NCEA results out today

Senior high school students were able to access their NCEA results today from a special website. These were results from the exams they sat last November as well as from school work. The exams are external assessments while school tests and assignments are called internal assessments. NCEA includes both internal and external assessments.

NCEA means National Certificate of Educational Achievement. There are three levels for school students: Level 1 is for Year 11, Level 2 for Year 12, and Level 3 for Year 13. Students gain credits for each assessment – usually 3, 4 or 5 credits. They need a total over the year of 80 credits to gain an NCEA at each level. To enter university, they need Level 3 which must include certain subjects.There are 4 grades: Excellence, Merit, Achieved, and Not Achieved.

The exams were held from November 6th until December 4th. Students throughout New Zealand sit the same exam at the same time. 170,000 students sat NCEA exams last year. Then examiners – who are usually teachers – mark the exams. This takes a long time and there is a lot of checking to make sure that all examiners are consistent. Exams are not usually multi-choice – they require written answers or diagrams. Mathematics exams require students to show how they work out the answer, not just the answer.

Schools start again at the end of January so now that students know their NCEA results, they can plan their year. Universities start later in February.


• to access – to find out, able to get
• assessment – a test, exam, project which is assessed (marked) by a teacher to show achievement
• external assessment –an exam which is the same for all students at that level in New Zealand, not a school exam
• internal assessment – a school exam, test or piece of work
• assignment – a piece of work on one topic eg. an event in history
• credits – points
• consistent – the same

Note: students sit exams, examiners mark exams
Note also: Paragraph 3 uses a mixture of simple present tense (to show this happens each year) and simple past (to show this happened last year).

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