Students ready to get NCEA exams over with after disruptive year

The first eight sessions of the dreaded end of year school NCEA exams are now out of the way as students across the country put pen to paper.

Exams this year have started a little later than usual and now there's a focus on making sure candidates can keep up the motivation for those final few crucial credits.

Students at Papatoetoe High School are putting their years' worth of COVID-19 disrupted learning all down to a single exam.  

Papatoetoe High School principal Vaughan Couillault says his students lost a lot of class time this year. 

"Kids in Auckland, in particular, have lost a term of face to face learning when you have a look at both of those lockdowns."

Couillault says the late start to exams has positive and negative aspects. 

"We were lucky in that we had an extra 10 days in terms of when the exams started, they usually start a lot earlier in November, but sort of unlucky in that you had to keep that motivation level up for an extra couple of weeks."

And all eyes were on the clock, as the end of the first exams in Te Reo, Physics, Business, and Calculus this morning came to an end.

Students are now beginning a two-month wait for results, glad that exams are out of the way.

A Wellington College student says they’re "relieved we are getting to that exam point now because COVID-19 was quite uncertain". 

The Government has cleared that uncertainty up, with NZQA changing some requirements, including: 

pushing the start date for exams back from November 6 to November 16. 

Introducing additional Learning Recognition Credits. 

Lowering the threshold for endorsements and University Entrance. 

Education Minister Chris Hipkins says schools have been putting in the effort to make sure students have a seamless exam season.

"Overall the school system and our teaching community are bending over backwards to make sure these kids get their very best shot at NCEA."

Now it's down to the student to get heads down and bum up and earn every last credit.