Preparation for the IELTS test in New Zealand

What is IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an international language assessment system that allows you to determine the level of your English language proficiency and the ability to master it in people for whom English is not native.

IELTS results are recognised in more than 140 countries worldwide and are accepted by educational institutions, state and professional organisations. If you are planning to get an education in New Zealand, you need to confirm your level passing the IELTS (Academic) test.

IELTS (Academic or General) is required when applying for residence in New Zealand. To receive additional points for the partner of the main applicant, the latter will also need IELTS Academic or IELTS General with a total score of 6.5.

Difference between Academic and General modules

The difference between Academic and General versions lies in the contents of the Reading and Writing sections: the Academic version will offer texts on academic topics, as well as a description of the schedule, whereas the General version contains texts on everyday and social topics. New Zealand schools for degree programs accept the Academic IELTS version.

IELTS test versions:

  • IELTS Academic (academic version, suitable for admission to universities of New Zealand)
  • IELTS General Training (general version, accepted for professional immigration)
  • IELTS UKVI (United Kingdom Visa and Immigration, accepted only in the UK)

The IELTS certificate has its own structure and includes an assessment of four test modules:

  1. Listening (listening comprehension skills)
  2. Reading (reading skills)
  3. Writing (written English)
  4. Speaking (spoken English)

All modules are evaluated on a scale from 0.0 to 9.0 points, with a step of 0.5 points from which the overall score (Overall Score Band) is formed. The test lasts about 3 hours, and the candidate receives his certificate with the results of the exam on the 14th day after the testing. The test result is valid for two years from the date of receipt. Restrictions for re-test do not exist.

Where to take IELTS?

The exam is conducted in more than 900 centres around the world. IELTS Academic can be passed 48 times a year, IELTS General Training – 24 times a year.

Addresses of IELTS testing centres are available here

Where can I sit IELTS in Auckland?

How much does it cost?

The cost of the exam is about US$ 250.
In New Zealand, the cost of IELTS is NZ$ 385.

The cost of the test may vary slightly depending on the center. Be sure to check the schedule of available dates, because of the great popularity of the exam, the set for the nearest dates can be closed. This especially applies to the IELTS reception center directly in New Zealand.

Analogues of IELTS: TOEFL, Cambridge, PTE

Instead of IELTS, you can take tests such as TOEFL, Cambridge or PTE (Pearson Test). New Zealand accepts various options, more details on the NZQA website.

Appeals Based on IELTS Results

If you are sure that the assessment of your knowledge was biased, you can file an appeal – Enquiry on Results (EOR). This procedure is paid (US$ 170). It allows you to make a request to recheck your test. The appeal does not guarantee a revision of the points, but the chance is there.

  • When?
    You have the right to appeal for 6 weeks after the test date
  • How many times?
    You can only appeal for an appeal 1 time
  • How long to wait?
    You will receive the result of the appeal not earlier than in 8 weeks, and it will be final. At the same time, while your application is being reviewed, your certificate is invalid.
  • How much is it?
    You can appeal against the decision both on one block and on all blocks at once, the cost of appeal will not change and to the amount of US $ 170.
  • What if I get a higher score as a result of the appeal?
    If you score a higher score on one of the blocks in the exam review results, you will be refunded the funds paid directly for the Exam (US$ 250).

How to prepare for IELTS?

For admission to a New Zealand University for a professional program at level 7, including undergraduate, you must provide IELTS Academic results with a total score of 6.0 points (at least 5.5 for each module), to enter a program at level 8, you will need a certificate of 6.5 points (not below 6.0 for each module). For most level 4-6 programs, IELTS Academic is sufficient with an average score of 5.5.

The IELTS score, which is in the range of 5.5-6.5, is the same as the upper-intermediate level.

To successfully pass the international exam and be admitted to a New Zealand University, and also communicate comfortably and confidently with native speakers, special attention should be paid to learning English.

Official training  will help you to prepare by yourself:

There is a lot of other useful information on the Internet in the public domain. This method is suitable for disciplined people, as everyone knows how difficult it is to get yourself to do things if you do not have a partner or mentor.

Preparing for IELTS with tutors is also a good option to tighten up your knowledge and focus on gaps. And since the IELTS is quite a popular exam, finding a tutor who can prepare you for it will be easy enough. It is possible to find tutors for Skype classes.

Language courses in your city are probably quite popular and good value for money. But there is also a need for discipline for homework and working in groups. Carefully study the opportunities in your city, it is most probable you can find training courses for IELTS. This option is quite common, as it allows you not to be distracted from your main activities, to continue to work, study, and at the same time, the period of language training can be flexible.

Preparing for the IELTS test abroad, is in our opinion, the most effective way. And, of course, it is better to consider learning a language in an English-speaking country – Canada, America, Britain, Australia or New Zealand.

Preparation for IELTS in New Zealand. Let’s take a closer look at the language courses in New Zealand. Remember that to study English in New Zealand you need to get a visa. Visas suitable for you are the following:

  • Student visa
    The basic conditions for obtaining a student visa is the period of study, it must be at least 3 months, and the intensity, at least 20 hours per week, so-called full-time study. At the same time, the main advantage of this visa is the possibility of obtaining the right to work part-time.
  • Visitor visa
    This visa assumes that the training will last no more than 3 months, the intensity can be any. Perhaps the only drawback of this visa is the impossibility of work-in-training, although it is one of the most productive ways to improve your communication skills by applying knowledge gained in courses to real life.

How to choose language courses in New Zealand

Practically in all language schools in New Zealand there are training courses for international exams and Academic English. This is great for those who plan their studies for degree programs. Such courses will help you understand how to correctly use English for academic purposes: writing articles, building essays, writing scientific papers, formally communicating.

To prepare for international exams, such as IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, you can easily find suitable courses for yourself. All these variants are presented both in specialised educational institutions – language schools and at institutes and universities. Standard English courses usually last 20 hours a week from 9:00 to 13:00 – morning classes or from 17:00 to 21:00 – evening classes. Sometimes you can take more intensive courses since many schools offer training from 23 to 26 hours a week.

In addition to the standard programs, there are other interesting offers. For example, if you do not know which city you would like to study in, or if you want to see as many cities as possible, there is an option for learning English in the Combo tour. Combo-tour is an opportunity for students from 18 years of age to take English courses in three language schools in three different cities of New Zealand. During the training you will be able to see Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown. It is not necessary that schooling is continuous one after another, give yourself a few days in between and get acquainted with the country.

The duration of the courses are selected based on the initial level of the language, learning ability and personal qualities of the student. You can choose the period of study on your own, and you can start training in most schools on any Monday.

Many schools arrange excursions, barbecue and other activities that will allow you to quickly adapt to the English-speaking environment and break the language barrier. Thus, studying English in an English-speaking country for a month is comparable to 3 months (possibly more) of studying the language in standard English courses in your own city.


More information about the courses and the difference in schools can be found on our website in the section Language courses in New Zealand.
To get answers to all your questions and to find the most suitable training options, contact us.

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