OPINION: It's NCEA results day. The marks are in. There will be smiles and there will be tears.
If you or your child is verging on tears, listen up because all might not be lost.
2012 was a good year for me. I was head girl at Kapiti College, I was getting good marks and I was determined to go to the New Zealand Broadcasting School.
There was no subject I was more determined to succeed in than media studies. So come results day, I was eager to check www.nzqa.govt.nz for the subject I had busted my gut to study for. It was a fail.
I sat on my couch in utter disbelief (and in tears). My 17-year-old life was over, I wasn't going to broadcasting school and I wasn't going to have the career of my dreams.
I had a copy of my exam essay so I re-read it, it was good. It was damn good and I was so sure of myself I took it to my teacher to get a second opinion.
She said the same, "Shannon, this is an excellence essay. You need to send this in for resubmission".
Feeling confused and then hopeful, I paid the fee and sent it back to NZQA.
It came back, and I was awarded a merit.
I had no explanation as to how my initial assessor got my mark so dreadfully wrong.
Of the more than 150,000 students who sat NCEA exams in 2015, 9099 of them applied to have an exam mark reconsidered.
More than 1500 had their marks changed.
It's one percent of the all people who sat NCEA exams in 2015, but for those 1500 students, it could be the difference between university entrance and not.
For me, it was the difference between getting to where I am today or having to settle for another career.
My advice? Back yourself, believe you deserve better and ask for better.