Guide to Applying

Online applications are open now - make sure you apply early to ensure your application is received in time!

Here are some handy hints and tips when completing your application for one of our initial teacher education programmes.

Student statement

Make it count - what makes you unique?

Completing your student or personal statement does not have to be scary. It is just a chance for us to get to know you, and find out why you want to be a teacher. It is like a mini advertisement.

Take the time to plan, create a draft and write a logical and concise statement. Write clearly using correct grammar and sentence structure, check and double-check! Give to a friend or someone you trust to read.

Remember we want to know about you.

  • Give examples of your involvement in sports, art, culture, local community organisations, volunteer roles, coaching, children's groups - what leadership roles you have had
  • Achievements and goals

Handy hint: visit a school and talk about your experience and what insight you gained.


Part of the application is your referee's report. Selecting your referee can seem daunting but all you need to do is ask yourself .... "does this person know me well enough to be a referee?"

Good choices can include:

  • A teacher who knows you well
  • Sports/Drama coach/Youth group leader
  • An employer

Make sure it is not a partner, close friend or relative!

Handy hint: We send a virtual form to your referees once your application is submitted. So, let them know to keep an eye on their inbox and spam folder!

Numeracy and Literacy Assessment

Please see the link below for practice templates that you can use to prepare for this assessment. Each assessment has a 50% pass mark. If you do not successfully meet the required 50% pass, you will be given a further opportunity to re-sit this assessment at a later stage.

The Interview

First impressions count, this is your chance to project a positive and competent image.

Our interviews are a chance for us to meet you in person and for you to get to know us. They normally are a group interview where we meet with up to 10 potential students. Interviews normally run for between 2-3 hours depending on the programme you are interviewing for.  All our interviews are held on campus either in Hamilton or in Tauranga. Just like when you apply for a job make sure you come at least 5 minutes early to the start of your interview.

Dress well: Smile and make eye contact. Positive body language conveys a strong message.

Know yourself: Skills and attributes, use examples from all aspects of your life, sports, leadership roles, cultural activities, volunteer roles etc.

Be organised: Bring notes and supporting documentation.

Be prepared: To answer questions about the programme, yourself and your goals, including:

  • Why you want to become a teacher
  • Your understanding of the role of a teacher
  • Experiences that you have had working with young people
  • Experiences that you have had that outline your experiences in working with different cultures
  • Whether you have spent time in a school
  • Current media releases relating to Education
  • The diverse learning needs of 21st century students

End the interview on a positive note, shake hands, thank the interviewer and make eye contact. This is your final chance to make a lasting positive impression.

COVID UPDATE: As of September 2021, unless the whole of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1, all interviews will be held via Zoom to ensure the safety of our applicants and staff.

If you have any questions or need help, please contact one of our Student Advisors

Te Kura Toi Tangata School of Education
Phone: 0800 924 5286
Email: [email protected]