Not enough NCEA credits for your teenager to get into a course?

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NCEA results are out and teenagers are logging on to the NZQA site to see if they've earned enough NCEA credits to move on to the next stage of their study plan. But what happens if your student is faced with Not Achieved results where they hoped to see Achieved?

Dealing with a disappointed teenager is never easy, so we've asked our team of careers advisers to give you a heads up on how you can help your teenager make up NCEA credits or rethink their next steps.

What if your teenager only missed a couple of NCEA credits?

If your teenager is less than 20 credits away from getting the NCEA credits they need to get into a course, training, the Defence Force or an apprenticeship programme, try these steps:

1. Contact your teenager's school

NZQA will usually accept NCEA results up to 29 February 2016. Some schools allow your teenager to make up NCEA credits when they reopen at the end of January.

If you'd like to get expert advice about this before school opens, contact our careers advisers free on 0800 222 733 or chat online.

2. Carefully review the results

Ask your young one to check exam papers and internal marks from the year. Are they correct? If they feel that there has been a miscount, check with their school and/or apply to NZQA for a review by 19 February 2016 here: NZQA reviews and reconsiderations.

3. Talk to your teenager's course provider about exceptions

Sometimes a course provider or training academy offers exceptions if a student doesn't have enough NCEA credits. Encourage your teenager to call the student advisers at their chosen university or academy.

4. Your teenager could earn credits at summer school

Universities and polytechnics may run summer courses where credits are earned towards entering a course. Student advisers at the universities can help explain how to get into these courses.

What if your teenager missed a lot of NCEA credits?

1. They can apply for the next semester

Many courses have another intake in June or July. Your child could make up NCEA credits at high school or by distance learning through Te Kura and then apply for the June/July intake.

2. They can study a related course

Your teenager wants to be a nurse or a vet? They could study a certificate in health studies or vet nursing to earn enough NCEA credits to reapply for that nursing or vet degree later. Find other certificates like this on our Careers New Zealand Courses Database.

Under the Youth Guarantee programme there are many courses your young one could enjoy, and many are free! Find a fees-free course near you.

3. Could they take a gap year and work?

Another option is to work for a year, study for NCEA credits through Te Kura or a National Certificate by distance learning and then reapply next year. Find distance courses in our Courses Database.

4. Suggest they rethink their career plans.

Maybe your teenager won't be a dentist, but they could be a great dental assistant. Try the Careers New Zealand Subject Matcher to find other jobs that match their NCEA credits.

Or, deep breath, suggest they return to school. For instance if they join the Gateway programme at their school they will spend time in a workplace to experience a real work environment and try out a job that interests them, while they study for NCEA and industry credits.. Find out about inside school study options.

Your teenager's future is not over

As our careers advisers tell us – people's careers change and evolve, and it's important not to think that they have failed by not achieving all the NCEA credits they thought they would. We work out what we enjoy by trying different paths. There's no shame in your rangatahi changing their one.

Need more help?

Our advice team are available free of charge with expert advice:

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