Which level should my 15 or 16yr daughter be in when we emigrate to NZ

I’m a Singaporean intending to emigrate to NZ in 1-2 years’ time. My daughter who will be 15yrs old this year (Feb 2019), is currently studying in Secondary 3, and her academic year just started on 2 Jan 2019. She is due to sit for her GCE O levels exam at the end of Secondary 4 (Nov 2020), if we remain in Singapore.

We have not decided which curriculum (NCEA/CIE/IB) she should go for when we emigrate over to NZ, either at end 2019 or end 2020. We don’t know which level she will be placed at then, for each of the 3 curriculum, and are hoping someone in the know can shed some light on this. Actually, when we move over (end of 2019 or 2020) also partly depends which level she will be placed in, and depending on what would be best for her.

I’d be most grateful for any information that will help us in making this decision. Many thanks in advance.

4 Replies


If you come to NZ at the end of 2019, you should start Year 11 in Feb 2020. If you come at the end of 2020, you should start Year 12 in Feb 2021.

For NCEA, Year 11 -> Level 1, Year 12 -> Level 2, Year 13 -> Level 3 (final level before university)
For CIE, Year 11 -> IGCSE, Year 12 -> AS Level, Year 13 -> A2 Level (final level before university)
For IB, Year 11 -> NCEA Level 1 or IGCSE, Year 12 & 13 -> IBDP (final level before university)


Many thanks for your reply Jamie.

Starting from year 11 from Feb 2020 is straight forward, whichever the curriculum.

But what about starting from year 12 and jumping straight into Level 2 NCEA without having done Level 1 ? Will that be an issue ?

Likewise doing AS Level or IBDP year 12 and 13, without first doing IGCSE, for CIE or IB respectively ?

Thank you !


From what I understand, AS/A levels can can be completed without IGCSE however the workload will be increased significantly and will likely require more study. provides further information regarding Cambridge qualifications in New Zealand.

NCEA Level 2 (year 12) does not require level 1, however it is recommended it is taken. So likewise with Cambridge, extra work outside of regular homework and study may be needed.

Sorry that I am not able to help much with regards to IB, however I hope you able to find information regarding this, thank you and I hope you enjoy your journey to NZ.


Dear Sir/Mdm,

Many thanks for your reply !

Warm Regards,


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