Coronavirus: NCEA students get more time for exam study, but credit requirements the same for now

Good news for senior students worried about NCEA: they'll have more time to cram for end-of-year exams.

The Government announced changes in light of COVID-19, but they don't extend to lowering the number of credits needed for the qualification.

Teachers are going to extraordinary lengths to keep their kids focused, but it's a struggle studying from home - even for hard-working all-rounders like 16-year-old Isobella Bavin.

"I found it hard to remain focused throughout the day, not having naps and snacks, but I think I've done the best that I can," she said.

For senior high school students, the lockdown came while they were working towards NCEA and university entrance.

"Lots of my friends think NCEA should definitely cut the credit, but for me I'm just hoping there will be some kind of compensation," Bavin says.

The Government has postponed NCEA and Scholarship exams by 10 days to November 16, and portfolios for subjects like design are extended by three weeks to November 12.

"That extra 10 days will give students and teachers a bit of extra time to consolidate learning," Jack Boyle says.

But those hoping they'll need fewer credits to pass NCEA haven't had their wish granted just yet.

"We have to tread very carefully there - we have to preserve the overall quality of the qualification," Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

The group being watched closest are school leavers - those Year 13s looking at university. They could still end up seeing university entrance requirements lowered to make up for weeks of lockdown - and further changes are being considered.

So there could be good news yet for senior students - though not before they return to school on Monday.