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Admission from Cambridge International Examinations

Students on the steps of the Information Services Building

(Admission ad eundem statum at entrance level)

A number of New Zealand secondary schools offer their students the opportunity to complete Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) instead of NCEA.

To be eligible for admission, students taking CIE in New Zealand must achieve at least 120 points on the UCAS tariff with a grade of D or better at AS and/or A level in syllabuses from at least three different syllabus groups, which are broadly equivalent to the NCEA approved list.

You must also satisfy literacy and numeracy requirements, by either:

  • gaining an E grade or better in any one of AS English Language, AS Literature in English or AS Language & Literature in English, and a D grade or better in IGCSE or GCSE Mathematics, or
  • meeting the NCEA literacy and numeracy requirements.

Note: You cannot use results from tests such as IELTS or TOEFL to satisfy literacy requirements.

Please note that the requirements stated on this page are only for applicants who have completed CIE at a New Zealand secondary school. If you have completed A Levels overseas through CIE or the General Certificate of Education, further information can be found in the other overseas entrance qualifications page.

Evidence you are required to provide

If you have provided your CIE candidate number to the University of Otago, we will be able to access your results electronically when they become available.

Preferential Entry requirement from CIE

The entry score requirement for Preferential Entry for the applicable undergraduate programmes from CIE is 140 points. Scores which do not meet this requirement will be considered for Competitive Entry.

How to calculate a CIE entry score

Your entry score will be calculated on the basis of your UCAS Tariff score.

You can count no more than six subject units over the last two years of study, in subjects at AS, A2 or A level from subjects matching the NCEA University Entrance approved subjects.

A CIE entry score may differ from the UCAS tariff used for University Entrance because only subjects equivalent to NCEA approved subjects are considered for ranking.

An A level counts as two subject units and an AS level counts as one subject unit. Students can include only their six best subject units when calculating their entry score.

An entry score will be calculated by awarding points as follows:

Level A B C D E
A 120 points 100 points 80 points 60 points 40 points
AS 60 points 50 points 40 points 30 points 20 points
An example of an entry score for a CIE student
Subject Level Subject units Grade Tariff points entry score
English A 2 D 60 60
Physics AS 1 C 40 40
Biology AS 1 C 40 40
Chemistry AS 1 E 20 20
Mathematics AS 1 E 20 20
French AS 1 E 20 nil*
Entry score: 180

* Note: in this example, French is not included as only 6 subject units may be used to calculate the entry score.

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