Education Minister Chris Hipkins has recognised the extraordinary challenges students have faced this year, ahead of NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which begin on Monday.
"I want to congratulate students for their hard work during a year of unprecedented disruption, and I wish students all the best as they begin exams," Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.
"The wellbeing of students is one of the top priorities for the Government. I encourage students to stick to a study plan, remember to build in breaks for exercise and relaxation, and talk to someone if the pressure is getting too much.
"This is an important time of year, and whānau have vital roles to play in supporting and encouraging students to do their best.
"Students will have a fair opportunity to achieve NCEA and continue on to further study or work, despite the impact of COVID-19 this year.
"Earlier this year the Government took a range of steps to support students, including delaying exams, introducing additional Learning Recognition Credits, and amending thresholds for endorsements and University Entrance.
"Extra support is in place for Auckland students who faced a second lockdown, and those in other areas who were unable to attend school due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in August.
Exams end on 9 December, by which time around 140,000 students will have participated in 120 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exam sessions.
"Around 35,000 students from almost 300 schools are entered to sit some NCEA exams online. This year, 58 online exams will be available across NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3.
"The increase from around 20,000 students entered for digital exams last year reflects the growth in online teaching and learning that has been underway for some time, but which has accelerated this year," Chris Hipkins said.
NCEA results will be released in late January, and New Zealand Scholarship results are due in February.
Notes: Information to help students manage exam pressure is available from www.nzqa.govt.nz/exampressure and students can find out about the health and safety measures in place around exams at www.nzqa.govt.nz/C19safety