This year's NCEA and Scholarship exams have been screened to ensure the questions will not upset students who experienced the Christchurch earthquakes.
More than 143,000 students will sit the exams, which begin on Thursday morning.
The Qualifications Authority says it screens the exams each year to ensure there is no content which might upset a student.
That covers events such as the earthquakes.
Qualifications Authority deputy chief executive Bali Haque says last year it changed a question in light of the September quake in Canterbury.
"We do a check every year on exam questions to ensure that when students walk into the hall and do the examination question they aren't put off by some sensitivity. So we do that on a regular basis and every year we pick up one or two things."
The authority has also told schools to let it know if they think a students' exam performance has been impaired as a result of the earthquakes.
There are 17,808 exam candidates in the Canterbury region.
Cambridge exams are also under way, involving more than 10,000 New Zealand students.
Candidates in both the Cambridge and NCEA exams will receive their results in January.