German requirements for university entrance

The recognition of NCEA by other countries matters to you if you are:

  • a New Zealand student who wants to study abroad
  • an international student with a New Zealand senior secondary school qualification intending to study in another country.

New Zealand National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) results can be used to apply for admission to German universities provided the minimum requirements below are met.

Temporary changes to German university admissions requirements

These temporary changes apply from September 2020.

The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (Kultusministerkonferenz or KMK) have decided to temporarily change the minimum requirements for students applying for admission to a German university in line with temporary changes to NCEA.

The minimum requirements for students with NCEA Level 3 and UE achieved in 2020 are:

  • 60 credits at Level 3 or above plus 20 credits at Level 2 or above: up to a maximum of 8 Learning Recognition credits may be used for satisfying this requirement
  • 12 credits each in three approved subjects
  • the requirement for numeracy: 12 credits in Mathematics (or Calculus) made up of 6 credits at Level 3 and 6 credits at Level 2 or above
  • the requirement of at least five distinct subjects remains unchanged. Learning Recognition credits do not count as a subject
  • the requirement for literacy (10 credits at Level 2 or above in English (or Te Reo Rangatira) made up of 5 credits for reading and 5 credits for writing) remains unchanged.

Registered users can refer to this information on the Anabin website.

Minimum requirements for students applying for admission to German universities with NCEA results

NCEA Level 3 60 credits at Level 3 or above plus 20 credits at Level 2 or above in at least five distinct subjects including English (or Te Reo Rangatira) and Mathematics (or Calculus)
University Entrance 14 credits each in three approved subjects at Level 3
Literacy 10 credits at Level 2 or above in English (or Te Reo Rangatira)
made up of 5 credits for reading and 5 credits for writing
Numeracy 14 credits in Mathematics (or Calculus) made up of 7 credits
at Level 3 and 7 credits at Level 2 or above

It should be noted that the numeracy requirements for entry into German universities are more stringent. Therefore, achieving New Zealand University Entrance does not necessarily mean that the German university requirements have been met.

For further information on the minimum number of credits required for each subject, refer to the requirement table. (PDF, 426KB)

Additional requirements for students applying for admission to German universities

  • Students are advised to check for further admission requirements of the state they plan to study in. Some German Länder (federal states, with responsibility for education policy and recognition of foreign certificates) may have additional requirements, for example the required number of years of study.
  • Students are advised to contact the universities they are considering studying at to check for additional requirements before commencing their final year of study at a New Zealand school. Individual German university programmes may have specific subject and grade requirements where admission is competitive or restricted.

What subjects should be studied in New Zealand?

Subject combinations that most closely follow the Abitur requirements include:

  • English or Te Reo Rangatira*
  • Mathematics or Calculus**
  • any natural science subject
  • any language, literature and arts subject (preferably a second language)
  • any social science subject (preferably history)

*English or Te Reo Rangatira are substitutes for German which is compulsory in Germany

** Achievement Standards for mathematics must be predominately calculus not statistics

For the list of NCEA subjects that correspond to subjects approved for Abitur, please see the Approved subjects for University Entrance in Germany (PDF, 126KB).

Grade conversion for recognition by German universities

The Abitur certificate provides ranked score, Abiturdurchschnittsnote, allowing German universities to rank students for the competitive allocation of places.

To enable German recognition authorities and universities to calculate an equivalent Abiturdurchschnittsnote on the basis of a student’s NCEA results, NZQA provides a German Overseas Results Notice (ORN) to students. It includes values for use by German authorities and universities to convert NCEA results into the equivalent Abiturdurchschnittsnote.

Students are advised to achieve 90 or more NCEA Level 3 credits and aim for as many Excellence and Merit grades as possible. Higher grades achieved in the standards in NCEA Level 3 University Entrance approved subjects, particularly externally assessed standards, will result in a better Abitur conversion.

See the values for Abitur.

See the formula for Abitur.

German Overseas Results Notice

NZQA provides a German ORN for students who have completed NCEA in New Zealand. The German ORN includes:

  • a list of all NZQA qualifications achieved by the student
  • a summary of credits achieved, categorised by subject areas, results, grade and level
  • the Nd value (i.e. the student’s individual average score)
  • the Nmax and Nmin values (Nmax is the highest Nd value and Nmin is the lowest Nd value for a given year).

The German ORN is produced in mid-January each year to include all NCEA results from the previous academic years. This is updated with late reported results and those arising from successful reviews and reconsiderations.

German citizens who are international fee paying students can download their German ORN by logging into the Learner Login.

Non-German citizens and domestic students can request a German ORN by emailing prs@nzqa.govt.nz.

There is no cost for a German ORN.

Students leaving partway through a year will not be able to see their Nd value until the following January when NCEA results are released.

Values for Abitur

NZQA implements a process developed and directed by Germany’s Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) to calculate Nmax, Nmin and students’ Nd values. This is recorded on the student’s German Overseas Results Notice (ORN).

The Nmin Nmax and Nd values are calculated using the NCEA Level 3 results from all students awarded University Entrance

Values for Nd are calculated each academic year using the student’s best 90 NCEA Level 3 assessed credits. 

Each standard’s result is prioritised:

  • University Entrance (UE) approved subject standards are used ahead of non-UE approved subject standards
  • achievement standards are used ahead of unit standards
  • externally assessed achievement standards are typically ranked higher than internally assessed standards for the same subject and result.

Note: 90 credits at Excellence on their own do not guarantee a high score. Higher grades achieved in the standards in NCEA Level 3 University Entrance subjects, and especially externally assessed standards, will result in a better Abitur conversion.

Formula for Abitur

The formula for Abiturdurchschnittsnote is:

1 + 3 * ((Nmax - Nd) / (NMax - NMin))

If a student’s Nd score was the lowest in their year level, Nd would equal Nmin and the equation would simplify to 1 + 3 * (x / x) = 4 where x / x = 1.

Conversely, if a student’s Nd score was the highest, it would simplify to 1 + 3 * (0 / x) = 1 where 0 / x = 0.

Completion of NCEA before 2012

NZQA is unable to provide a German ORN for students who achieved NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance prior to 2012 because the data sets are not available for conversion to Abiturdurchschnittsnote. German authorities and universities will convert existing NCEA results using the highest three Level 3 subject scores.

Enquiries

For more information, please email us at internationalunit@nzqa.govt.nz

 
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