Putting in the hard yards and preparing well in advance are two key ways to do well in NCEA, according to two high achievers at Rotorua Lakes High School.
Tara Chemis, 17, and Jack Sargison, 17, may be planning to take completely different career paths but the pair share the same ethos when it comes to achievement at school.
Tara completed Level 2 with an excellence endorsement - the highest NCEA rating you can get, while Jack finished top of his class for the school's Trade Academy.
"I don't know if I will go to university for sure yet but I figured I would have a better chance of being accepted if I did well in every NCEA level," Tara said.
"The most important thing is just getting on with your work and not putting it off. If you get all your internals done well before they are due and start studying for exams early you will have a better chance of retaining information and doing well," she said.
Jack is looking to pursue a career in the sheep and beef farming industry. He spent last year regularly working on a farm as part of his study.
"I wasn't really expected to be top of the class but in saying that I knew I was putting the hard work in.
"I think it's really important for all students to take their exams seriously because even if you are considering doing a trade, most employers won't take you on if you only have Level 1 NCEA," Jack said.
He said he was grateful Rotorua Lakes High School offered different pathways.
Principal Bruce Walker said this was the third year in a row the school had seen increasing pass rates in Years 11, 12 and 13.
"We are very pleased with the outcomes our students have achieved. The work to increase student achievement is ongoing but satisfying."