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Year 12 NCEA – FAQs

NCEA Tau 12 - Pātai Takirite

For students entering Year 12 – NCEA Level 2

2025 Option Selections – Key information for parents and students

Online subject selections must be made by 5.00pm on Wednesday 21 August to avoid a delay in the processing of students' selections. It is very possible that selections made after the deadline will result in some students not being able to do some of the subjects that they have chosen and back-up subjects being selected instead.

Note: In Term 4 each year, the College emails all parents/caregivers with their child's confirmed course of study for the following year.

How many subjects do most students have to select?

  • Most students take six subjects;
    • English is compulsory – each student selects English or English Literature, plus students select five other optional subjects;
  • students should also carefully select two options as back-up subjects – these will be used to replace a selected subject if entry into a subject is not approved or if there is an unavoidable timetable clash;
  • in the case of possible ‘multi-level’ study (i.e. subjects at both Level 1 and 2) only students who meet the prerequisite will be able to select a subject in another year level. For example, a current Year 11 student will only be able to select Year 13 Physics (as one of their options for the following year) if they have taken Year 12 Physics in the current year;
  • if a student did not study a Year 12 subject this year, they cannot select a Year 13 subject (done by invitation only);
  • in late Term 3/early Term 4, Heads of Department check each student’s course eligibility and advise them and the Dean about application declines;
  • back-up subject(s) are chosen by the timetabler;
  • the Dean and Head of Senior College check each student’s options selections and advise about recommended changes accordingly.

What are the compulsory subjects?

  • English or English Literature;
  • Physical Education (core*) – one lesson per week;
  • Study (supervised) (core*) – one lesson per week. For one term, students do not have study which is replaced by the Leadership Option;
  • Religious Education (core*) – one lesson per week;
  • Senior College Electives Programme (core*) – one lesson per week.

    *students are automatically put into core subjects - you do not select this subject.

Can a student sit three Commerce subjects in the one year (Economics, Accounting and Business Management)?

  • only with the permission of Head of Teaching and Learning Mr David Bevin, the Head of Department and the Dean.

Can a student take three Sciences in the one year (Biology, Physics and Chemistry)?

  • students select Sciences in their Option Selections;
  • students may study up to three Sciences;
  • except, students who take Year 12 Science (12SCIE) may study only one other Year 12 Science-based subject;
  • entry into any Year 12 Science subject is possible from Year 11 Science but is only possible from Practical Science with the Head of Department’s permission.

Can a student take two Technology subjects?

  • yes, but this must be discussed with the Head of Technology and Head of Teaching and Learning, Mr David Bevin.

Can a student take Scholarship-level subject(s) in Year 12?

  • yes, but must be discussed with the Dean;
  • a student should ideally be selected to take a Scholarship-level subject.


  • three courses are offered at Year 12;
  • students who choose Mathematics will be entered in the course according to the entry criteria they meet;
  • students may study both Mathematics with Calculus and Mathematics with Statistics;
  • students are invited into Mathematics with Calculus Extension (students are notified).


  • students must select either English or English Literature;
  • students are invited into English Extension (students are notified).

What do students need to gain NCEA Level 2?

  • students need to gain (total up) at least 60 credits from all of their courses. No particular type of grade nor Standard required;
  • up to 20 Level 1 or 3 credits can be credited to the Level 2 award;
  • any Level 2 credits gained in Year 11 are carried into the Year 12/Level 2 total and can also count for the Level 1 total.

Is there NCEA Level 2 – Numeracy?


Is there NCEA Level 2 – Literacy?


What about University Entrance Literacy in NCEA Level 2?

  • students should aim to gain at least 5 Reading and 5 Writing credits this year for University Entrance Literacy, but they may take up to two years to complete this if needed;
  • most of these credits are gained in English standards, but there are other subjects that provide this;
  • refer to the Head of Department for more information.

How important are Prelim Exam results in Year 11?

  • Prelim Exam results provide an important checkpoint for each student’s selections and acceptance into a particular course for Year 12.
  • Prelim Exam results also provide results information that is essential for a possible derived grade application for end of year NCEA externals.

How important are the Subject Entry Requirements?

  • Subject Entry Requirements are closely followed by the Dean and Heads of Department for each student’s acceptance into a course.

When can a student make their Online Selection?

  • Option Selections will be completed online;
  • the online form will become available during the afternoon on Tuesday 13 August. No paper form is available.

When does the online selection process close?

  • online selections close at 5.00pm on Wednesday 21 August. It is not possible to make a selection after this date. 

What happens if the deadline is missed?

  • if it looks likely that the selection deadline will be missed for a valid reason, contact Mr David Bevin on;
  • late subject selections will be processed after all other selections are considered and processed;
  • students in this situation may therefore not get all of their subject selections.

Am I able to change my original Options selection?

  • you are able to change your original online Options selection provided you do so by the 5.00pm deadline on Wednesday 21 August;
  • students may re-enter their choices as many times as they wish, online, as only the final submission will be taken after the deadline has passed. Students must choose carefully as it is not possible to amend subject choices after the final submission date.