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Applying as a student to New Zealand?  On June 16, 2015, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) announced changes to the English language proficiency requirement for some international students.

The NZQA is the New Zealand government agency that is responsible for ensuring the continued excellent quality of non-university tertiary training providers.  These training providers include Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics and Private Training Establishments.

Recent amendments to The Education Act (1989), specifically Rule 18, have made it mandatory for international student applicants from countries with a student visa approval rate below eighty percent (80%) must now demonstrate that they possess the "required level of English proficiency."

The Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, India are countries whose approval rates are lower than 80%. 

Malaysia, Laos, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia on the other hand, have approval rates higher than 94%.  English language entry requirements remain the same for international students from these countries.

Applicants from countries affected by this change may use any of the following exams to demonstrate their level of English language proficiency:

Programme Level

English Proficiency Outcomes

IELTS test

TOEFL Paper-based

test

(pBT)

TOEFL

Internet-based

test

(iBT)

University of Cambridge English Examinations

NZCEL

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

City & Guilds IESOL

Certificate at

Level 3

General or Academic score of 5

with no band score lower than 5

Score of 500

(with an essay score of 4

TWE)

Score of 35 (with a writing score of 20)

FCE or FCE for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill

Level 3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace, or Academic

PToE (Academic) score of 36

B1 Achiever with a score of 43

Certificate at

Level 4

General or Academic score of 5.5

with no band score lower than 5

Score of 530

(with an essay score of 4.5 TWE)

Score of 46 (with a writing score of 20)

FCE or FCE for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill

Level 3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace, or Academic

PToE (Academic) score of 42

B2 Communicator with a score of 42

Certificate or Diploma at

Level 5

Academic score of 5.5

with no band score lower than 5

Score of 550

(with an essay score of 5 TWE)

Score of 46 (with a writing score of 20)

FCE or FCE for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill

Level 4 with the Academic endorsement

PToE (Academic) score of 42

B2 Communicator with a score of 42

Certificate or Diploma at level 6 or 7

Degree at Level 7

Graduate Certificate or Diploma at Level 7

Academic score of 6

with no band score lower than 5.5

Score of 550

(with an essay score of 5 TWE)

Score of 60 

(with a writing score of 20)

FCE, or FCE for schools, or CAE, or CPE with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill

Level - 4 with the Academic endorsement

PToE (Academic) score of 50

B2 Communicator with a score of 66

Post-graduate Diploma or Post-graduate Certificate at Level 8

Bachelor Honours Degree at Level 8

Master’s Degree at Level 9

Doctoral Degree at Level 10

Academic score of 6.5

with no band score lower than 6

Score of 590

(with an essay score 5.5 TWE)

Score of 79 

(with a writing score of 21)

CAE or CPE with a score of 176. No less than 169 in each skill

Level 5 with the Academic endorsement

PToE (Academic) score of 58

C1 Expert with a score of 42

For individuals taking the IELTS, please note that combining scores from more than one test is not permissible and scores must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report form only.

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About the Author

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.


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