D-day has arrived for hundreds of Rotorua students preparing for their national exams.
The NCEA examination period officially starts today with the first major exam scheduled for Monday morning - Level 1 English.
Secondary school students studying in Years 11, 12 and 13 sit the external examinations each year as part of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).
Rotorua Lakes High School Year 11 students Sam Aoake-Austin, 15, and Rebecca Pratt, 16, have been hard at work studying for their Level 1 English exam, a milestone for both students who are first timers to NCEA.
Sam said he was quite confident for his English, history and Spanish exams but he felt less prepared for other subjects.
"I've been studying about two weeks for the exams," he said.
"I'm not looking forward to math. I'm better with literacy - words are my kind of thing."
Rebecca said that their teachers had been teaching them different study techniques tohelp them to prepare.
She said that for her time management was the most important study tool, which included making a schedule of what to study and when to study it during the day.
"I find it hard to get motivated at home but it helps when I have a schedule."
Rebecca said she was dreading the maths exam and felt most confident about her health exam.
More than 143,000 students are preparing for this year's NCEA and New Zealand scholarship examinations, held from today until December 4.
NCEA Level 1 English is this year's largest examination, with more than 46,000 candidates, and the smallest is New Zealand scholarship Latin with 19 candidates.