Support a young person who missed NCEA credits

A teenage girl sits outside using a laptop. Her father sits beside her pointing at her laptop screen

How to help if someone doesn't get the NCEA results they want.

Missing out on NCEA credits can be disappointing, but it needn't stop a young person achieving their goals.

If you know someone who hasn't got all the credits they wanted, first reassure them. Let them know they have options and that you're there to help.

When they're ready to talk – here are some next steps to think about. 

Returning to school without NCEA credits they need

If your young person is going back to school without all the NCEA credits they need, here are some things both of you can do.

Check internal results 

Check their results against marks for internally assessed standards and art portfolios.

Contact the school if anything doesn’t match up.

Check answer booklets

When the answer booklets arrive, help your young person check that:

  • they are marked fully
  • the marks match their results.

Reviews and reconsiderations

If you find a marking mistake, you can ask the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) for:

  • a review – where results are checked against answer booklets
  • a reconsideration – where answer booklets are re-marked.

Talk to the school

Suggest your young person talks to their teacher or student adviser about their options and goals. For example, they may be able to:

  • earn missing credits while they study at a higher NCEA level
  • change some subjects and still achieve their goals.

Not enough NCEA credits for a tertiary course

Your young person may still be able to get into the tertiary course they want without having all the right credits.

Contact the education provider 

Contact the student advisers at the education provider to see if your young person may be eligible for special entry without the usual NCEA credits.

They may also be able to :

  • start with a foundation or bridging course
  • do a related course first and then reapply for the course they want. For example, if they want to become a nurse they could complete a Certificate in Health Studies, which would earn them enough credits for a nursing degree course.

How to get more credits

It may be possible to make up missing credits before a tertiary course starts, either at school early in Term 1 or through Te Kura summer school programmes.

Te Kura summer school this year runs from 19 December 2022 to 10 February 2023.

Start tertiary or workplace learning while at school

Young people can also start tertiary study and get workplace learning alongside NCEA.

Programmes include:

  • at school through Gateway or STAR
  • at a trades or services academy.

Find out more


  • NZQA website, accessed January 2023, (
  • Te Kura website, accessed January 2023, (

Updated 10 Jan 2023