Exams (Standardized tests) required to study abroad

To get into top courses abroad, an aspirant needs to take some standardized tests prescribed by the Colleges or Universities abroad.

Nowadays a lot of students are seeking to study abroad because of the quality of education and an increasing number of opportunities elsewhere. Universities in abroad have the preset requirement for the standardized tests like SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, IELTS, LSAT, MCAT and PTE. These are some exams that foreign universities ask to analyze an aspirant that should be provided admission or not.

Language tests like IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE are mandatory and GMAT, GRE, SAT, LSAT, and MCAT are generally required to take admission in the top universities. Some concerned organizations organize and conduct these exams multiple times a year. These standardized tests are sought differently by different universities for the relevant courses.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

TOEFL is a standardized test, and it is required to measure the English language knowledge of a non- native speaker. A private non-profit organization ‘The Educational Testing Service (ETS),’ conducts this exam more than 50 times a year at 4,500 test centers across 165 countries. It is an IBT (internet based test) which has 0 to 30 (in 1 point increments) on each of the four sections. So the total of 0 to 120. Generally, US universities ask for 90 in TOEFL. TOEFL score is valid for two years. Majority of US universities only accept TOEFL as an English Proficiency Test.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

IELTS is a standardized test, IELTS also measures the English language proficiency of a non-native speaker. ‘Cambridge Assessment English’ administers it. It is valid for admission in more than 10,000 colleges, agencies, and other institutions in over 130 countries. Listening, reading, writing and speaking of the English language are tested of a non-native speaker. It is offered up to 48 times a year. IELTS is conducted at more than 1,200 test centers in over 140 countries. Scores are given on 0 to 9 bands.

PTE (Pearson Test of English)

PTE is an English language test designed to examine the fluency of non-native English speakers to participate in university-level programs that are taught in English. Majority of universities across various countries have started accepting PTE.

SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test)

SAT is a standardized test used for college admissions across the USA. High school graduates undertake it for the entry in bachelors. SAT measures academic skills like literacy, numeracy and writing ability that are needed for intellectual walkover in college. It is administered by ‘College Board,’ Educational Testing Service, a non-profit organization in the United States. It is 3 hours 50 minutes (without the essay) or 4 hours 40 minutes (with the essay) duration test and consists of test scored on the scale of 200–800, (in 10-point increments), on each of two sections (total 400–1600). It is offered four times annually outside the USA and seven times annually within the USA.

GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)

GRE is a standardized test used for college admissions across the USA. GRE is designed to measure a candidate’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that he has gained in the past. Colleges in the US generally ask for GRE for the admission in MS (master of science). It is also accepted by the various college to provide admissions for MBA. ‘Educational Testing Service’ administers it. It has a duration of 3 hours and 45 minutes (includes 1-minute breaks after each section and a 10-minute break after the third section). It consists the ‘Analytical writing: 0.0 to 6.0 (in 0.5 point increments),’ ‘Verbal reasoning: 130 to 170 (in 1 point increments),’ ‘Quantitative reasoning: 130 to 170 (in 1 point increments).’ GRE is valid for five years. It is a ‘Computer-based test: Can be taken only once after 21 days from the day of exam every year, maximum of 5 times a year (applies even if candidate cancels scores on a test taken previously).

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

GMAT is a computer-based standardized test, GMAT assesses specific analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for the intent of admission in MBA. Various top B-schools ask for GMAT across the world to provide the admission into MBA. It has an exam duration of 3.5 hours. It has a total score (from the verbal and quantitative sections only): 200 to 800, more than 650 out 800 is considered as an ideal score. It is offered multiple times a year. It is held across 600 test centers in 114 countries. GMAT is valid for five years.

LSAT (Law School Admission Test)

LSAT is a standardized test held six times each year at registered testing centers across various countries. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the LSAT. Prospective students have to undergo this standardized test, who are seeking admission in top law schools of Canada, USA, and some other countries. Duration of LSAT is 35 minutes for each of the six sections, for a total of 3 hours and 30 minutes (excluding breaks). It has a score range of 120 to 180.

MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

MCAT is a computer-based standardized test for the students seeking admission in Medical colleges of USA, Canada, and Australia. It is designed to examine the problem solving, critical thinking, written analysis and knowledge of scientific concepts and principles of a prospective candidate. It’s validity ranges from 2 to 3 years depending upon the colleges you are applying to. It has a score range from 118 to 132. It costs the US $310 to apply for MCAT.

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