Entry and language requirements
Different courses and institutions have different entry criteria. Check with the institution you are applying to. Most tertiary institutions require you to prove that you have a reasonable grasp of the English language.
Secondary school entry requirements
Your chosen school will assess your English and academic abilities and put you in the appropriate class.
English language requirements at secondary schools
Requirements vary but most schools will take beginners.
Tertiary entry requirements
The criteria for entry to tertiary study vary, depending on the institution. Generally, if you are under 21 you will need to be able to prove that you are reasonably proficient at English.
You’ll also need to show evidence of qualifications that make you suitable to study at this level, such as:
- a New Zealand 'B' Bursary or better, or NCEA Level 3
- GCSE 'A' Levels
- STPM (Malaysia)
- Hong Kong 'A' Levels
- Australian Matriculation Year 12 Certificate
- Canadian Pre-University Programme
- Latin American students entry is determined by the institution.
The institution will advise you if it wants you to have your qualification assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. This costs NZ$450 and takes up to 8 weeks. Download the form from the NZQA website.
English language requirements at tertiary institutions
Most institutions will ask for original documents or certified photocopies of 1 of the following:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 6 with no band less than 5.5. IELTS is used at many tertiary institutions in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and North America. It assesses your ability to read, write, speak and listen in academic or general training contexts. It is developed and managed by the University of Cambridge, the British Council and IDP Education Australia
- a pass in English in the New Zealand Bursary examination or NCEA Level 3
- a pass in English in the General Certificate of Education (GCE) 'O' level examination
- a TOEFL (Princeton Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper test (not the computer test) score of 550 and a TWE (Test of Written English) score of 4 (paper-based test) or 213, Essay rating 4.0 (Computer-based test)
- Grade C3 or above in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) English 322
- some other recognised English proficiency test.
Talk to your institution about their exact requirements.
Recognition of prior learning
See Cross credits and exemptions
English language schools
Language schools offer courses from beginner level, for people who can say 'hello' and 'goodbye' and have basic knowledge of the alphabet. For absolute beginners, who have no previous language learning experience, private tuition can be arranged.