NCEA Update

Please see below for a number of important NCEA updates

NZQA Decisions – End of year NCEA, NZ Scholarship Exams and Portfolios

Over the last 24 hours, NZQA have made some decisions:

  • The dates for end of year NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams will be delayed by two weeks, to run from Monday 22 November until Tuesday 14 December.
  • Due dates for portfolio submissions will also be pushed back by two weeks.

These two changes will give students and schools more time to prepare for the end of the year.  Schools will also not have to provide Level 1 or Level 2 Visual Arts portfolios for NZQA Verification. This also means there will be more time for students to finish their work, and for teachers to mark it.


Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT) and Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko Common Assessment Tasks (DigiCATs)

We are delaying the NCEA Level 1 Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT) from 14 or 16 September for two weeks – to 28 or 30 September. This will give students who were due to sit the MCAT more time to prepare. At this stage, the dates for DigiCATs remain 20 September – 1 Oct and 26th October (Level 1) and 27th October (Level 2 and 3).

Other changes

Depending on how long we are likely to remain in lockdown and this becomes clearer, there are extra steps the Government may take, such as reintroducing Learning Recognition Credits, or making changes to the thresholds for Endorsements and University Entrance.  This is work in progress so that it can be implemented, depending on the duration of Alert Levels 3 and 4.

Existing flexibility and Processes

Schools already have a lot of control over how they teach and assess students working towards NCEA. The Ministry of Education and NZQA are talking with schools about how teaching and learning can continue under Alert Levels 3 and 4, and how learning can be assessed while students are at home, or when they return to class.

As usual, if COVID-19 – or something else beyond their control – means a student is not able to sit their end of year exams, we have the well-established Derived Grade and unexpected event grade processes.

At this stage, we are awaiting further NZQA direction that will determine a possible change to the scheduled Practice Exams that are currently scheduled in Week 8.  This will be communicated to you once this information is known.  Meanwhile, prepare as if it is going ahead as planned.

As you are aware, because of significant changes to the NCEA system over the next few years, Sancta Maria College teachers have been fully engaging in this change work.  Engagement and discussions are taking place across all learning areas to gain an understanding of what this will look like for our college. For further information please read the Senior School Update

Final note

I draw your attention to a communication sent to parents and students yesterday.  It reminded senior students to log into NZQA and check their personal NZQA learner log in page.  Click into the link in that communication and follow the instructions given.


Anita Heffernan
NCEA Principal’s Nominee