A number of Indian students go abroad for studies every year. According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry the figure stands at nearly 5 lacks. One not only gets a good exposure studying in countries such as the US, the UK, France, Canada or Japan but finding a good job in big multinational companies also becomes easy. Educational institutes abroad are often ahead of India in starting courses suited to the requirements of the private sector and they provide these in an informal and congenial environment which is a reason why students prefer to go there.
As per Unesco’s 'Report Global Education Digest 2009', after China the maximum number of students going overseas for studies are Indians. Top destinations are the US, the UK, France, Australia, Germany and Japan. The report states that the US used to be the preferred choice for at least 71 percent Indian students, 8 percent used to go to the UK and 7.6 percent to Australia but the situation has changed now. It is Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, China and South Korea which are becoming popular among students for pursuing further studies. According to Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ASSOCHAM, almost half a million students moves overseas to seek education annually.
To gain admission in foreign educational institutes one has to clear tests like TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination).
Which Test in Which Country
For admission in American institutes one need TOEFL, GRE, GMAT and SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores. For the UK, clearing GCE (General Certificate of Education) is essential. To study in Canada, Ireland and Newzealand either TOEFL or IELTS need to be cleared. In Australia all institutes require IELTS score.
• International English Language Testing System (IELTS): This test is aimed at judging the knowledge of English language of candidates. It is conducted jointly by the British Council, Cambridge University ESOL and IDP Education Australia. IELTS score is recognized in the educational institutes of Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland, Newzealand, and South Africa. Some of the American institutions also recognize IELTS.
• Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL): One hundred and thirty countries across the world, including the US, recognize this test. Though valid for two years, most institutes insist on a fresh score. The test basically looks at the candidates’ reading, listening, writing and speaking (Only CBT) skills and at most centers it is administered through computers.
• Graduate Management Test (GMAT): This test is required for admission in management institutes. The score is recognized in nearly 1,900 countries around the world and the exam is usually divided in three sections: analytical writing assessment, quantitative and verbal. Questions are normally based on reasoning, comprehension and problem solving.
• Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT): Admission in American colleges and universities is possible only on the basis of this test. It is conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service). It analyses comprehension, Maths and verbal reasoning abilities of candidates.
• Graduate Record Examination (GRE): In many graduate colleges in the US, admission is done on the basis of GRE scores. GRE is broadly on the lines of SAT. GRE is a computer based Test.
• Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): Medical colleges in the US and Canada require the clearance of Medical College Admission Test. It is conducted by the Association of American Medical College (AAMC). It tests verbal reasoning, physical science, biological science and writing capabilities. The first three sections of the test have multiple-choice questions.
• TOEIC: TOEIC i.e. Test of English for International Communication is conducted to examine English language skills. Business institutes look at the scores of TOEIC to test the English language. The questions are based on corporate development, finance, budgeting, corporate property, IT personnel, Technical matters, health and business travel.
• Law School Admission Test (LSAT): For admission in law colleges in the US and Canada one has to take the Law School Admission Test. It involves logical reasoning, reading comprehension and analytical reasoning.
• General Certificate of Education (GCE): To gain high-level profession education at British institutes it is essential to have a General Certificate of Education. There are two levels in this exam. A-level score is needed for entry in universities.
Strategy for Test Preparation
The pattern of Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) and International English Language Test (IELTS) is more or less the same. To succeed, it is essential to have a good knowledge of English language. One can prepare for the exams by reading English newspapers and magazines daily and taking the help of some reputed institute if need be.
For GMAT, along with English one should also be an expert in Maths. Speed is of essence in this test. One should be able to solve as many questions as possible in the shortest possible time. GRE and SAT have a similar pattern. Before taking an admission in a preparatory institute for these exams one should keep one’s intellectual and economic capabilities in mind.