NCEA exams start today

NCEA means National Certificate in Educational Achievement. Level 1 is for Year 11 students, Level 2 for Year 12 and Level 3 is for the final high school year – Year 13.

46,000 students in New Zealand sat Level 1 English exams this morning. These are called external assessments. Students have finished internal assessments which are done in class. They will receive their final results in January. The final results will include both internal and external assessments.

Students sitting Level 1 are usually 16 years old and have been at high school for three years. This is their first national exam. It is a reading and writing exam, 3 hours long.


• achievement – success
• external – outside the school; the exams are marked by a group of experts
• internal – inside the school; the teacher marks the work
• assessment – a test or exam which measures how much a student knows
• national exam – the same exam for all students in New Zealand

Idiom – to sit an exam (examination)