National Certificate in Educational Achievement

We strongly encourage you to take achievement standards in approved subjects at Level 3 to help you to achieve the Preferential Entry Score and to provide you with the best preparation for University studies.

University Entrance

You are qualified for admission to university if you have obtained:

  • NCEA Level 3

  • Three subjects at Level 3, made up of 14 credits each in three approved subjects. A list of approved subjects is available from the NZQA website.

  • Literacy - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of 5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing. A list of Level 2 and 3 achievement standards that contribute to the literacy requirements is available from the NZQA website.

  • Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of specified achievement standards, or package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required).

The NCEA requirements above are relevant for students who have not obtained UE as at 1 March 2014. Students who obtained university entrance before 1 March 2014 obtained the award under the requirements in force at that time.

Fourteen level 3 credits in the NZIM Certificate in Management or the NZIM Certificate in Small Business Management, or a completed Young Enterprise Certificate (YES) may be able to be used toward meeting the NCEA Level 3 entrance standard. Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and students should provide information about any such credits at the time they apply.

Admission to your chosen qualification

The Preferential Entry Score from NCEA, for the majority of undergraduate qualifications, is 140 points.

Your rank score will be calculated by:

  • identifying your best 80 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher over a maximum of five approved subjects;
  • awarding four points for credits achieved with Excellence, three for Merit and two for Achieved.

Both achievement standards and unit standards in approved subjects will be counted. If you achieve fewer than 80 credits, the score will be based on those credits you have gained. If you achieve more than 80 credits the credits achieved with the highest level of achievement will be used.

Only five approved subjects are included in the calculation.

A maximum of 24 credits per subject are used and any credits above this limit are excluded. For example:

Subject
Standard type
Results
Level of Achievement
Calculations
Rank Score
English
(22 credits)
Achievement

6
8
4

4

Excellence
Merit
Achieved

Achieved

6x4 points = 24
8x3 points = 24
4x2 points = 8

4x2 points = 8


56
Not counted in 80 best
credits

History
(24 credits)
Achievement
8
8
8
Excellence
Merit
Achieved
8x4 points = 32
8x3 points = 24
8x2 points = 16
72
Media Studies
(16 credits)
Achievement
16
Achieved
16x2 points = 32
32
Social Studies
(14 credits)
Achievement
14
Achieved
14x2 points = 28
28
Statistics and
Modelling
(12 credits)
Achievement

Unit
8

4
Merit

Achieved
8x3 points = 24

4x2 points = 8
24
Not counted in 80 best
credits
Total 212

Level 3 subject requirements for a particular qualification may be met in Year 12.

NCEA Level 3 credits achieved in Year 12 may be counted towards the 80 best credits required for ranking purposes.

For some qualifications you may be required to have taken specific subjects and gained a specific number of credits in those subjects. For others there are specific requirements in addition to NCEA results. See the list above for details.

Credits obtained in any required subjects do not have to be among the best 80 credits required for ranking purposes.

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