15 Jan 2019

Advice to students with disappointing NCEA results: 'Don't panic'

10:00 am on 15 January 2019

The wait is over for more than 165,000 students across the country with the final NCEA results released this morning.

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School exam results can be accessed from today. Photo: 123RF

It has been an anxious month and a half for students, and for some, that may worsen when they see their final marks.

So what do you do if your child doesn't get the marks they were hoping for?

Secondary Principals' Association of New Zealand President Mike Williams told Summer Report that students sometimes put too much pressure on themselves.

"The first thing is 'don't panic', Mr Williams said.

"The reality is that there is always alternative ways of getting where you need to get to."

He said the first step for people who did not get the mark they were counting on would be to go to their school and speak to their dean or career advisor.

Mike Williams, Pakuranga College Principal and President of the Secondary Principals Association

Mike Williams Photo: SUPPLIED

"Most people would be really surprised that there is another way of achieving what they want to achieve."

Mr Williams said most courses had multiple entrance requirements and pathways that students could take to get in.

"Even for some of the most restrictive and demanding courses at university there are second chance options.

"So you might not get in that first tranche of people but often they have another entry at the end of the first year of university."

And if a student misses out on a mark by a credit or two?

"It's not unusual to have students going back into school to do an extra couple of credits at the first part of the year.

"It's amazing how much focus comes when you're just that little bit short ... and you can achieve those extra few credits by doing some pretty intensive work in the first three or four weeks of school."

Students can also request a reassessment of their grade if they think there's been a mistake but they should speak with their school first, Mr Williams said.

NZQA has prepped so website doesn't crash

About 1.3 million exam booklets have been marked since tests began in November.

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority said it has taken steps to ensure its website does not crash as a result of the extra traffic.

It said if students did experience delays accessing their results, it could be due to the device they were using, or the quality of their internet connection.

Students need to have their National Student Numbers with them to log on and see their results.

NZQA said if anyone did not know their number they should get in touch with the authority's call centre.

Students will receive all marked exam papers from late January, and those who sat a digital pilot exam for Levels 1, 2 and 3 English, Classical Studies and Media Studies, can log onto the online exam platform and view their marked digital exam from 24 January.

Students then have until 15 February to apply for a review or reconsideration.

Students who sat New Zealand Scholarship exams will be able to view their results online from 7 February and apply for a review or reconsideration until 1 March.

Final national attainment statistics will be made available on the NZQA website on 16 April.

* NZQA call centre: 0800 697 296 or email: helpdesk@nzqa.govt.nz

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