Study Abroad Exams in 2021: In India, many students dream about going abroad for higher studies. Going abroad for further studies has always been regarded as an enriching experience. Along with a rewarding career and better future, the students also get to experience new cultures, traditions and ideas that mould their personalities as a whole. However, many students do not know which exam to appear for which course.
So, depending upon the level and course of study, the students need to take one or more entrance exams to study abroad for academic programs. Some of the most popular international entrance exams are - GMAT, GRE, SAT, MCAT, LSAT, IELTS and TOEFL. These are required for admission to universities and colleges in various countries across the globe. There are different types of international entrance exams. Broadly, study abroad exams are of two types - Language proficiency exams and Aptitude exams. Check detailed information below:
Language Proficiency Exams
International English Language Testing System (IELTS): It is a standardised English proficiency examination taken by non-native speakers going to English speaking countries to study, work or stay. IELTS is jointly owned by IELTS Australia, British Council, and Cambridge English Language Assessment Test. It is accepted by more than 9,000 organizations all around the globe including educational institutions, employers, governments and professional bodies. For most student visas, countries require a band of 6 to 6.5 while top universities may require on a 6.5 or higher band for their admissions. The examination score is valid for 24 months. Therefore, it is suggested that the students must appear for the language examinations once they start with the application process.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): This entrance exam evaluates a candidate’s ability to read, write, speak and listen/ comprehend the English language. The test is accepted widely in the USA, however, many European countries along with Canada and Australia may not prefer the same. The score is valid for two years. The examination is conducted by ETS which also administers GRE. The scoring is done out of 120 and usually, universities require a minimum of 80 or 90 scores with a minimum requirement for each section.
- Other Tests: Apart from the above-mentioned tests, PTE Academic which is administered by Pearson is another exam. There are other language proficiency examinations as well. Many European countries like Germany, France have respective language examination. However, many European countries now offer courses in the English language and accept IELTS for admission and student visa purposes.
- Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT): Students going to the United States for undergraduate courses takes SAT. The idea of the SAT exam is to provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. SAT is not a mandatory requirement for Universities in the UK or Europe. However, SAT score is preferred by many top universities aboard. The SAT score is calculated from a total of 1600. Most top universities require SAT score of over 1200. SAT scores are valid for 5 years. Technical colleges may also require SAT Subject tests.
- Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT): Students who are applying for MBA or business management graduate programs abroad can take this test. It is one of the most famous aptitude examinations around the world. The GMAT score is widely accepted in all top universities around the world (USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Europe and so on). GMAT is a computerized online program that tests candidates on their quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, integrated reasoning and analytical writing. The exam is conducted by GMAC and the score is valid for 5 years. The test is of a total of 800 marks and a GMAT score of about 650 is the minimum requirement in many good b-schools abroad. Most of the top universities abroad seek a GMAT score of about 680 to 720.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE): The students applying to graduate school in countries like the USA, the UK, Australia can take this entrance test. A graduate-level exam, the score is used by different types of colleges for admissions to various courses. The multiple-choice computerized examination is accepted for both engineering as well as management admissions or even admission to social science courses. The GRE scores are valid for 5 years. The entrance exam is administered by ETS. The results of this test are sent to graduate schools along with a student’s application, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose essay.
Other Study Abroad Exams
- Law School Admission Test (LSAT): It is a graduate exam that is taken by students applying to law schools in countries like the USA, Canada, etc. The exam is intended to check students ability and measures skills that are considered important for a career in law. Different sections of the exam evaluate abilities like information management and the ability to draw inferences from it, the ability to think critically, comprehend complex texts.
- American College Testing (ACT): It is a standardized test that is conducted by the non-profit ACT to ascertain the college readiness of a high school student. For the last 5 years, ACT is accepted by almost all major universities for undergraduate admissions in the US.
- Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): To get into medicine in the United States, students have to take the MCAT. The entrance test is held to evaluate the examinee's aptitude and knowledge about relevant subjects. MCAT is a standardised and reliable mode of evaluating the millions of medical students who aspire to study in the USA every year.
To sum up…
Most countries have their centralized medical examinations in their native language for admission to various professional courses. Students must keep in mind that language examinations are more or less a requirement (course or visa), aptitude test may or may not be required. Some universities may ask students to appear for the examination, even if it is not mandatory. Therefore, before students shortlist any colleges or entrance test, they must do their research.