School Qualifications

The Government-run student qualification system is the National Certificate of Educational Achievement ("NCEA"). At some schools students can opt for IGCSE/A-levels (popularly known as "Cambridge exams") or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

NCEA has three levels, one for each of the last three years of secondary school. It contains a mix of internal and external assessments. NCEA replaced the old School Certificate, Sixth Form Certificate and Bursary systems.

The IGCSE and A-level exams of the Cambridge International Examinations Board are offered at some schools. For these qualifications, IGCSE is sat in year 11, AS-level in year 12 and A-level in year 13. Neither of these independent qualifications are registered on the NZQA National Qualifications Framework.

University Entrance, based on NCEA results, allows entrance to New Zealand universities. New Zealand Scholarship is a qualification pitched at students within the top stanine level.