Otago Polytechnic

NZQA English Language requirements

All students (international and domestic) for whom English is not a first language must either:

  • demonstrate the specific IELTS requirement for the programme you wish to enter, or 
  • provide acceptable evidence of English language proficiency depending on the visa decline rate of the country you are from (see information below). 

If you do not know what IELTS score you need to meet to enter your chosen programme, either check the online programme information page on our website or contact us.

  • If you are an international student, please email international@op.ac.nz or call +64 3 477 3014 (from overseas).  
  • If you are a domestic student, please email studentadmin@op.ac.nz or call 0800 762 786 (from within New Zealand). 

To begin, you need to check your country’s student visa decline rate.

Student visa decline rates by country > 

If your country has a student visa decline rate of more than 20%, select that option below.

If your country has a student visa decline rate of 20% or less, select that option below.

 

Acceptable evidence of English language proficiency

  For students from countries with a visa decline rate of more than 20% 
  • NCEA Level 3 with University Entrance
  • Certificate of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA)
  • Completed Bachelor Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Bachelor Honours Degree, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Master’s Degree or Doctoral Degree, but only if: 
    • the qualification is obtained from a tertiary education provider from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States; AND
    • the language of instruction was English.
  For students from countries with a visa decline rate of 20% or less 
  • NCEA Level 3 with University Entrance
  • Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA)
  • Completed Bachelor Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Bachelor Honours Degree, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Master’s Degree or Doctoral Degree, but only if:
    • the qualification is obtained from a tertiary education provider from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States; AND
    • the language of instruction was English.
  • An NZQA-approved English language proficiency test, taken prior to 22 August, 2018 administered by a Category 1 or 2 institution, where the student has achieved an outcome that is equivalent to or better than those listed in the Table of internationally-recognised English proficiency outcomes for international students.
  • Completion of all primary education and at least three years of secondary education at schools with English as the language of instruction.
  • Completion of five years of secondary education at schools with English as the language of instruction.

 

Additional information 

 

  List of internationally-recognised English proficiency tests

CAE– the examination of Cambridge English Language Assessment called Cambridge English: Advanced, also known as the Certificate in Advanced English, found at http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/advanced/

 

CPE –    the examination of Cambridge English Language Assessment called Cambridge English: Proficiency, also known as the Certificate of Proficiency in English, found at http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/proficiency/

 

FCE, or FCE for Schools – the examination of Cambridge English Language Assessment called Cambridge English: First, also known as the First Certificate in English, found at http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/first/

 

IESOL – Internal English for Speakers of Other Languages qualifications by City & Guilds, found at http://www.cityandguildsenglish.com/.

 

IELTS – the International English Language Testing System, jointly owned by the British Council, IDP Education Australia, and Cambridge English Language Assessment, found athttp://www.ielts.org.

 

LanguageCert – a set of English Language qualifications owned by PeopleCert Qualifications Limited, member of the PeopleCert Group found at www.languagecert.org

 

LRWS – listening, reading, writing and speaking.

 

NZCEL – the New Zealand Certificates in English Language listed on the NZQF (NZQA being the qualification developer).

 

OET –   the Occupational English Test of Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment, found at https://www.occupationalenglishtest.org/

 

PToE – the Pearson Test of English (Academic), found at http://www.pearsonpte.com/Pages/Home.aspx.

 

TOEFL – the Test of English as a Foreign Language of the Educational Testing Service, whose headquarters are in Princeton, United States, found at http://www.ets.org/toefl.

 

TWE – in relation to TOEFL is the Test of Written English.

 

  Table of internationally-recognised English proficiency outcomes for international students

English Proficiency Outcomes 1

Programme Level

IELTS test 2

TOEFL Paper-based
test
(pBT)

TOEFL Internet-based test
(iBT)

Cambridge English Examinations

NZCEL 3
a) Expiring
b) Current

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

City & Guilds IESOL

LanguageCert

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 14)

FCE or FCE for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill 
OET at Grade C in all sub-tests

a) Level 3 (General) or (Workplace) 
b) Level 3 (General)

PToE (Academic) score of 36

B1 Achiever with a score of 43

B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS

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 14)

FCE or FCE for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill
OET at Grade C in all sub-tests

a) Level 3 (Academic) 
b) Level 3 (Applied)

PToE (Academic) score of 42

B2 Communicator with a score of 42

B2 Communicator IESOL (LRWS) with PASS

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 14)

FCE or FCE for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill
OET at Grade C in all sub-tests

a) Level 4 (General) or (Workplace) 
b) Level 4 (General) or (Employment)

PToE (Academic) score of 42

B2 Communicator with a score of 42

B2 Communicator IESOL (LRWS) with HIGH PASS

Certificate or Diploma at Level 6 
Diploma or 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 18)

FCE, or FCE for schools, or CAE, or CPE with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill
OET at Grade C in all sub-tests

a) Level 4 (Academic) 
b) Level 4 (Academic)

PToE(Academic) score of 50

B2 Communicator with a score of 66

C1 Expert IESOL (LRWS) with PASS

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
OET at Grade B in all sub-tests

a) Level 5 (Academic) or (Professional) 
b) Level 5

PToE (Academic) score of 58

C1 Expert with a score of 42

C1 Expert IESOL (LRWS) with 
HIGH PASS orC2 Mastery IESOL (LRWS) with PASS

  1. The listed outcomes represent the minimum scores or grades for each test or qualification that qualify a student for enrolment at each programme level. Students with higher scores or grades than required for a particular programme level may still enrol at that level. Where the entry requirements for a programme are for a higher English proficiency outcome than is listed in the relevant row of the Table for the programme level in which the student is being enrolled, the student must meet that higher level.
  2. IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible).
  3. New versions of some NZCEL qualifications, and in some cases new qualifications, were published on 13 June 2017. These are intended to replace pre-existing versions and qualifications, which have been given expiring status until discontinued on 31 December 2019.

 

 

  Otago Polytechnic English Language Policy

You can find Otago Polytechnic’s English Language Policy here.