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Want to Study Abroad? These 5 Exams Are a Must Know!

Posted on Mar 22, 2017
Competitive Exams

As a student standing on the threshold of international opportunities, you must know that, globally, study abroad programs have preset academic standards. You must clear entrance exams not only to get admission to the university of your choice but also to attain scholarships and other financial aid.  Here are the top 5 international exams you must know about:

1. The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) assesses your readiness to enroll in undergraduate courses at most colleges in the USA. It is available only a few times in a year. However, you can take the test as many times as you wish, but we advise not more than 3 attempts, as the scores generally do not change significantly after that.

The SAT comprises of two sections—Maths and Evidence-based Writing and Reading—consisting of a total of 154 questions. Each section is scored on a scale of 200 to 800. There is no negative scoring. The essay score, which is not factored in your overall score, is shown separately on the scorecard. The total duration of the test is 3 hours, plus 50 minutes if you are also attempting the essay. The score is valid for 5 years.

2. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) assesses your analytical writing and problem-solving abilities. It is a globally recognized college admission test that is required for admission to most business schools. The exam is offered all year round the year and you can register online or at a test center. You can take a maximum of five attempts in a year with an interval of 16 days.

The GMAT comprises of four sections: Analytical Writing, with one essay; Integrated Reasoning; Quantitative; and Verbal. The total time allowed to complete all four sections is 3 hours and 30 minutes, divided into 30 and 75 minutes each for the first two and the last two sections, respectively. The Quantitative and Verbal sections have multiple choice questions administered in the computer-adaptive format. The overall score ranges from 200 to 800 in 10-point increments and the score is valid for 5 years.

3. If you are aiming for a master’s degree, or doctoral degree from universities in North America, you will need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Both computer-based and paper-based formats are available. You can take the test once every 21 days, up to five times in a year. If you are going for the paper-based format, you can take it as many times as it is offered.

The test consists of six sections: The first section is always the Analytical Writing section comprising two subsections – Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument. The other five sections include two Verbal Reasoning sections, two Quantitative Reasoning sections, and an Experimental section that can be either math or verbal. The last five sections may appear in any order. The computer test lasts a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes long. The Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 130 to 170 and increase in 1-point increments. The score is valid for 5 years.

4. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), as the name suggests, is a standardized test to assess English language abilities of non-native speakers who wish to enroll at English-speaking universities. In India it is offered across almost 35 cities at pre-decided dates. The nonprofit organization ETS administers this test.

TOEFL has two formats: paper based and computer based. The four-hour-long test consists of four sections each measuring the basic language skills: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. For the speaking test, you need to answer six questions into a microphone. The recorded answers are sent to an examiner for evaluation.  The test score is valid for 2 years.

5. Like TOEFL, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests the English language proficiency of non-native speakers. It is the only English language test approved by the UK government for visas and immigration. It is also required for immigration to Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. The British Council offers the test across 42 locations in India.

Within 10 days of registration, you will receive an IELTS preparation book at the address you have mentioned in your application form. You are required to take a face-to-face exam with an IELTS examiner. The test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes and scores older than 2 years are not valid.

We strongly recommend you take your chosen exams as early as possible –at least 1 to 2 years prior to application.  This not only gives you a good indication of potential colleges on your radar, but also allows you to then focus your time and resources on other aspects of the college preparation process.  Also, should you need to retake it, you are not rushed at the last minute.

Don’t lose your calm, confidence, and focus during the test, or you lose your scores too. A good score can get you into your dream college and, ultimately, a well-paying job. We wish you all the best!

ReachIvy sincerely hopes that this article serves as a critical tool to increase your knowledge base. For study abroad consultation  or career counselling  with ReachIvy, Submit a Query now! Also, review our resources  to access our free premium content.

This article was also published in After DC  on 22/03/2017.

Posted in Study Abroad

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