When 14-year-old Otumoetai College student Megan Sushames turned up to her Level 2 NCEA calculus exam, other students asked if she was lost.
The Year 9 student was not lost. She's a mathematics whizz and was ready to sit her first NCEA exam years before her peers would.
"It was quite weird. People asked how old I was and if I was in the right place."
She was a bundle of nerves waiting for today to roll around and bring her NCEA exam results - along with 9107 other students throughout the Bay of Plenty.
She was up "very, very early" eager to find out - something her mother Lisa Sushames said was not common for the teenager.
Megan had always been gifted at maths. It was something she enjoyed and this was quickly noticed by her teachers.
Her maths teacher had gone out of his way to provide Megan with the Level 2 programme.
This morning's results showed two excellence marks in algebra and calculus to which Megan said she was "relieved".
She said the algebra exam was "really hard" so the result showed her hard work had paid off.
She was on track to fulfill her dream of becoming a mathematician and planned to get Level 3 next year in the subject.
More than 165,000 students in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) were posted on the NZ Qualifications Authority exam hub this morning.
Otumoetai College principal Russell Gordon said students had worked "doubly hard" with staff to achieve "their personal best".
"I am looking forward to seeing the results but with trepidation."
He said the students would "not be defined by their results but instead their resilience". All the learning from 2020 could be applied this year.
Otumoetai student Annabel King said she believed her time in lockdown dedicated to school work had helped her receive the results she was after today.
Having her first year of exams fall into the Covid-19 lockdown was "stressful" at the time but the school had done everything to help them through, she said.
She said her peers and she had been texting all morning after waking up nervously around 6.30am. She said thankfully they had also done well.
In a normal year, students need 80 credits to get NCEA level 1, 60 credits at level 2 or above plus 20 at any level to get NCEA level 2, and 60 credits at level 3 plus 20 from level 2 or above to get NCEA level 3.
However, to compensate for lockdown, students would get one bonus credit for every five they achieve, up to maximums of 10 bonus credits at level 1 and eight at levels 2 and 3.
University Entrance requirements had been reduced from 14 to 12 credits in three approved UE subjects and universities had said that they would be "open to considering a recommendation" from schools to admit students who miss out because of Covid disruptions.
Mount Maunganui College principal Alastair Sinton said the results were close to what the school had predicted at the end of the year and they were "feeling really positive".
He said results were similar, if not higher in some areas, than in previous years.
"I have no doubt that student results have been impacted by lockdown and distance learning but we made a conscious decision early on to not use that as an excuse.
"Alongside our existing tracking and monitoring processes, we allocated extra staffing and applied for extra funding to help identify and follow up on students that may have needed further support."
He said the school used lessons from lockdown to create adaptable programmes for students if they needed it.
"That said, there were a small number of students that used lockdown as an opportunity to step into employment that might not have done so otherwise."
Students had shown "resilience and optimism" throughout and many should be "justifiably very proud", he said.
NZQA's deputy chief executive assessment Kristine Kilkelly said 9108 students in Bay of Plenty entered to sit NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams.
She said they were unable to provide specifics for each city or attainment information until results were finalised in April.
Summer school achievement and reconsiderations could be submitted until mid-March and because of Covid-19 it was "more important than ever that these results are processed and factored in before we can provide a complete and accurate view on attainment", she said.
NZQA returns marked papers to students from late January, after which students can apply for a review or reconsideration.