Can You Resit NCEA Externals?

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is a secondary school qualification in New Zealand. NCEA externals are exams that students sit at the end of the year to assess their achievement in a subject. Students who do not achieve the desired grade in an external exam may wonder if they can resit the exam. This article will explore the possibility of resitting NCEA externals and provide guidance to students who are considering this option.

Can You Resit NCEA Externals?
Can You Resit NCEA Externals?

Can You Resit NCEA Externals?

Yes, it is possible to resit NCEA externals. However, there are certain conditions that must be met:

  • Standard 1-3: Students can resit Standard 1-3 externals an unlimited number of times.
  • Standard 4: Students can resit Standard 4 externals twice.
  • UE Literacy and Numeracy: Students can resit UE Literacy and Numeracy externals once.

Reasons for Resitting NCEA Externals

There are various reasons why a student may choose to resit an NCEA external exam:

  • To improve their grade
  • To meet the requirements for a specific tertiary institution or career path
  • To address a specific learning difficulty or gap in knowledge
  • To enhance their overall NCEA qualification

Procedure for Resitting NCEA Externals

Students who wish to resit an NCEA external exam should follow these steps:

  1. Contact their school or an NZQA-approved external provider to register for the exam.
  2. Pay the required fees.
  3. Attend the exam at the scheduled time and date.
  4. Submit their exam papers within the specified timeframe.

Benefits of Resitting NCEA Externals

Resitting NCEA externals can provide numerous benefits, including:

  • Improved results: Students who resit an exam have an opportunity to improve their grade.
  • Increased confidence: Successfully resitting an exam can boost students' confidence in their abilities.
  • Enhanced qualifications: Resitting externals can improve a student's overall NCEA qualification, making them more competitive for tertiary education and employment.

Important Considerations

Before resitting NCEA externals, students should consider the following factors:

  • Cost: Resitting externals can be expensive, so students should factor this into their decision.
  • Time commitment: Resitting externals requires additional study and preparation time.
  • Emotional implications: Resitting an exam can be stressful, so students should ensure they have the necessary support system in place.


Resitting NCEA externals is a viable option for students who wish to improve their grades or meet specific requirements. While there are certain conditions and considerations to be aware of, resitting externals can provide students with the opportunity to enhance their qualifications and achieve their academic goals.


Provides comprehensive information on the possibility of resitting NCEA externals, including eligibility, procedures, benefits, and important considerations.


NCEA, Externals, Resitting, Qualification, Secondary Education

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