How NCEA works with NZMEB Exams

If an entrant does an NZMEB exam and NCEA standard simultaneously, the credits achieved will be recorded on their New Zealand Qualifications Framework Record of Learning with NZQA. This will be added to other credits achieved at any time in the future.

E.g. if an 11 year old entrant achieves 5 level 1 credits at a merit standard, those credits will still be there when he is 16 years old and will be added to the level one credits achieved through school. They will count towards him achieving the NCEA Level One certificate and also assist towards getting the 50 merit pass credits to have the certificate endorsed “With Merit”. Similarly, any excellence credits may assist towards getting his certificate endorsed “With Excellence”

NCEA StandardNCEA RequirementNCEA LevelNCEA CreditsNZMEB GradeNCEA Fee
91949Demonstrate music performance skills153$47
91270Perform two substantial pieces of music as a featured soloist264 & 5$50
91272Demonstrate ensemble skills by performing a substantial piece of music as a member of a group244 & 5$50
91274Perform a substantial piece of music as a featured soloist on a second instrument234 & 5$50
91416Perform two programmes of music as a featured soloist386$70
91417Perform a programme of music as a featured soloist on a second instrument346$70
91418Demonstrate ensemble skills by performing two substantial pieces of music as a member of a group346$70

NZMEB/NCEA Equivalencies:

Please note that the equivalency was set by NZQA. They examined the NZMEB syllabuses and criteria and selected these grades as appropriate for the standards.

NCEA Level 1 – NZMEB Grade 3 (or above)
NCEA Level 2 – NZMEB Grade 4 (or above)
NCEA Level 3 – NZMEB Grade 6 (or above)

It is important to note that the credits on offer from NZMEB do not come from the whole NZMEB exam. As an example, if a student sits NZMEB Grade 3 Performance Piano, they will play scales, 5 pieces, and answer Musicianship and Musical Knowledge questions. If the student opts to be assessed at NCEA Level 1 Solo performance they will nominate two pieces (from their exam) that will be used to assess against the NCEA Standard 91949.

All other standards that NZMEB is offering will be done in the same way. The NCEA assessment is a subset of their exam.

NZMEB will not be assessing Level 3 Performance in a single exam. NZQA does not allow this and NZMEB has set up all systems to work within the specifications of the NZQA standards. Entrants will be required to send their first programme to the NZMEB Office at using a reputable upload service such as Google Drive by the end of the month prior to their exam (31st of July for the August Exam Session or 30th November for the December Exam Session).

As far as how many performances and pieces the students have to perform for each standard, please be assured that NZQA has undertaken very rigorous alignment and they have ensured that all conditions for the standard can be met 100%. NZMEB is accountable to NZQA through internal and external moderation just like any other NCEA provider. Their work will be moderated internally by experienced NCEA assessors and then sent for external moderation each year as appropriate.

NCEA Credits achieved through sitting an NZMEB Practical Examination will show on the students NZQF Record of Achievement. Not only will these credits be added to the student’s total credits but also have the potential (if achieved at Merit or Excellence) to help entrants attain a higher overall Certificate Endorsement.

Frequently asked Questions – NZMEB/NCEA

Q: Could you clarify a privacy query - if a teacher independent of Vision College enters their students for NZMEB exams, with NCEA credits -what measures will be in place to moderate Vision College's access to their private data?

A: "All Schools, PTE’s and Tertiary Institutions capture data for the government to allow recording of accurate completion information. Vision College has been reporting student achievement to the NZQA since 1985 and have a very robust and secure system. Vision College will never share or distribute student data with any third party, except where required for reporting purposes, e.g. with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). We value the privacy and safety of every student, and restrict access to required personnel relevant to the specific learner group. Additionally, all staff are identity verified and regularly Police vetted in accordance with our Child Protection Policy." Chris Hubbard CEO of ATCNZ Ltd (Vision College)

Q: Can a high school student sitting a Grade 7 or 8 NZMEB Standard exam simultaneously apply to be assessed for an NCEA Level 3 Assessment Standard?

A: Yes. Entrants are able to enter any Level NCEA Assessment by entering a Standard NZMEB Exam at a grade equal to or higher than the equivalent required for the NCEA Level being assessed. However, as the Level 3 NCEA Standard - 91416 requires entrants to Perform Two programmes of music as a featured soloist, and the majority of NZMEB Standard Exams at Grade 6 and above only expect entrants to perform three pieces, these entrants may need to learn another substantial piece of music in order to complete their Second Programme. The total programme of pieces for NZQA standard presented should be approximately 10 minutes. Programmes may be submitted to the office for prior approval.

Q: Could my 11 year old student still at primary school, sitting a Grade 5 NZMEB Exam be assessed for an NCEA Level 2 Standard?

A: Yes. The credits will be put onto his/her record of learning which is held on the New Zealand Qualifications framework (NZQF). The entrants National School Number (NSN) must be supplied.

Q: My student who passed his Diploma at the end of last year is not doing music as a subject at school. Is it possible for him to present to the Examiner purely for the NCEA assessment as opposed to undertaking the whole NZMEB exam?

A: Unfortunately to gain the NCEA credits through NZMEB, an entrant must sit an NZMEB Examination. Your Diploma student is still able to access his Level 5 Credits at University Level.

Q: Will students NZMEB exams need to be videoed then sent off to NZQF to be assessed or does NZMEB examiner moderate the entrant?

A: Yes, all Exams/Assessments will be videoed for NCEA moderation purposes and NZMEBs’ internal moderation process. NCEA assessments through NZMEB are firstly assessed by an NZMEB Examiner then moderated by an NCEA Assessor. NZQA will check the moderation processes and videos.

Q: Can any of the NCEA Standards through NZMEB be used as Numeracy or Literacy Credits?

A. No. The NCEA standards NZMEB provide do not offer any Numeracy or Literacy Credits.

Q: You mention students can potentially gain 16 Excellent Credits at Level 3 to aid in achieving a scholarship however it will cost them $210 alongside the Exam Fee. What is the benefit of this when a scholarship is only $500?

A: Aside from the individual Secondary School Scholarships available, many New Zealand Universities and Tertiary Institutions provide substantial scholarships to students who endorse NCEA Level 3 with Merit or Excellence. These scholarships are worth looking into in order for students to assess the potential benefit these 16 Credits could provide toward their future studies. University websites have information about the scholarships they provide to students with level 2 and level 3 endorsements.

Q: I have a few Year 12 students sitting Grades 7 & 8 this year. Are they eligible to apply for Level 3 credits or are they at Levels 4 & 5? Is NZMEB accredited for Levels 4 & 5?

A: All students sitting an NZMEB Performance Music exam for grade 6 and above are able to apply for Level 3 Credits, provided requirements are followed. There are currently no level 4 standards in Performance Music provided by NZQA. The NZMEB AMusNZ and LMusNZ Examinations allow entrants to access Level 5 and 7 Credits at University Level.

Q: Timeframe for entrants in receiving results for NCEA Level assessments?

A: Due to moderation purposes the NCEA Assessment Level achieved can take up to 3 months to process therefore if a student is requiring to access the NCEA credits in the year they are sitting their exam, we suggest they enter into the August practical session.