Don't worry if you get bad results - there's always another option.
That's the message education student Taylor Gavin has for students who will today find out how well they did in their NCEA exams last year.
Gavin herself knows the stress school-leavers place on themselves when it comes to NCEA - After falling sick with glandular fever in year 12 she ended up with viral fatigue which affected her final year at Whangārei Girls' High School.
Because of this, she missed school and didn't earn enough NCEA level 3 credits to "even think about going to university".
"I was actually a bit stressed out because I didn't know what to do. I wanted to go to school and I tried a few times but I just couldn't make it through the day because I was so tired. I was like 'if I can't go to school, than what do I do with NCEA'.
"It was always in the back of my mind that I wasn't getting my credits and then I wouldn't be able to go to university - and everyone tells you you need to go to university to get a job," she said.
• NCEA overhaul: More emphasis on exams, literacy and numeracy skills
• Northland news in brief: AOS in Kaitaia, lottery winners and NCEA results up soon
• External exams in NCEA 'a gigantic step backwards', college says
• NCEA maths paper shocks even 'excellence' students, baffles teachers
But not getting enough NCEA level 3 credits didn't mean Gavin could not go to university.
She enrolled and completed the University of Auckland's one-year Tertiary Foundation Certificate last year, and this year she will start her Bachelor of Education at the university's Whangārei campus.
"It was fantastic. I love that course, I would recommend it to anyone. It helped prepare me better than high school for university."
Around 140,000 students attended 119 exam sessions across New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Niue last year.
Gavin said students who were disappointed in their exam results shouldn't worry.
"There's always an option to get in to university. It's not like you don't have your credits, you can't get in to university - there's always a way," she said.
Mirko Wojnowski, a Bachelor of Education lecturer at the University of Auckland, said the Tertiary Foundation Certificate was for school leavers who do not have University Entrance or who do, but fall short of the requirements of their chosen programme.
Anyone who would like more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more at www.auckland.ac.nz/tfc
Meanwhile, Bronwyn Ronayne, chief executive of People Potential, said results day was a big time in students' lives.
"It's so nerve-wracking. It's a big milestone and sometimes it can change your plan," she said.
But Ronayne said it's "not the end of the world" if students did not receive the credits or grades they needed for their chosen pathway.
"It might be that you're only a few credits short and that doesn't mean the end of the world, that doesn't mean your whole pain has to change necessarily. It might mean you have to do some work, but it doesn't mean all hope is lost," she said.
Ronayne said People Potential offered options for school-leavers and was open from Monday next week for those needing support.