Achieving NCEA Level 1
NCEA Level 1 is the first step in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
In Year 11 a student takes six subjects and each subject is broken down into Standards (topics). Each standard is worth credits. Subjects offer between 18 and 24 credits in total.
Some standards are internally assessed. This means that they are completed during the school year and marked by the class room teacher. All internal assessments go through an internal moderation (check marking) process to check for consistency. Samples of standards are also moderated by NZQA to ensure the school is meeting the national standard. Other standards are externally assessed in the external three-hour examination for that subject.
The internally assessed standards can be Achievement Standards or the more practically based Unit Standards. The major difference between the two is that Achievement Standards offer a range of possible results, not achieved (N), achievement (A), achievement with merit (M) and achievement with excellence (E). In most cases with Unit Standards a student can either achieve it (A) or not (N) however, a small number also allow the student to gain Merit or Excellence.
Regardless of whether the standards are achievement standards or unit standards all credits count towards Level 1 NCEA.
To gain Level 1 a student needs to gain 80 credits with a minimum of 10 literacy credits and 10 numeracy credits.
A student that gains 50 or more credits with a Merit or better is awarded NCEA Level 1 with Merit. If a student can gain 50 or more credits at the excellence level then they are awarded NCEA Level 1 with Excellence. These credits can be gained over a period of more than one year.
A student who gains 14 or more credits at the merit level in a specified subject (including at least three of those credits internally assessed and at least three externally assessed) is awarded that subject with Merit. A student who gains 14 or more credits at the excellence level in that subject (including at least three of those credits internally assessed and at least three externally assessed) is awarded that subject with Excellence. Credits for subject endorsements must be gained within one school year.