Didn’t get the NCEA results you wanted?

Two learners looking at their exam results

If you didn’t get the NCEA results you wanted, we’ve got some tips to help you.

You’ve got your NCEA results back and they’re not what you wanted.

Don’t panic.

While it’s frustrating not getting the results you expected, there are lots of things you can do – whether you’re returning to school this year or planning to do a course.

Returning to school without NCEA credits you need

If you didn’t get some of the credits you need, here are some things you can do.

Talk to your school

It’s a good idea to get in touch with a teacher or student adviser at your school about your results. They can talk with you about what they can do to help.

Check your exam papers

Once you’ve got your exam papers back, check through them to make sure they have been marked correctly. If you find a marking mistake, talk to your parents and school about getting the exam paper reviewed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Earn credits through the year

Even though you’ve missed out on some credits, it doesn’t mean you can’t earn them this year. For example, if you’re starting Level 2 but missed out on some Level 1 maths credits last year, you can gain these while working towards Level 2.

Swap subjects

If you decide you’d like to change some of your subjects after getting your results, talk to your parents and school about your options. It’s important to think about doing subjects like maths, science, and English, as these subjects give you skills for most career and training options.

Many schools have subject confirmation days after NCEA results have been released to make the process of changing subjects easier.

Not enough NCEA credits to get into your chosen course

If you missed out on the credits you need for a course, you still have options.

Talk to your school about making up credits

Because NZQA usually accepts NCEA results up until the end of February, your school might let you make up the credits you missed out on when they reopen at the end of January.

Think about summer school or a bridging or foundation course

Many tertiary providers offer summer school and bridging or foundation courses that let you build up skills and meet the minimum entry requirements for a course.

Te Kura (Correspondence School) also offers summer school programmes.

Find out about exceptions

Contact a student adviser at the course or training provider you want to attend to find out about any exceptions for people who don’t meet entry requirements.

Study a related course

If you can’t get into the course you want it might be a good idea to do a related course instead. For example, if you want to become a nurse you could complete a Certificate in Health Studies to earn enough credits to apply for a nursing degree later.

Rethink your career plans

If you decide you need to rethink your career plans, tools like Subject Matcher and CareerQuest can help you explore careers that line up with your interests and NCEA credits.

Go back to school

Maybe your best option is to go back to school. You could join the Gateway programme there and try out a job that you’re interested in while earning NCEA and industry credits at the same time.

Updated 4 Oct 2019