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English for Otago (EFO)

English for Otago offers a pathway to degree programmes at the University of Otago

The Language Centre now offers the English for Otago programme online. Dates, entrance requirements and tuition fees will be the same as those for the programme run for students in New Zealand. It allows students who are unable to travel, or who are looking for a cost-effective option to study in their home country before travelling to start their future degree at the University of Otago. All classes will be delivered live online, so students will need to have a reliable, fast Internet connection and a good computer with a webcam and microphone. A headset, second monitor and a printer would also be useful.

Key advantages of the English for Otago programme

  • Pathway to Otago from your home country
  • Learn in a live virtual classroom with other international students from around the world
  • Interact with other students and teachers using the University of Otago’s online platforms
  • Make new friends with other students who will be studying at the University of Otago with you
  • Save money with no travel, visa or accommodation costs
  • Know whether you have passed before you travel to New Zealand
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English requirements for the University of Otago

There are no 'special examinations' for students who fail English for Otago.

Students must achieve a minimum of a 'C' grade to pass the English for Otago course.

In achieving this grade, students meet the English language requirements for admission to most undergraduate or postgraduate programmes at the University of Otago.

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Admission to English for Otago

This is an intensive course requiring a high entry standard. You are required to pass the entrance exam in order to enter EFO or have achieved the following English proficiency level before the course start date.

Entrance requirements

If you are not sitting the English for Otago entrance test, these are the entrance requirments:



Entrance Requirement

Undergraduate programme IELTS 5.5 (no band below 5.0)

IELTS Indicator

5.5 (no band below 5.0)*


70 (writing 15)

Paper-based TOEFL

525 (TWE 4.0)

Computer-based TOEFL

193 (essay rating 4.0)

Duolingo English Test 90*

GCE O-Level English

Grade C6

HKDSE English

Level 2

HK ALE Use of English

Grade D7

LanguageCert B2*

SPM Bahasa Inggris

Grade 4

Pearson Test of English (Academic) PTE (Academic) score of 42 with no band score lower than 36
English New Zealand Accredited Pathway Assessment Level 1
Postgraduate programme IELTS 6.0 (no band below 5.5)

IELTS Indicator

6.0 (no band below 5.5)*


80 (writing 20)

Paper-based TOEFL

550 (TWE 4.5)

Computer-based TOEFL

213 (essay rating 4.5)

Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)

Grade B

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

Grade C

Duolingo English Test 100*


Level 4

APIEL (Advanced Placement International English Language) Examination

Grade 3

GCE A-Level General Paper (English)

Grade C or higher

International Baccalaureate

LanguageCert C1*
Pearson Test of English (Academic) PTE (Academic) score of 50 with no band score lower than 42
English New Zealand Accredited Pathway Assessment Level 2

* These test results are temporarily accepted for those applicants in countries where test centres are closed.

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Start dates, study load and assessment

Start dates

  • Mid-February to mid-June
  • Mid-October to mid-February

Study load

Full-time – 23 hours per week

Study period

15 weeks


Assessment is continous throughout the course.

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Information about University programmes

For information about undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at the University contact the International office.

University of Otago International Office

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