Stella Twigley's first emotions when she looked at her NCEA exam results yesterday were of happiness and relief.
The 16-year-old Pakuranga College student was one of thousands of students who eagerly logged into the NZQA website yesterday to check their NCEA results.
"I was really happy," said the Pakuranga College student who received an excellent endorsement overall for her level one subjects.
Up to 163,000 secondary school students were able to access their end-of-year exam results yesterday morning. By the late afternoon, 80,000 pupils had gone online to do so.
The authority's deputy chief executive, Richard Thornton, said extra staff were put on at the call centre to keep up with hundreds of inquiries that stacked up quickly in the day, mostly from students forgetting log-in passwords and locking themselves out of the system.
"The call centre's been dealing with that main issue today, where a student's gone to log in but they've forgotten a password and tried too many times.
It's just like any other site ... and the system locks them out."
Being her first experience with NCEA, Miss Twigley was especially proud with the marks for her three English papers - two excellences and a merit.
"I studied before exams and stuff but I was quite lucky to have a good teacher."
However, Miss Twigley was most surprised when she saw her science exam results after not doing "too great" in a mock exam just a few months earlier.
"In the exam I didn't know if I had done enough to pass," Miss Twigley said. "I ended up getting one excellence and a merit and I thought I was going to fail both."
She also sat level one maths, outdoor physical eduction, business and economics. Despite largely positive results, a case of overconfidence in her business and economics paper led to some unexpected results.
"I started the year off really well in that subject and I did better in the mocks than I did in the actual exam," she said. "My confidence about the subject was up so I started to kind of slack off a bit."
She said she's now learned her lesson and won't repeat the mistake in her level two exams this year.
For now, she's also making the most of having a proud mum. "She's making me a nice dinner," Miss Twigley said.
Results for scholarship examinations will be released in mid-February.
• Up to 163,000 students had results back
• 80,000 have accessed them online
• 26,000 requested their results to be posted out as well