AUCKLAND, Dec 14 - Announcing the scope of a review of the national qualification standard on Thursday, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said it would look at each stage of the system but with a particular focus whether all high school students need to be attempting Level 1.

Typically, students at Year 11 sit Level 1 units.

The review - due to kick off in early 2018 - would also centre around the amount of testing in schools, Mr Hipkins said.

"Students and teachers have told us overassessment is a real issue and impacts their wellbeing and workload."

He said while the introduction of the NCEA system had been a leap forward for assessment, its full potential had not been realised.

"This review will build on what has been achieved with NCEA to date, and respond to emerging need," he said.

The inquiry will be run by the Ministry of Education.

Labour signalled it would be reviewing the NCEA system, which replaced School Certificate in 2002, during this year's election.

Mr Hipkins this week already announced the government had scrapped the primary school National Standards assessment system.