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Stressed, relieved, delighted, confused, petrified, even a little green - they were just some of the expressions on teens' faces yesterday as they went online to check their NCEA results.
Former Otago Girls' High School pupils Kenzie Whyte, Jisu Lee, Kristy Pauling, Eleanor Hay and Georgia Thomas-Milne decided to share the experience by gathering at the Octagon to check their results using its free Wi-Fi.
They were among about 163,000 pupils nationally who went online to check their results yesterday.
For Eleanor, the wait for results had been stressful.
''I was awake at 6am, waiting for the results to come up. I didn't sleep much last night.''
She was delighted when she found she had gained an excellence endorsement in art and had passed all her science papers, because she planned to study biochemistry at the University of Otago this year.
All five said they could now enjoy the rest of their holidays without the cloud of exam results hanging over them.
New Zealand Qualifications Authority deputy chief executive Richard Thornton said the release of results had been successful with no issues reported.
He said yesterday was a busy day, with almost 30,000 candidates logging in by 9am.
''On average, between 15,000 and 20,000 students have been logging in every hour and viewing their results,'' he said.
''Results release is something we plan well for and carefully manage to ensure students can access their results.''
Mr Thornton said NZQA extended the opening hours of its call centre yesterday and had extra staff on hand to answer specific inquiries from pupils.
School result summaries and records of achievement can be ordered from today and will be mailed out to pupils, he said.
Marked examination papers will be returned to pupils from late January. Then they will have until February 21 to apply for reviews and reconsiderations of their NCEA results.
Those who sat New Zealand scholarship examinations will be able to view their results online in mid-February and apply for reviews and reconsiderations by March 7.