The Government is considering scrapping external exams for year 11 students.
Under a new proposal, students will focus on specific projects to improve literacy and numeracy. They'll also only have to get 40 credits instead of the current 80.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins says it would give young people better skills when they head out into the workforce.
"We know kids at New Zealand schools are currently being over-assessed, and that's resulting in an unnecessary workload for both the students and teachers," he told Newshub on Sunday.
The minister says teachers know first-hand that some students crumble under pressure, and employers have long called for students to have more skills.
"There will be a focus on the core skills required... and [ensuring] people are putting together credits as a part of their qualification that are leading somewhere."
Another idea Mr Hipkins' ministerial advisory group has come up is building into NCEA Levels 2 and 3 "a requirement to prepare young people for further study, work and life". This would involve 20 of the 80 credits required coming from "pathway" courses, such as trades or research projects.
Public consultation on the proposals is running until mid-September. The discussion document, and ways to contribute, can be found on the Ministry of Education website.
"It's really important the public has their say and I'm calling on them to take part," says Mr Hipkins.
"At stake is the opportunity to change how NCEA is used to prepare our students for life after school in a fast-changing world."