Teachers and principals say fewer students are likely to skip their NCEA exams this year.
Figures from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority show 5.88% of the students enrolled in NCEA exams last year did not show up.
Some had left school or were unwell but others decided not to sit their exams because they already had enough internally-assessed credits.
The Secondary Principals Association and the Association of Teachers of English say new merit and excellence endorsements for individual subjects will encourage students to sit exams, even if they have already passed the subject.
Association of Teachers of English president Jo Morris says failing to turn up is not necessarily a problem for students who have achieved at a high level.
"I think it depends on their motivation. A student who has, for example, an excellence endorsement and has everything they require out of the year, they might make a political decision not to sit an exam," she says.
"A student who can't be bothered, obviously that's much more of a problem."
Jo Morris says teachers do their best to encourage students to turn up to exams.