Changes to NCEA for 2021

Because being in COVID-19 lockdown has affected learning and assessment, changes have been made to NCEA, NZ Scholarship and University Entrance. These changes help give students a fair opportunity to gain the qualification they are aiming for.

What does this mean for Massey High School students?

NCEA exam and portfolio dates:

  • NCEA exams have been changed to Monday 22 November to Tuesday 14 December.  Students personalised digital assessment calendars accessible on have been adjusted to reflect these changes.
  • Most portfolio due dates for NCEA and Scholarship have been moved later, to give more time for students to learn and prepare.  Your subject teacher will be in touch with you if this affects you.

The more credits you achieve the more you are entitled to:

  • For every 4 credits you achieve through internal or external assessment, you are entitled to 1 extra credit. These extra credits are called Learning Recognition Credits (LRCs).
  • Up to 16 of your LRC’s earned this year can be used towards the 80 you need for NCEA Level 1.
  • Up to 12 LRC’s earned this year can be used towards the 60 you need at Level 2 and Level 3.
  • Year 9 and 10 students can also gain LRCs, so it is important that students work hard to gain any NCEA assessments offered to them.


  • To get a certificate endorsement you will need 44 credits at Merit or Excellence level, instead of the usual 50. 
  • To get a course endorsement you will need 12 credits at Achieved or Merit or Excellence level in a course, rather than 14. You still need to achieve at least 3 credits in externals and 3 in internals. 
  • Your LRCs don’t come with Merit or Excellence, so they can’t count towards an endorsement.

University Entrance:

  • For 2021 the UE requirements have been adjusted from 14 down to 12 credits in three UE Approved subjects. You still need to have NCEA Level 3 and the usual literacy and numeracy standards.
  • Students who are in Year 12 who are completing a UE Approved subject will need to ensure they get 14 credits as the UE requirement changes will not necessarily apply in 2022.

Massey High School exams:

  • MHS exams have been changed to Term 4 Weeks 1 and 2, Tuesday 19th October to Wednesday 27th October.  Students will receive personalised examination timetables on their return to school.  These exams are important as the allow the students the opportunity to experience an exam in their subject, and also enable us to generate evidence to use for NZQA derived applications should we need them.

What do I need to do?

  • Keep working to make sure that you achieve as many standards as you can. Your teachers will help you to track your progress.
  • You don’t need to do anything else to get your LRCs. NZQA will do the calculations in January before you get your results.
  • Make sure that you know when your portfolios are due, and double check the new exam timetable.
  • This video will take you through how to calculate your Learning Recognition credits to date using the School Portal
  • If you need any more information, talk to your Tutor or your Ä€kina leader.

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