K-12 Tests in New Zealand

In New Zealand, Schools deliver the highest level of education. Free schooling is provided to New Zealand residents or permanent citizens in state schools at the ages of five and 19. The education scheme for schools consisting 13 year-levels which includes obligatory schooling from ages 6 to 16 (for maximum students it is year 11) though most students continue studying until years 12 and 13.

New Zealand’s school system imparts education in both individual-sex and co-educational secondary education and state schools are non-religious. Students usually join school close to place that they live. There is a state-made compulsory National Prospectus for Years 1 to 10. Most schools use English language, but certain schools teach in the local Māori language. 

Primary Education

Children can start school at the of age five and most of the students commence their schooling at this age, even though schooling is not enforced till age six. Primary schooling starts at year 1 and lasts until year 8, with final years 7 and 8 mostly presented at either a primary, or a distinct intermediate school.

Secondary Education

Secondary education is provided in years 9 to 13 (ages 13 to 18/19). Public secondary schools are generally known as secondary schools, or colleges. In secondary schools the schedule is arranged around subjects and while students continue to practice a broad and well-adjusted curriculum some narrowing down is possible, especially in years 11 to 13. Pupils are provided with specialised career information and direction.

Overview of School Education in New Zealand

Academic year: School commonly starts at 9 am and runs until 3 pm or 3:30 pm. There are four department terms running from end of January to mid-December with 2 week breaks amid them and a six-week summer time break at the conclusion of the every year.
  • Term 1: From Late January to mid-April – With Two week break
  • Term 2: From Late April to early July – With Two week break
  • Term 3: From Mid-July to late September – With Two week break
  • Term 4: From Mid-October to mid-December – The Six week summer holiday

Main language of Instruction

Despite the fact that English is the leading language of education all over New Zealand, this was not quite the same in past, and in recent years, there have been continuing efforts to increase the accessibility of Māori language education in New Zealand as one of the New Zealand's 3 official languages.

National Curriculum 

New Zealand has a globally heralded National Curriculum that applies to every state schools and public integrated schools. It comprises all the years of education and is required from year 1 to the end of year 10. The National Curriculum objectives entail that all young people should be confident, associated, actively involved and life time learners.

Examination System

New Zealand’s chief nation-wide qualification at secondary school and further is the National Credential of Educational Achievement (NCEA). In each class, students are measured through schoolroom work and examinations against numerous standards

When a student accomplishes a norm, they increase credits. When they’ve attained the mandatory number of standards and received enough credits, they receive an NCEA certificate.


The amount of credits necessary to pass each NCEA level is given below. Remember credits can be reclaimed for multiple licences:

NCEA Level 1 – 80 credits at Level One or higher, of which 10 must be in literacy and 10 must be in numeracy.
NCEA Level 2 – 80 credits total, of which 60 credits must be at Level Two or higher. Students must also have achieved 10 literacy and 10 numeracy credits at Level One or higher.
NCEA Level 3 – 80 credits total, of which 60 credits must be at Level Three or higher and 20 credits must be at Level Two or higher. Students must also have achieved 10 literacy and 10 numeracy credits at Level One or higher.
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