Advice on NCEA Level 2 and Matthayom 6 Equivalence and University Entrance requirements for Thailand

Please read the important update for School International Directors about proposed changes for students applying to Thai universities in 2017

International students from Thailand should be aware that they need a Matthayom 6 equivalence certificate, issued by the Ministry of Education in Thailand’s Bureau of Educational Testing (BET), to be eligible to apply for university in Thailand and many other post-school study and employment opportunities.  

Matthayom 6 equivalence criteria

You can apply to BET for Matthayom 6 equivalence if you achieve either of the following options.  These options have been agreed by NZQA and BET.

Option 1: NCEA Level 2 certificate (at least 80 credits, of which 60 must be Level 2 or higher and the remaining 20 must be Level 1 or higher).

From 2013, Option 1 includes new literacy and numeracy requirements. In order to achieve NCEA Level 2, students will have to achieve the same literacy and numeracy requirements as those currently in place for NCEA Level 1. For more information about these requirements, see Literacy and Numeracy requirements.


Option 2: 60 credits at Level 2 or higher in a minimum of five subjects. These credits are to include a minimum requirement of 4 credits in English (literacy) at Level 2 or higher and 4 credits in Mathematics (numeracy) at Level 2 or higher. (NB: To achieve this option, Thai students must have studied 5 subjects)

Option 2 does not require a student to achieve NCEA Level 2.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

BET does not accept ESOL as a subject in Option 2. However, ESOL credits will be accepted as part of the 80 credits required to gain NCEA Level 2 in Option 1.  ESOL can be studied at either NCEA Level 1 or 2 or a combination of both. ESOL can be counted as one of the 5 subjects required by universities if a student achieves a minimum of 12 Level 2 credits.

Additional Requirements for University Entrance

Universities in Thailand have indicated that they would give preference to applicants with NCEA Level 2, evidence of literacy and numeracy, and students that have achieved in 5 subjects. So it is recommended that you:

  • achieve NCEA Level 2
  • achieve numeracy and literacy requirements (see Option 2 above)
  • study 5 distinct subjects (similar to a course of study a New Zealand student aiming for university would take at Level 2)
  • achieve a minimum of 12 Level 2 credits per subject (preferably more, and the more Merits and Excellences achieved the better).

The universities’ expectations should be taken into consideration when finalising your course of study.

Subject choice

You are encouraged to check the pre-requisite subjects for your intended university study.  Students wishing to apply for university should study a similar course of study to a New Zealand student aiming for university.

Provision of results to students

As well as the normal NCEA results documentation, NZQA will provide a letter, called an Overseas Results Notice, for you to present to BET when applying for Matthayom 6 equivalence.  The Overseas Results Notice is available in mid-January each year on your learner login, for instructions on accessing it, see Overseas Results Notice.

Planning your learning

NCEA is a very flexible qualification with a large number of subject areas that can be studied.  NZQA is aware that some of the subjects studied in New Zealand by international students have not been accepted for entry into academic tertiary courses overseas.  You, and your families, need to ensure appropriate guidance is provided to you by schools and agents regarding your course selections.  This is to ensure the subjects you study in New Zealand are appropriate for entry into academic tertiary courses overseas, or appropriate for your future study or career path.

Guidance for schools

Important information relating to schools' management of foreign fee-paying students from Thailand studying for NCEA is available in the newsletter, November SecQual.


Please refer any enquiries to:

International Unit
Telephone: 04 463 3000
Fax: 04 463 3426

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