Study in New Zealand without IELTS

Last updated: 1 July 2024 English Language Training

Proving their English proficiency is a key requirement for non-native English speakers aiming to study in New Zealand. While the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a widely recognised test for this purpose, it is not the only option available.

Finding the right English proficiency test that fits their needs and strengths is crucial for many students. Whether seeking an alternative due to specific test preferences, accessibility issues, or testing format differences, it's important to know that New Zealand institutions accept several other reputable exams.

This blog will guide you through the various IELTS alternatives that can open doors to your academic ambitions in New Zealand. We'll explore options such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, Cambridge English qualifications, and others. Each test has unique features, preparation strategies, and acceptance criteria.

If you want to study in New Zealand, why not arrange a free consultation with SI-Global today? Our consultants will discuss your study options and help you apply.

study new zealand without ielts

IELTS Alternatives to Study in New Zealand

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

TOEFL is a popular internet-based or paper-based standardised test for English proficiency. Conducted by ETS, it measures all academic skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The test evaluates your ability to use and understand English at the university level. 

PTE (Pearson Test of English)

Pearson Test of English is a computer-based test trusted by reputed universities and colleges abroad to offer candidates a flexible way to improve their English language skills to study abroad. 


Duolingo is a standardized test that evaluates applicants' English skills through various question types. The computer-based test measures candidates' ability to use English when studying abroad.  

NZCEL (New Zealand Certificate in English language)

It is a qualification approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). This allows you to study English at different levels (Foundation Level and Levels 1 to 5). Certificates at each level have 60 credits. 

CAE (Cambridge English: Expert)

The C1 Advanced exam is a high-level qualification showing you have the language skills employers and universities want. 

CPE (Cambridge English: Proficiency)

The CPE is a language proficiency test that tests all four skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The examination is provided by Cambridge Assessment English and the University of Cambridge (ESOL examination)

The minimum requirements for all the above proficiency tests are different. Also, it depends on the eligibility for university enrollment. Check out the minimum scores required -

New Zealand Universities and Colleges without IELTS

Most universities want English proficiency tests as a part of their admission process for international students. Here is the list of best New Zealand universities and colleges without IELTS requirements.

Other institutes and colleges where students can study in New Zealand without IELTS include Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand Management Academics, and Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. These are some of the top-notch universities and colleges in New Zealand for international students without IELTS. However, when applying for a university, you must check the fundamental criteria covering the language-specific requirements. 

Getting a New Zealand Student Visa without IELTS

There are various language proficiency tests besides IELTS. Many international students who wish to study in New Zealand can pursue education and visa without IELTS. A New Zealand student visa without IELTS is possible if you meet the following requirements:

Study in New Zealand

If you want to study in New Zealand, arrange a free consultation with SI-Global today.

Back to Study Guide

"SI-New Zealand helped me successfully apply to study business in New Zealand and I cannot thank them enough for their support. They assisted me with each step, ensuring I was aware of all my options in terms of program and university selection, making the process totally stress free."

Isabella Ramos Business and Management

Isabella Ramos

Leading Universities in New Zealand