Pursuing higher education abroad is not a simple process. It is systematic in nature, and the first aspect of the process is writing certain exams. Presently, there are a handful of exams which amount to minimum qualification for applying for a program abroad. Whether you aim to pursue under-graduation, post-graduation or doctoral studies, you are required to write any of these exams.
Confusion about these exams is reasonable, but I will help you understand them in a simple manner. I am going to talk about 5 major exams that every aspirant of international education should acquaint herself with.
- Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).
Scholastic Assessment Test, more commonly known as SAT, is an entrance exam conducted in the United States and a few other parts of the world. The aim is to determine the capabilities of the candidates as future university students. The paper is divided into two sections, one of them being Maths and the other one being Evidence-based Reading and Writing. The score is valid for 5 years. So, if you are aiming for a top-tier university in the United States, Canada, and other select countries, then you must focus on the SAT. There is no limit as to the number of attempts in a year. SAT is conducted across 175 countries and more than 2 million students write it every year.
- Test of English As a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
In the English speaking world, TOEFL is a respectable exam. It is a standardized test that evaluates a candidate’s English language skills in order to determine her readiness for education in an English-speaking country. The test is generally compulsory for non-native speakers who are applying for a course in an English-speaking country or a foreign university having English as its mode of instruction. Students from 130 countries write TOEFL and the score validity lasts for 2 years.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Those aiming for a post-graduate/doctoral degree, especially in Business, from a foreign university should know that GRE is a must. This exam’s scores are usually required by universities in the United States and Canada. The scores are valid for 5 years. However, it is to be noted that possessing a passport is an eligibility criterion for applying for the GRE. GRE is conducted throughout the year so you do not really have to worry about the deadlines, though it is recommended that you make an appointment with the nearest exam center as early as possible. GRE is conducted in more than 160 countries and can be taken more than once in a year provided there is a gap of 21 days in between two attempts.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Just like TOEFL, IELTS is a standardized test designed to determine the candidate’s proficiency in English. The purpose of this test is to assess whether the candidate will be able to engage in an English-speaking environment productively. Countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom even include IELTS in the immigration applications’ vetting process. The test is conducted in more than 130 countries around the world and is recognized by a range of organizations such as educational institutions, governments and professional bodies. Note that the scores of IELTS are valid only for 2 years. Also, you get a complimentary IELTS preparation book upon registration.
- Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).
GMAT is another important exam you can take if you are applying for an international post-graduate program. The paper’s pattern is designed to test the analytical skills of the candidate. The questions cover analytical writing, logical and critical reasoning, and other related areas. These areas have real-life implications for those who wish to establish a career in the world of business. The test scores of GMAT are accepted across 6,000 business and management schools from all over the world and are available in about 114 countries. You can take GMAT as many as 5 times a year, though you are required to take a gap of at least 16 days in between two successive GMATs. The validity of the scores is generally 5 years, though universities may stipulate varying eligibility criteria.
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