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NCEA - certificate and course endorsement

Endorsement of Level Certificates

Students are able to gain NCEA level 1,2 and 3 certificates with merit or excellence.  For an NCEA certificate to be endorsed with excellence a student must gain 50 credits at excellence at the level of the certificate or above. So, if a student has 50 Level 1 credits at excellence they may have their Level 1 certificate endorsed with excellence. Likewise, if a student gains 50 credits at Merit (or Merit and Excellence) at Level 1 their NCEA  Level 1 certificate may be endorsed with Merit. 

Endorsement of Courses

Course endorsement will provide recognition for students who perform exceptionally well in individual courses. Students will be able to have their strengths in individual courses recognised with a course endorsement at merit or excellence level. 

Students will gain an endorsement for a course if, in a single school year, they achieve:

  • 14 or more credits at Merit or Excellence, and
  • at least 3 of these credits from externally assessed standards and 3 credits from internally assessed standards. Note, this does not apply to Physical Education, Religious Studies and level 3 Visual Arts.

Students will gain an endorsement for a course where they achieve:

  • 14 or more credits at Merit or Excellence at the lower level that supports endorsement.
  • at least 3 credits from externally assessed standards
  • sufficient credits in a single school year.

and 3 credits from internally assessed standards,

Note: Physical Education and Level 3 Visual Arts are exempt from 2 above.


Quality of Credits is Important

Note:  It is really worth striving to get Merit and Excellence grades to get extra recognition.  Employers and tertiary institutions now consider how well you have achieved rather than just the number of credits gained.