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Study in New Zealand Requirements- IELTS, TOEFL, PTE

Mansi Topa Mansi Topa
Content Curator

International students aspiring to study in New Zealand have to attempt and pass two types of tests – English proficiency and academic entrance requirements test.

To enter any institution, international students have to receive an offer of place or conditional offer of place.

If the students hold an offer of place conditional on English, they can enter the pathway English language course at the university’s English language academy. This is another way to enter the desired institution.

Apart from English proficiency tests, students need to score well in academic entrance exams which includes SAT, GRE and GMAT in New Zealand at different levels of education.

English Language Proficiency Test for New Zealand

English language proficiency tests are mandatory for the students belonging to nations where English is not the primary language.

The highly accepted exams for testing language proficiency are: -

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFLis required for education and immigration purposes in New Zealand.

TOEFL Threshold scores for different level of Programs in New Zealand are: -

Program Level (1 – 10)Updated Scores
Level 335 (writing score – 14)
Level 4 – 546 (writing score – 14)
Level 6 – 760 (writing score – 18)
Level 8 – 1079 (writing score – 21)

Purpose to visit New Zealand decides the minimum score required by the students. Skilled Migrant Category has the highest cut-off because of the job level demand.

TOEFL Validity – 2 years

Average Fee of the Exam – 270 USD

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

It is the most widely accepted test in New Zealand for English language proficiency judgment.

IELTS Threshold scores for different Migration to NZ are: -

CategoryMinimum Score
Skilled Migrant Category6.5
Business Category: Entrepreneur4
Residence from Work Category5 (with partner and children)

IELTS Validity – 2 years

Average Feeof the exam – 225 USD

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

  • PTE has been recently added to the list of English language proficiency tests in New Zealand. It is accepted by 100% New Zealand Universities, Visa, Polytechnics and Private Institutions.
  • PTE is of 2 types – Academic and General.
  • This exam is also valid for all the visa categories in New Zealand for migration.

PTE Threshold score for different types of Visas in New Zealand

Visa TypeOverall PTE Academic Store
Skilled Migrant Category58
Religious workers, partners and dependent children36
Dependent Child Resident Visa36
Parent Resident VisaAt least 29 in two of the skills or overall 36

PTE Validity – 2 years

Average Fee of the exam – 150 USD                

Academic Entrance Requirements for New Zealand

Apart from English proficiency tests, it is mostly mandatory to appear for one of the standardized exams at undergraduate or graduate level. The scores decide the university suitable to the test taker. Higher the score, the better chances to pursue education from desired institution.

Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)

  • SAT is conducted at undergraduate level.
  • It is accepted at every university in New Zealand.
  • It is not necessary for the students to appear for SAT in this country.

SAT Validity – 5 years

Average Fee of the exam – 47.50 USD or 64.50 USD (Essay)

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

  • GRE is conducted at graduate level.
  • It is valid for the students who are interested to study further after undergraduate studies. Its scores are acceptable for Master’s, MBA, Ph.D. and Specialized Master’s in New Zealand.
  • Taking a GRE test is not a compulsion in New Zealand.

GRE Validity – 5 years

Average Fee of the exam – 205 USD

Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT)

  • GMAT is conducted at graduate level.
  • In New Zealand, it is taken by those students who have completed bachelor’s and want to do master’s in management i.e. Master of Business Administration (MBA).
  • Students can apply for GMAT only if they have a valid passport which is to be shown at the test center on the day of exam.

GMAT Validity – 5 years

Average Fee of the exam – 250 USD

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