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The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)

Students can work towards accumulating credits in Achievement Standards and Unit Standards in order to complete NCEA certificates. Each course assesses against standards and each subject usually offers between 18 and 24 credits. Each subject has an Information Booklet which details which Standards are assessed, together with their credit value.

There are two NCEA qualifications students work towards at Wellington East Girls College - Level 2 and Level 3. 

  • NCEA Level 2 Requirements: 60 credits at Level 2 or above; plus the Literacy and Numeracy co-requisite (20 credits).
  • NCEA Level 3 Requirements: 60 credits at Level 3 or above; plus the Literacy and Numeracy co-requisite (20 credits).

Credits can come from both Achievement Standards and Unit Standards. 

In addition to gaining the credits towards the NCEA, each Achievement Standard can be gained at three levels of success: Achieved, Merit or Excellence. 

Students can earn “course endorsement” by earning 14 or more credits at Achieved, Merit, or Excellence. NCEA certificates can be gained with Merit or Excellence endorsements by earning 50 or more credits at Merit or Excellence level.

To find out more about NCEA check out the NZQA website:

Literacy and Numeracy co-requisite

To achieve each NCEA certificate they need to earn at least 60 credits at that level or higher. 

They also need to have achieved the “NCEA co-requisite” which is made up of 20 credits from approved Literacy and Numeracy standards. They only need to achieve the NCEA co-requisite once.

For 2024 and 2025 there are two methods to achieve each half of the co-requisite:

  1. Sit and pass the “Common Assessment Activities” (CAAs). CAAs are digital exams that we run twice a year. There are 3 CAAs: One for Numeracy (10 credits) and two for Literacy (reading and writing, 5 credits each).
  2. Pass approved Achievement Standards in subjects like English and Maths, totalling 10 credits towards Literacy and/or Numeracy.

From 2026 onward, only method #1 will be available.

Our plan

We think students should achieve the co-requisite in the way that best suits them, at the time that best suits them. As such, we talk a lot about readiness. We anticipate about 70% will achieve the co-requisite by the end of Year 10, another 25% by the end of Year 11, and the remainder in Year 12.  We are letting students know if we recommend they enter a CAA exam, or not. This recommendation will be based on diagnostic test results, and if we think they have had enough learning in English or Maths since their last test. Regardless of our recommendations, any student is able to opt-in to sitting the CAAs.

Our plan is this:

Year 10

Year 10s are able to sit the CAAs.

  1. We have good data from our PAT testing which tells us the level each student is at for literacy and numeracy. We will use this to indicate to Year 10 students if we think they are ready to sit the first round of CAAs in May. We estimate that 140 Year 10 students will attempt the Reading CAA, about 100 students will sit Writing, and 100 students will sit Numeracy. Some students will sit all 3, some will sit 1 or 2, and there are some we don’t think are ready for any CAAs just yet.
  2. The rest of the Year 10s, and anyone who didn’t pass the first round, will be able to sit the second round of CAAs in September. By this time they will have had a lot of learning in Maths and English, as well as their other subjects.

Year 11

Year 11s who haven’t yet earned the co-requisite are able to sit the CAAs or earn credits in Maths or English.

  1. Any student who wants to sit one or more CAAs in May is able to, by simply opting in. However, we think the best approach is for students to wait and see if they achieve credits through their Achievement Standard assessments in Maths or English.
  2. In September we will look at how students have gone with their Achievement Standard assessments and based on that make a judgement about whether students should attempt the CAAs or not.

A comparison to our readiness approach is helping students decide if they are ready to attempt their drivers’ licence test. You wouldn’t simply send a student to the AA on their 16th birthday to have a go at getting their Learners, you send them when you think they have a good chance of passing. For some that will be on their 16th birthday, but for others they will take extra time to learn the Road Code.

Helpful resources:

University Entrance (UE)

University Entrance is the minimum requirement for entrance to study in a University in New Zealand. 

For more information please check out the NZQA website:

We encourage students and whānau to explore what different University entrance requirements are as they will differ between universities. 

The Student Assessment Information Booklet has more NCEA and UE information and also outlines the WEGC Assessment Policies and Procedures.