Understanding NCEA (National Certificate in Educational Achievement)

NCEA is recognised by employers, and used for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas.In general, students work through levels 1 to 3 in years 11 to 13 at school.

NCEA is a standards-based qualification combining both internal and external assessments.

Catholic Cathedral College NCEA results are consistently high. They exceed those of schools with a similar demographic and the National averages.


If your child is absent for reasons beyond their control (e.g. accident, illness, bereavement), where feasible, the student will be allowed to attempt the assessment or there may be a full reassessment opportunity for some standards. If an assessment task is missed then documentation must be supplied to support the request  (i.e. medical certificate, etc). An extension cannot be granted for a holiday during term time.

Similarly for any school authorised absence for out of class activities such as EOTC trips, sporting and cultural fixtures, involving representation of the College and representation at a national level the absences will be considered legitimate and the student, where feasible, will be allowed to attempt the assessment or a full further assessment opportunity will be available. Students must complete an extension request form available from the main office with supporting documentation in order to gain the extension. Full details are in the booklet issued to students in Term One - NCEA Handbook for Students.

Click on the image above to go to the schools NCEA information. Here you will find the NCEA Handbook for students and useful forms that the student may need throughout the year.


The external exam results will be published online by NZQA in mid-January (and scholarship results mid-February). They are not sent out by mail. Here's how you can register to access them online:

  1. Go to or select the “get your results” link under the “school student and parents” heading at the bottom of the home page of the NZQA website (

  2. Click register

  3. Complete your details online.

You will need your National Student Number (NSN)  9-digit number to register. This can be found on your exam admission slip. Alternatively you can get it by:

  • Asking your Hapori teacher during Hapori.

  • Asking for it at the student office before school, during interval, or at lunchtime.

  • Phoning NZQA toll free on 0800 697 296 during business hours and requesting it

Once you have your login you should use it to access your internal NCEA results throughout the year. 


These exams are a good opportunity for students to assess their progress towards the external exams at the end of the year and are an important back up should an unforeseen circumstance occur.

Exams for students in Years 11 to 13 take place toward the end of Term 3. Most subjects will have an exam of up to 3 hours in length. These will be held in the same way that the external exams in November are held.

Students are expected to be at school if they have an exam but have study leave at other times. 


After you have received your results you can requeset your certificate. These are NOT sent automatically. Login to NZQA and request a hardcopy of your Record of Achievement, NCEA certificate and School Results Summary. ​​​​​​​