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Study in New Zealand without IELTS

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Apr 11,2024 05:36 PM IST

• To study in New Zealand, International students are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English through tests like IELTS. 

• IELTS is an English language proficiency test that evaluates international students' reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

• Students can study in New Zealand without taking IELTS if their prior qualification was completed in English. 

• Continue reading to discover how to study in New Zealand without taking the IELTS exam. 

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English language proficiency is necessary to seek education opportunities in New Zealand. As an English-speaking country, it is well-known for its colleges, universities, high education norms, and welcoming nature. Language proficiency exams like IELTS help international students tackle language barrier issues and become eligible to study in New Zealand. 

However, many aspirants face challenges in meeting the language proficiency requirements set by academic institutions in New Zealand. These challenges cannot spoil one's dream of studying abroad. They can study in New Zealand even without taking the IELTS test. Wondering how? Keep reading this blog to learn about the NZ universities accepting students without IELTS.

Academic Journey in New Zealand without IELTS

Beginning an academic journey in New Zealand without taking the IELTS exam is more than just a dream. Several universities in New Zealand accept international students without requiring an IELTS score. This section will help you explore the options available for studying in New Zealand at prestigious universities without taking the IELTS exam.

International students seeking admission to universities in New Zealand have several alternatives to the IELTS exam. Other English proficiency tests, such as the TOEFL and PTE, are widely accepted. Additionally, many reputable universities in New Zealand understand that English proficiency can be demonstrated through various means. They consider alternatives such as other language proficiency exams, English grades, and overall academic scores. This flexibility makes New Zealand a popping-out study destination for aspiring students who may excel in English but struggle with the IELTS exam format. 

New Zealand Universities Accepting Students without IELTS

Most of the universities in New Zealand prefer students who have good scores in language proficiency exams. However, some prestigious universities in New Zealand grant admissions to international students without IELTS. 

Name of UniversitiesQS Global Ranking 2024Popular Courses offered
Massey University 239Veterinary science, Creative arts, business 
University of Waikato 250Anthropology, Population studies, Digital Business 
Auckland University of Technology 407Hospitality, Tourism, Sport Management 
University of Canterbury 256Environmental Science, Law, Psychology 
Lincoln University 362Agriculture, Forestry, Property Studies  

Note: For more information about Universities accepting students without IELTS in New Zealand, speak to leading study abroad consultants

Alternatives to IELTS to Study in New Zealand

This section delves into alternative exams to IELTS to study in New Zealand. 

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Students who wish to study in New Zealand have options to avoid taking the IELTS test. These alternatives allow students to attend leading universities in New Zealand. Below are the alternatives to IELTS to study in New Zealand. 

Alternatives to the IELTS examDescription
TOEFLTOEFL is one of the popular language proficiency exams that is taken to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. With a good TOEFL score, students can turn their dream to study in New Zealand without taking the IELTS exam. 
PTEPTE academic is a modern and flexible test to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. PTE scores facilitate one’s goal of studying in New Zealand without IELTS. 
DuolingoDuolingo English Test or DET is the latest English language proficiency test, which started in 2016. The exam is accepted by several New Zealand universities. 
CAECAE stands for Cambridge English Exam, which includes CAE and CPE. Both are globally recognized by several New Zealand universities. 
Secondary Education in EnglishSome New Zealand universities consider the medium of instruction in secondary education. For example, If the applicant has attended an English-medium school, they are exempt from taking the IELTS exam.
University-specific English programs Some New Zealand universities provide preparatory English courses, which are substitutes for IELTS. These courses can facilitate the New Zealand student visa process as well. 

Eligibility Criteria for New Zealand Universities

Studying in New Zealand is a dream for many international students. There are some requirements for studying in New Zealand that students should satisfy to get into New Zealand Universities. As per the previous section, students can apply to their dream universities without taking the IELTS exam. Below are the eligibility criteria to study at New Zealand universities.

AcademicsApplicants must have excellent academics. (minimum score – 60%)
Language Proficiency TestsEnglish Medium Education or other language proficiency tests, such as TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, etc, are required to study in New Zealand. 
Standardized ExamsAspirants should take standardized exams (GMAT/GRE) to increase their enrolment chances.
Statement of Purpose (SOP)Aspirants must write an impactful Statement of Purpose (SOP).
AgeApplicant must be 18 years or above. 
Letter of Recommendation (LOR)Candidates should have an impressive Letter of Recommendation. 

For more information about eligibility criteria at New Zealand universities, connect with international education consultants today!

Documents Required to Study in New Zealand

Applicants should submit certain required documents to apply to NZ colleges and universities. The requirements can vary depending on the university and course. Below are some standard documents for studying in New Zealand that you should be aware of. 

1. One must hold a valid passport.

2. Students should submit copies of academic transcripts.

• Transcripts of 10th and 12th standard If you apply for a Bachelor program.
• Transcripts of 10th, 12th, and Bachelors if you apply for a Master's program. 

3. Candidates must upload a letter of acceptance from the host institution.

4. One should submit a Statement of Purpose (SOP) to determine one’s intention to visit. 

5. Students must provide an impactful Letter of Recommendation (LOR) written by their favourite school or college teachers. 

6. Applicants should provide their student visa application form along with payment receipts. 

7. Aspirants should build an impressive CV/resume highlighting their professional skills.

8. Students must provide the NZ embassy with duly signed certificates, such as medical clearance, Health security, and character certificates. 

9. One should submit bank statements of 6 months, and funds to support abroad study expenses.

Note: Keep in mind that NZ embassy may ask you to provide some additional documents (Income records, sponsor’s details)

New Zealand Student Visa without IELTS

There are various language proficiency exams available besides IELTS, including PTE, TOEFL, Duolingo, CAE, among others. Many international students who wish to study in New Zealand are interested in obtaining a study visa without taking the IELTS. The good news is that it is possible to receive a New Zealand student visa without taking the IELTS exam.

This section goes into the general requirements to apply for a New Zealand Student visa.

requirements for New zealand study visa.webp

Acceptance into a Recognized InstitutionStudents should apply to institutes approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), including institutes of technology, polytechnics, and private training establishments.
Full-time enrolmentTo be eligible for a study visa in New Zealand, international students must be enrolled in a full-time program.  
Financial SufficiencyTo study in New Zealand, parents or guardians must demonstrate financial sufficiency. They should be able to cover their tuition and living costs in New Zealand
Health InsuranceStudents must get in touch with their study abroad consultants to discuss the available insurance options. 
Proof of good characterInternational students who desire to pursue higher education in New Zealand must provide evidence of being a good citizen. 
English Language ProficiencyInternational students aspiring to study in New Zealand must showcase proficiency in the English language through exams such as IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE Academic. Students must contact Canamprep's expert language trainers to acquire thorough information about the required scores for their preferred course and educational institution. 
Proof of Intent to LeaveTo persuade immigration officials, prospective students must have proof of employment or additional studies after completing their current degree. 


New Zealand is gaining popularity as an excellent education provider across the world. Apart from advanced and flexible learning, there are several perks of studying in New Zealand, such as vibrant tourist places, career opportunities, modern and traditional programs, and many more. This country is considered to be one of the favorite study destinations for international students.
IELTS is not the only language proficiency exam accepted by New Zealand universities. Several universities also recognize alternative exams to IELTS, like PTE, and TOEFL. These exams encourage students who find the IELTS format complex or feel confident about clearing other English proficiency exams. Aspiring students can turn their dream of studying in New Zealand into reality by taking alternative exams. Canam Consultants can help students study in New Zealand without taking the IELTS exam. 


The following New Zealand Universities do not require IELTS. 

1. Massey University
2. University of Waikato
3. Auckland University of Technology
4. University of Canterbury
5. Lincoln University

Some sought-after programs to study in New Zealand are animation, engineering, medicine, business studies, agriculture, etc.
Commonly accepted tests include the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic), and Duolingo. 
IELTS is a qualifying language exam with a minimum score of 6.5 out of 9, while a minimum score of 90 out of 120 is qualifying TOEFL score for admission to most institutes. 
Immigration New Zealand accepts PTE Academic for student and migration visas, as do all New Zealand universities, institutes of technology, polytechnics, and training establishments, as well as professional associations. 

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