Every standard achieved is worth a set number of credits. A year long course is usually worth about 18-24 credits. Credits are like points toward your qualification, and they mount up till you achieve national qualifications. Note that credits can be gained over more than one year. It is important to ensure that you gain the necessary standards for automatic entry to subjects you wish to study in the following year.
When you have achieved 80 credits at any level, you will qualify for NCEA Level 1 (generally these will be Level 1 credits, but they do not have to be). Ten of the credits must come from numeracy standards and ten credits must come from literacy standards. See the literacy and numeracy information in each Level 1 course description. Literacy and numeracy credits do not have to come solely from English, Te Reo M?ori or Mathematics courses.
Your NCEA can be 'endorsed' if your results are good enough. For example, you could have "NCEA Level 1 with Merit". Your Record of Achievement will show you if you have been awarded an Endorsement. If you gain 50 credits at Excellence, your NCEA will be endorsed with Excellence. Likewise, if you gain 50 credits at Merit (or Merit and Excellence) your NCEA will be endorsed with Merit.
You can earn credits counting towards endorsement over more than one year and more than one level. However, they must be gained at the level of the certificate or above. For example, Level 2 credits will count towards endorsement of a Level 1 NCEA, but Level 1 credits will not count towards endorsement of a Level 2 NCEA.
Individual courses can also be ‘endorsed’ if you gain 14 or more credits at Excellence or 14 credits or more at Merit and Excellence in one course, in one academic year. At least three credits must be from internally assessed standards and at least three credits from externally assessed standards with the exception of Physical Education courses (14 internal credits) and Level 3 Visual Arts courses (either 14 internal or 14 external credits). Unlike certificate endorsement, the credits must be gained in the same academic year.