Secondary school principals say their students are more motivated than ever to do well in the annual NCEA and Scholarship exams.
More than 143,000 teenagers will sit the exams which begin on 8 November with Scholarship drama. Many schools will release students for study leave at the end of the week.
Principals say students appear to be more aware that their results are important and many have been attending weekend and after-school sessions to prepare for exams or make a last attempt at internally-assessed credits.
Papatoetoe High School head Peter Gall said says in previous years, some students did not take end-of-year exams seriously if they already had plenty of credits towards their NCEA certificate.
"I think that has diminished quite substantially over the last couple of years in particular. What we've seen here is more students wanting to take up the opportunity of tutoring that's been offered outside of normal school hours."
Principals also expect there will be fewer no-shows at this year's exams.