Guide to choosing school subjects

Are You Prepared?

It's a great idea to start planning for university before you start NCEA* so that you know where you’re headed. To be accepted into any New Zealand university you need to have University Entrance. The information below shows the pathway from NCEA Level 1 to Level 3 and how you can achieve University Entrance.

Numeracy Level 1 or higher

10 credits from specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects OR from a package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627 – all three required)

Literacy Level 2 or higher

5 reading credits AND 5 writing credits from the specified list. The credits can come from a range of subjects. For more information go to

Level 3

14 credits in one approved subject
14 credits in one approved subject
14 credits in one approved subject

Achieve NCEA Level 3 Certificate

(60 credits at Level 3 or above and 20 credits from Level 2 or above)

University Entrance from NCEA

Congratulations! You have now achieved University Entrance and are eligible to apply for study at the University of Waikato.

What happens if I don't achieve University Entrance?

If you do not meet the entry criteria above, we offer bridging and pathway programmes to degree study. These programmes include academic, specific purpose and general English Language programmes. Speak to your Future Student Advisor for more information around our pathway options.

*or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) or International Baccalaureate (IB) equivalent.