Online Bursary results exceed expectations

Students are no longer chewing their fingernails in frustration waiting for exam results - thousands of bursary students are using the Qualifications Authority (NZQA) website to access their results.

Students are no longer chewing their fingernails in frustration waiting for exam results – thousands of bursary students are using the Qualifications Authority (NZQA) website to access their results.

Communications manager Bill Lennox says that on the first day 5400 results were accessed, which means around 20% of the students who sat Bursary (roughly 27,000) have accessed their results in this way.

"Last year we had 50% of the total all told and this year is set to exceed that."

The site served up results for over 4000 students in just the first few hours, according to Lennox.

"We even had a couple of cheeky students get in before we'd finished testing by changing the URL from last year's Sixth Form Certificate results. They needed their own candidate codes and PIN of course."

Lennox says NZQA wanted to avoid the problems of last year when a large number of students trying to access the database at the same time crashed the system.

"This year we've got three servers load sharing the results. Normally we run one server with a back-up but we've used this opportunity to buy a third." NZQA uses web development specialists The Web, a subsidiary of KPMG Consulting, for design and back up.

"The Web is running a duplicate back-up of the database so if our firewall collapses or the connection goes down it automatically switches to their system. So far they haven't had a single hit which is reassuring."

The big test for NZQA comes next week when 61,000 School Certificate exam results are posted - almost three times the number of Bursary results.

"That will be interesting to see," says Lennox.

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