Any Hawke's Bay high school students set to sit their NCEA exams on Monday morning had the option of going for a "derived grade" if they were deemed to be too tired or upset from the early morning earthquake.

As a result of the earthquake, particularly in relation to severe damage along areas of the eastern coastline of the South Island and Wellington, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority announced just before 9am that New Zealand Scholarship examinations set for today had been postponed in all centres, but that NCEA exams were set to continue and "proceed at all schools not earthquake affected".

However, the authority noted that for any students unable to attend their exams in the wake of the early morning events there was the option of a "derived grade" process which is available so no students can be disadvantaged.

The process is laid out so that if a student is unable to take part in all or some of the national end-of-year NCEA exams, their school can use standard specific work (such as practice exams) they produced during the school year to submit a recommended grade to NZQA.

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"We put that message out on our Facebook page," William Colenso College principal Daniel Murfitt said.

He said some students may have been affected and they had been asked to contact the school immediately if they had concerns in the wake of a poor night's sleep.

It was however business as usual and a science exam had got under way on schedule.
A Havelock North High School spokesperson said it was "exams as normal" but also stressed there was the emergency derived grade process available if anyone required it.

Some pupils lived at Te Awanga and Haumoana so that option was there if they had endured a sleepless night and were not to taking an exam.

Lindisfarne Rector Ken MacLeod said apart from the postponement of the scholarship examinations "rest will go on" but added the derived grade process was also available.
"But I don't think there has been any major impact on our kids although some will be affected by the postponement of the scholarships."

There was no indication at this stage when they would eventually take place.

Mr MacLeod said the scholarship exams had been scheduled to begin at 9.30am and notice of postponement only came through just before 9am.

However, he said with so much having happened, especially in Wellington where the NZQA is based, it was not unexpected "under the circumstances".