Students who perform exceptionally well in individual courses are able to gain an Excellence or Merit endorsement in those individual courses. The courses are defined by NZQA based on the structure of each course at each individual school.

NCEA endorsed with Merit

50 credits at Merit, or at Merit and Excellence

(Can be gained over more than one year)

NCEA endorsed with Excellence

50 credits at Excellence level.

(Can be gained over more than one year)

NCEA course endorsement

14 or more credits at Achieved, Merit or Excellence in the course.

 At least 3 credits from externally assessed standard and 3 from internally assessed standards in the course.* 

*Exceptions to this requirement are Physical Education and Level 3 Visual Arts.