For St John's College graduate Kody Ward, the anxiety and excitement of the upcoming release of NCEA results only kicked in two days ago.

However, the nail biting, panicked sleeping, and head scratching, was short-lived once he accessed his results this morning.

"It went really well for me. I'm really stoked with it," the school's 2018 Dux said.

He was among about 5300 Hawke's Bay students and 165,000 students nationwide able to access their results on Tuesday.

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For some in the region, it was a sigh of relief, while for others, it is the end of a chapter.

Ward was awarded an excellence endorsement in four of his level three subjects - English, biology, Māori and religious education. He's yet to find out his Scholarship English result, which will be available on February 7.

Contrary to previous years, Ward said he had "no delays" when accessing the results at 9am.

Hawke's Bay Secondary Principals' Association chairman and Taradale High School principal Stephen Hensman said it has been a "real thrill to go through and look at how students have done".

He said certain groups stood out for him; one being those who had achieved against the odds, as well as those studying above their designated level.

"There's another category of students I'm so impressed with are those who have continued to strive even though they have NCEA in the bag part way through the year," Hensman said.

For teachers, NCEA results "brings to the fore the joys and frustrations of being a teacher", he said.

"You derive enormous satisfaction from seeing so many of your students succeed, especially those who have succeeded against the odds and then at the same time, the frustration and disappointment is knowing other students could have done so much better had they applied themselves."

Principals will be able to access their school's results on January 17.