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Supporting your young person when they've missed NCEA credits

A teenage girl and a middle-aged woman sit on a couch. The teenage girl has her head on her chin while the woman looks at her in a way that suggests she is frustrated.

How to help if your young person didn't get the NCEA results they wanted.

Missing out on NCEA credits can be disappointing, but it doesn’t have to stop someone from achieving their goals. Let them know you are there to support and reassure them.

Here are some ideas on how to support your young person through this difficult time, and show them their options.

Returning to school but missing some NCEA credits

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

Check internal results

Help your young person check their results against marks for internally assessed standards and portfolios. Talk to the school if anything doesn’t match up.

Check answer booklets

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

  • they’re 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. For instance they may be able to:

  • earn missing credits while studying at a higher NCEA level
  • change some subjects.

Not enough NCEA credits for their tertiary course

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

Contact the education provider 

A student adviser at the education provider they want to attend will know if your young person may be eligible for special entry without the usual NCEA credits. They may also suggest:

  • a foundation or bridging course
  • doing a related course first and then reapplying 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’s summer school programmes.

Start tertiary or workplace learning while at school

Young people can also consider starting tertiary study while working towards NCEA by getting work experience at school through:

Updated 21 Jan 2020