NCEA results for more than 160,000 high school students have been revealed today, with the 2023 school year just a couple of weeks away.
It’s the third year extra credits have been offered to make up for learning disruption caused by Covid-19.
For high school student Hawaiki, it’s been a summer of nerves and anticipation - replaced by instant relief.
He’s been aiming for an excellence endorsement, and today marks his mission complete.
"I feel so overwhelmed from the results today," he told 1News.
"I'm also happy because it’s been a tough year, so I got on with the job going into my exams."
It’s a wave of emotions for Zaneeta Connor, a South Auckland school leaver.
"I did better than I thought.
"Oh my gosh, I was a bit shocked at the same time cause I was really nervous with so many exams, but I'm so happy," Conner said.
Provisional data shows the number of students who passed Level 1 has dropped from before the pandemic, but NZQA points out that fewer schools are offering the full qualification.
As for Level 2, achievements are also slightly down - but school leavers have bucked the trend, with Level 3 results slightly higher than in 2019.
"If you didn't achieve what you want to, get in touch with your school and have a conversation with them; there are things that can be done to help support you to get that extra bit of learning you need to make sure you go where you need to go," PPTA President Melanie Webber said.
School leavers now have three years of Covid-affected study behind them.
AUT has started its summer programme to help those considering university make the transition.
"There may be a time to talk about what went on in NZ over the past few years, but we have to remember that what these young people have been through is extraordinary, and we should not be surprised that it may have changed what they've been able to achieve," said AUT Vice Chancellor Damon Salesa.