The National Certificate of Educational Achievement, the current national secondary school qualifications, uses standard-based assessment. Assessment for Achievement Standards uses a four-grade system, the lowest being a failing grade, while Unit Standards use a simple achieved/not achieved (pass/fail) grade system.
Achievement with Excellence
The candidate has demonstrated comprehensive understanding of the material tested
Achievement with Merit
The candidate has met the criteria of the standard which demonstrates in-depth understanding of the material tested
The candidate met the criteria of the standard to a level which demonstrates understanding of the material tested
N / NA
The candidate has not met the criteria required of the standard in order to pass
Standard Not Attempted
SNA / V
The candidate has been entered for the standard but has not attempted/sat it.
New Zealand universities generally award letter grades (i.e. A to D) to students, with +/- variations. These letter grades correspond to percentage mark bands, though these vary between universities (common cut-offs for A+ include 90% and 85%, and even within a university, an A+ from one department may vary from an A+ from another, with the actual cut-off subject to discretion). D grade is a failing grade, corresponding to work receiving less than 50%. However, for Honours degrees, the letter grades also correspond to degree classes, with A+/A/A- grades corresponding to a first, B+/high B corresponding to 2:1, etc.