By KATHERINE HOBY
English teacher Tania Roxborogh sat down to the Bursary English examination knowing that her credibility was on the line.
At the beginning of term two last year, her Year 13 (seventh form) students at Orewa College challenged her to sit the exam.
"It was one of those situations where I'd never live it down if I said no."
Mrs Roxborogh told the students that not only would she sit the exam with them, but she would ace it.
And she did - with a mark of 90 per cent.
Yesterday she was one of more than 25,000 Bursary students able to check results on the internet.
Mrs Roxborogh had never sat Bursary English before, having left secondary school after the sixth form.
"I got told, 'Put your money where your mouth is'," she said.
She willingly took up the challenge, joined study groups with her students and worked hard.
"I hadn't sat exams for years and I understand now how hard their study is. I was learning things from them as much as they were from me."
She supports her students in any way she can during an academic year.
"I never ask them to do something that I wouldn't do.
"When they do something a bit daunting, like speeches, I do one too.
"So they weren't about to let me away with not doing this.
"I said I'd kick butt if anyone beat me, though."
Two of her top Year 13 English scholars got 84 and 81 per cent.
Mrs Roxborogh said the Ministry of Education was initially reluctant to allow her to sit the paper, telling her it would affect her credibility if she scored a low mark.
"I was fairly confident. And I knew if I bombed out I shouldn't be teaching."
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Bursary exam results are available by telephone and internet. Results notices will be in the mail early next week to 26,204 candidates.
School Certificate results will be out early next week.
Candidates were told of the phone (0900-61111) and internet (www.nzqa.govt.nz) services last year and given personal identification numbers. All will have their answer booklets posted in the next few weeks.
Top scholars in Bursaries subjects will be announced early next month.
Sixth Form Certificate results have been available by phone and internet since last month.