Secondary students eager to view their NCEA results were stopped in their tracks when the computer system allowing access to their information crashed.
Tauranga students were among 163,000 throughout New Zealand offered the results from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) yesterday but high demand brought the site to a near-standstill for many users when NZQA said its servers were at full capacity.
An NZQA spokeswoman said the site was tested extensively before the results were released, and maximum resources had been dedicated to ensuring their accessibility. "Even with this amount of preparation some users are facing delays being able to log in to access results. We are actively managing the system to maximise performance."
The issue followed a testing glitch earlier in the week which meant some students were able to access their results a day early - only to have access revoked five minutes later.
Former Otumoetai College head girl Josie Shum said she was told to try again later when she tried to access her results yesterday morning. She is planned to study engineering in Christchurch this year but would still need to check with University of Canterbury whether they had approved her application.
"I wasn't very bothered about seeing what I got. I knew my results were not going to be as good as I hoped they would be."
Josie said she had been warned by other former head students that results would be lower than anticipated because of the workload the role required that year.
"And I organised the ball and the leavers' dinner. I put an extra subject on top of my five subjects."
She said she hoped people would not be too upset about their results "because it's not the end of the world".
"You are not going to be remembered for what you got in NCEA, and it's a rubbish system anyway. Once you get your degree, that's the main thing anyone is going to care about," Josie said.
Tauranga 16-year-old Abbi Williamson said despite not relying on her results for university yet, like her former Year 13 peers, she was still eager to learn what he results were.
"It's frustrating because you want to know if you passed," she said.
Abbi, who will be Year 12 this year, said she "spammed" the NZQA website until it worked for her.
"It wouldn't work for the first two hours so I kept pressing 'log in' and it eventually worked."
Fellow 16-year-old Courtney Cashmore, who would be Year 13 this year, said she tried but the web page kept saying "unavailable".
"Yeah, I'm nervous. I'm looking forward to finding out," she said.
"I saw my friends posted their results on Facebook so I want to go home and check mine."
School Result Summaries and Records of Achievement were available on request and would be mailed out to students.
New Zealand is the only country in the world to return marked examination papers to students.
This will take place from late January.
After the marked papers are returned, students have until February 18 to apply for reviews and reconsiderations or to ask NZQA to recheck or re-mark standards.
New Zealand Scholarship students will be able to view their results online in mid February.
National statistics on NCEA will be available on the NZQA website at the end of March.