Watch: 'They came out crying' – students left in tears after unexpectedly tough NCEA maths exam

Some students have been reduced to tears after sitting an NCEA mathematics exam which they say was impossibly hard, including material they hadn't been told to revise for.

The Level 1 Mathematics examination was sat by students around the country yesterday. 1 NEWS talked to students today who opened up about how they felt about the examination.

"I was just shocked, it's not really what I revised, I didn't expect it," Jessica Green from Kristin High School said of her geometry exam.

She said it wasn't just her who found the exam stressful, with others in her year reduced to tears.

"The ones who attempted it, they were in the same boat, they came out crying and they couldn't believe it after spending so long studying for it.

"It was just such a waste of time," Jessica said.

Two female students from Albany Senior High agreed with Jessica, with one stating the teachers were also disbelieving of how hard the exam was and found the test confusing.

However in a statement released today NZQA have backed the examination, saying it "met the specifications available to schools in advance of the school year."

"The Level 1 Mathematics examination was set by a team of experienced mathematics teachers, for the right curriculum level and is consistent with the specifications for the standard," deputy chief executive for assessment Kristine Kilkelly said.

The statement goes on to say the examination was featured in workshops for maths teachers earlier in the year.

Many students said the questions were not what they had revised for and that teachers agreed test was too hard. Source: 1 NEWS