Course Selection (Seniors)

Understanding NCEA

(National Certificate of Educational Achievement)

From 2024, all Level 1, 2 and 3 courses require a minimum of 60 credits.  Additionally, to achieve Level 1, learners must achieve the 20 credit co-requisite (Literacy/Numeracy).  Some learners achieve this in Year 9/10, some will achieve it in Year 11 or beyond.

Level 1 - All learners must choose an English and a Mathematics course (these must be selected first). We encourage them to keep their options broad at Level 1 for the rest of their choices.

New Zealand University Entrance (UE) requirements

  • Minimum of three NCEA UE approved subjects (Achievement Standards not Unit Standards) gaining at least 14 or more credits in each subject 
  • Minimum of 60 Level credits overall 
  • 10 Literacy credits from Level 2 or above (it is recommended that learners try and achieve these at Level 2, however they can be gained at Level 3).
    • 5 reading and 5 writing credits.  These come from a range of different subjects and are shown as *R or * W or *R/W for each assessment.


  • Certificate/Level endorsement requires 50 or more credits at Merit or Excellence level.  
  • Students will be required to gain 14 or more credits in a course at Achieved, Merit or Excellence (including at least 3 external and 3 internal credits) to gain a course/subject endorsement.

Further information about NCEA

  • Unit Standards as well as Achievement standards can be used towards the 60-credits NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3 qualifications
  • Credits that learners gain outside of school such as in a workplace, first aid or gaining their drivers licence can be used towards NCEA qualifications
  • There is no time limit on completing NCEA - a level does not need to be gained in one particular year, equally learners can move up to higher standards beyond their current level if they have shown sufficient achievement
  • Scholarship courses/exams on offer in certain subjects at Level 3 - this is the highest secondary school assessment available and is for those learners who excel in a particular subject area.

Stationery Lists for courses will be made available later in the year.  Courses that require specific stationery or have course costs are listed for each course.

All course information and selection takes place on the following site:

Please contact Ako or Advisory Coaches for further assistance.