Missed NCEA credits? What to do now

A teenager wearing headphones sitting at a desk at home

Steps to take if you didn't get the NCEA results you need.

Not getting the results you wanted in NCEA can be disappointing, but it doesn’t have to stop you achieving your goals. Here’s what you can do now.

Check your results

First check your results and see if you can apply for a review or reconsideration.

Check your results for internally assessed standards and portfolios against your marks. Talk to your school if you have concerns.

When you get your answer booklets back, check that:

  • they are marked completely
  • those marks match your results.

Apply for a review or reconsideration

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

  • a review – where your results are checked against your answer booklet
  • a reconsideration – where your answer booklet is re-marked.

There's usually a fee for a reconsideration but in some cases you can ask NZQA to waive (remove) the fee.

Returning to school without the NCEA credits you need

Talk to a teacher or student adviser about your options. You may be able to:

  • earn missing credits while studying at a higher level – for example, if you missed some Level 1 maths credits, you could do these again while working towards Level 2
  • change some subjects – your school may have a subject confirmation day where you can change subjects.

Consider doing tertiary or workplace learning while at school

You may be able to start tertiary study or workplace learning while you work towards NCEA:

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

Not enough NCEA credits for your chosen course?

If you’ve missed credits you need for a tertiary course, you can try these options.

See what help the tertiary education provider offers 

Contact a student adviser at the education provider you want to attend (Te Pūkenga, university, wānanga or PTE). They may suggest:

  • a foundation or bridging course
  • a useful related course to do before you reapply for the course you want. 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.

You may be eligible for special entry, where you can enrol for a tertiary course without the usual NCEA credits.

Do NCEA credits before your course starts

You may be able to make up missing NCEA credits before your course starts:

  • through Te Kura Summer School (by distance learning). Te Kura Summer School runs from 19 December 2023 to 9 February 2024.
  • at school early in Term 1


  • NZQA website, accessed November 2023, (www.nzqa.govt.nz).
  • Te Kura website, accessed November 2023, (www.tekura.school.nz).

Related article

Support a young person who missed NCEA credits

In a lounge at home a teenager looks at a laptop screen while a woman sitting beside him looks on

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

Updated 20 Nov 2023