withdrawn from your previous school. You will need to complete our NCEA Payment and Registration form indicating which exams you still wish to register for and where you have arranged to sit them.

NZQA website

Where can I see my results and order my certificates?
Your results will be submitted to NZQA at the beginning of every month from May.

You can access your results on the student login section of the NZQA website.

Certificates that have been awarded by NZQA for NCEA and University Entrance are no longer posted automatically by NZQA. You can order your certificates on the student login section of the NZQA website.

If you do not have internet access at home to order your certificate, please call NZQA on 0800 697 296 or visit your local library and access the NZQA website from there.

If you haven’t used the student login before, there are easy to follow instructions on the website. You will need your NSN and to register for a password.

Early release of results

What if I need my results early for university or similar?
If you are applying to a university mid-year, or you need your 2012 results earlier than January 2013 for something like an Army or ETCO application, contact the Qualifications team as soon as possible.

We will make a special request to NZQA for the early release of your results. The early release process can take up to three weeks.

If we make a special request to NZQA, you cannot continue to gain additional results with us during the rest of the year and should withdraw from our roll.

Special Assessment Conditions

Am I able to apply for special assessment conditions?
Students with specific physical or learning disabilities may be approved for special assessment conditions for internal and external assessments.

Special assessment conditions include things like being allowed to have someone (not a family member, family friend or additional teacher) read the assessment/exam paper and/or write the answers dictated by the student.

NZQA has strict guidelines about who is eligible for these special arrangements. NZQA requires evidence of the specific learning difficulty or physical disability from an independent assessment. Suitable evidence would include a SPELD assessor’s report or a report from a registered psychologist which is less than three years old.

Contact us on 0800 65 99 88 you believe you are eligible to apply for special assessment conditions.

Contacts - Qualifications

Freephone 0800 65 99 88 – extn 5046

Fax 04 496 1295

Further information

Earning qualifications
Student Guide to National Certificates
NZQA website