NCEA Exams

The 2021 NCEA Examinations start on November 22nd.

The full timetable of exams can be accessed here. More specific information on Rules around Examinations can be found here

What you need to do in advance:

  • You will be engaging in exam preparation with your teacher(s). This may be in both online / remote learning as well as targeted workshops.
  • You will be producing evidence of your learning from: activities, internals, informal practise exams, discussions, tasks and online learning. Your teachers are busy behind the scenes validating your learning, ensuring you know where you’re tracking and working towards providing you with an Unexpected Event Grade.

What’s an Unexpected Event Grade?

  • A UEG is a grade, submitted by your teacher, in advance of the examination. It is used to assure what level you are working at. For example, if your evidence of learning is tracking towards a Merit, your teacher will enter a Merit for your UEG. In another example, if you are not on track, your teacher will need to enter a Not Achieved for your UEG.
  • These are important due to the current COVID-19 Alert Levels and the impact this has had on learning. - If we are in Level 4, exams are cancelled and the UEG is used to award and recognise your learning. - If we are in Level 3, exams still run BUT you are awarded your higher grade. For example, if your UEG was submitted as a Merit but in the exam you actually get an Achieved, NZQA recognises the higher grade; therefore, you are awarded the Merit.


  • You must be 20 minutes early for each exam time. This is to ensure you can be checked off and prepared to start the exam on time. You will be escorted, silently, in small groups into the exam and your designated table. - If you are running late, there is a 30 minute late period in which you can arrive. For example, you may enter the morning exam up until 10.00am. You may enter the afternoon exam up until 2.30pm. There will be NO LATE ATTENDANCE BEYOND these times.

For the exam(s), you will need:

  • Your exam admission slip (more info to come once these have arrived). You must have your admission slip on you for EVERY exam. If it is lost, please email your whānau teacher or in advance. - Form of ID e.g. student ID, drivers license etc. For Scholarship, you will need formal identification such as a driver's license or passport.
  • Pens (blue / black)
  • Scientific calculator (if relevant) NOTE: all calculators will be ‘cleared’ in front of a supervisor upon entry to the exam
  • Laptop if you are sitting a digital exam. NOTE: you will have logged in in advance of the exam to prepare for this

You may also choose to bring:

  • Blank / clear water bottle

The Exam Centre Manager can provide:

  • Blank paper, upon request
  • Tissues


  • Attend the exam if you have COVID-19 symptoms, visited a place of interest, had a close contact or awaiting test results for COVID-19. If this impacts you leading up to the exam, please email
  • Take your cellphone or music into the exam. It must be turned off and left in your bag.
  • Please refer to the top link for a comprehensive list of rules and expectations around exam etiquette.