6 Admissions tests for studying abroad you need to know about

Cassandra
Cassandra

10 July 2020 • 7 min read

Over 5 million Indian students follow their dreams to study abroad every year. To get your journey going, you will  have to take a language assessment test and an admissions test before applying. There are many standard entrance tests in various regions abroad, leading to the question, which study abroad exams do I need to take to study abroad? There is no single answer to that question, as it depends on various factors. These include:

  • The subject you want to study (law, business, medicine…)
  • The level of your course (foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate…)
  • The country of your choice
  • The University of your choice

Always remember to check your entry requirements for your course before taking up any entrance test. Different courses consider different exams. 

This article will introduce you to the various tests accepted in prominent study abroad destinations. Let’s take a look!

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) conducts the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. It assesses students applying for postgraduate courses admission overseas. It tests the verbal, quantitative and general analytic reasoning ability of the applicants in its 3 hour and 45-minute test.  

GRE is accepted by many business schools around the world for their business programmes as it is one of the major exams taken to study MBA abroad. There are no specific dates for this test in India; you can apply to take it year-round. If you are not satisfied with your scores, you can retake the test up to 5 times in a year with a 21-day gap between two consecutive attempts.  

Academic eligibility: None

Age limit: None.

Test cost: Rs. 15,600 approximately. 

Score validity: Five years. 

Countries that accept these scores: Most universities in the USA, Canada and some universities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Major courses: MBA, MS and other postgraduate courses. 

  • Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT)

Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) conducts the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT). It is “the exam” to study MBA abroad. The test has four sections, namely, Analytical Writing, Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Reasoning, and Integrated reasoning. The total duration of GMAT is 3 hours and 7 minutes.

There are no fixed dates for GMAT, and you can attempt to take them at any time of the year. That said, you should always book the test appointment 2-3 months in advance. There are 39 locations in India where you can take this test. If you are not satisfied with your score you can repeat it up to 5 times in a year with a minimum of 16 days in between two attempts.  

Academic eligibility: None

Age limit: You need to be at least 18 years old at the time of test-taking. If you are 13 – 17 years old, you can take the test after submitting a written statement of permission from a parent or a guardian.  

Test cost: Rs. 17,700 approximately. 

Score validity: Five Years. 

Countries that accept these scores: Over 2100 educational institutions located in 114 countries, including the USA and Canada, accept these scores.

Major courses: MBA and other business-related courses.

  • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

There are multiple school boards with different education systems around the world. This makes it very difficult to assess students based solely on high school scores. Universities in the USA use SAT as a common point to assess the academic capability of applicants from different school boards.

The College Board of USA conducts The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). It is one of the tests to take when you want to get admission overseas after high school.The test consists of three sections, reading, writing and mathematics in high school level. You also have the option to take an additional essay section. 

The duration of the test is 3 hours, and the optional essay section is 50 minutes on the whole. There are no limitations on the number of times you can repeat the test. However, it is better to limit your number of repetitions as some universities can ask you to reveal the scores of your previous SATs. There are 50 test centres across 30 cities in India. Make sure to book your test slots well in advance to get your desired dates. 

Academic eligibility: None

Age limit: None. Usually, the test takers are high school students in the age group of 17-18 years.

Test cost: Rs. 7,000 approximately. 

Score validity: Five Years. 

Countries that accept these scores: Many nations, including, the USA, the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, accept SAT scores.

Major courses: Undergraduate courses.

  • American College Testing  (ACT)

ACT is yet another exam to take if you want to study abroad after high school. ACT and SAT are like two peas in a pod. Both the tests check your academic ability and your readiness to start college.  Both tests are accepted by various universities during their undergraduate application process. The only difference is that the ACT has an extra section, Science. You can also opt to write an additional essay. This additional section will not impact the cumulative score of ACT. 

The total duration of the test is 2 hours and 55 minutes. You will have another 40 minutes for the optional essay section. The test is offered five times around the year across 21 locations in India. Make sure to plan and apply in advance to avoid last-minute worries. You can repeat the test for a maximum of 12 times to perfect your scores. 

Academic eligibility: None

Age limit: None. Usually, students in high school take this test right from the age of 13. 

Test cost: Rs. 9000 approximately.

Score validity: Five Years. 

Countries that accept these scores: ACT scores are accepted by most universities in the USA and Canada.

Major courses: Undergraduate courses.

  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Now, we are moving on to more subject area focused tests. LSAT is catered for students who want to study law abroad. This test assesses the skills needed in the courtroom: Logical reasoning - I, Logical reasoning II, analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, experimental section and essay writing are the five sections of LSAT. 

The total duration of the test is about three and a half hours. LSAC (Law school admission council) conducts the test four times a year in India. You can only take the test three times in a year and seven times in total to get your perfect score.

Academic eligibility: There are no specific eligibility criteria to take this test, but an academic background in law will be very beneficial for you when you apply to law schools.

Age limit: None  

Test cost: Rs. 12,000 approximately.

Score validity:  Five Years.

Countries that accept these scores: Law schools of many major study destinations including the USA, and Canada, accept LSAT scores.

Major course: Undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Law. 

  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

MCAT is a standard medical sciences test offered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). It is mandatory for students who want to pursue a degree in medicine in most prominent study destinations like the US and Canada. In MCAT, you will face multiple-choice questions designed to test critical thinking, problem-solving and your knowledge in areas like biology and physical sciences.

This test is long with a total duration of 7 hours and 30 minutes. MCAT is offered many times throughout the year in various locations around the globe. Unfortunately, there are no test centres in India. So, if you are an Indian resident applying to write MCAT you have to travel to countries like Singapore, Israel and Qatar to take it. You can take the MCATs three times in a year and seven times in total.

Academic eligibility: If you are applying to take the MCAT, you should be pursuing, or you should have completed MBBS.

Age limit: None 

Test cost: Rs. 30,000 approximately. (The test costs increase if you register late)

Score validity: MCAT scores are valid from 2 – 3 years after taking the test depending on the university you are applying to.

Countries that accept these scores: Almost all Universities in the USA and Canada,  accept MCAT scores. 

Major courses: Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in Medicine.

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Cassandra
Written By
Cassandra

Hi, I'm Cassandra! I write a lot of content for Edvoy as well a lot of other things.


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