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6 Entrance exams to study abroad for Indian students 2024

By Cassandra Evangeline Benjamin• Last updated: Mar 18, 2024
6 Entrance exams to study abroad for Indian students 2024
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Studying abroad continues to be an aspiration for many Indian students seeking world-class education, cultural exposure, and global career opportunities.

To embark on this journey, students often must clear entrance exams for abroad studies tailored to the specific requirements of international universities and programs. 

These entrance exams are instrumental in assessing applicants' readiness and qualifications for global higher education opportunities.

In this article, we'll explore six important entrance exams for abroad studies that Indian students can prepare for in 2024 to fulfil their dreams of studying abroad.

6 Entrance exams to study abroad

TestConducting BodyDuration
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)Educational Testing Service3 hours and 45 minutes
Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT)Graduate Management Admissions Council3 hours and 7 minutes
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)College Board of the USA3 hours, plus an optional 50 minutes essay
American College Testing (ACT)ACT, Inc.2 hours and 55 minutes
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)Law School Admission Council3 hours and 30 minutes
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)Association of American Medical Colleges7 hours and 30 minutes

1. 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 applicants' verbal, quantitative and general analytic reasoning ability in its 3-hour and 45-minute test.

Many business schools around the world accept GRE for their business programmes as it is one of the major exams taken to study for an MBA abroad. There are no specific dates for this test in India; you can apply to take it year-round. If you are unsatisfied with your scores, you can retake the test up to 5 times a year with a 21-day gap between two consecutive attempts.

PurposeStandardised test for graduate and business school admissions worldwide.
Sections
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing
Conducting BodyEducational Testing Service
Duration3 hours and 45 minutes
ScoresVerbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning - 130 to 170 (in 1-point increments), Analytical Writing - 0 to 6 (in half-point increments).
Fees$220

Also Read: Best ways to prepare for your GRE exam

2. 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. This foreign university entrance exam has four sections: Analytical Writing, Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Reasoning, and Integrated reasoning. 

There are no fixed dates for GMAT, and you can attempt to take it any time of the year. You should always book the test appointment 2-3 months in advance. If you are unsatisfied with your score, you can repeat it up to 5 times a year with a minimum of 16 days between two attempts.

PurposeStandardised test for admissions to graduate business programs (MBA) worldwide.
Sections
  • Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
Conducting BodyGraduate Management Admissions Council
Duration3 hours and 7 minutes
ScoresAWA scored on a scale of 0 to 6 (in half-point increments). IR scored on a scale of 1 to 8 (in single-digit increments). QR and VR each scored on a scale of 6 to 51
Fees$275

Also Read: Best GMAT prep books that students

3. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

The College Board of the USA conducts The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). It is one of the tests to take for admission overseas after high school. This foreign university entrance exam consists of three sections: reading, writing and mathematics at the high school level.

The SAT lasts 3 hours, and the optional essay section is 50 minutes. 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.

PurposeStandardised test for college admissions in the United States.
Sections
  • Evidence-Based Reading
  • Evidence-Based Writing
  • Maths
Conducting BodyCollege Board of the USA
Duration3 hours, plus an optional 50 minutes essay
ScoresEvidence-Based Reading, Writing, and Math are scored on a scale of 200 to 800, for a total possible score of 400 to 1600. The essay is scored separately on a scale of 6 to 24.
Fees$60

Also Read: SAT vs ACT: Which should you take?

4. American College Testing (ACT)

ACT is yet another exam for foreign study to take if you want to study abroad after high school. ACT and SAT are like two peas in a pod. Both tests check your academic ability and your readiness to start college. 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 the ACT. The total duration of the test is 2 hours and 55 minutes. You will have another 40 minutes for the optional essay section. You can repeat the test 12 times to perfect your scores.

PurposeStandardised test for college admissions in the United States and Canada.
Sections
  • English
  • Maths
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Optional Writing (Essay)
Conducting BodyACT, Inc.
Duration2 hours and 55 minutes
ScoresEach section is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, and a composite score is provided. The optional Essay is scored separately on a scale of 2 to 12.
Fees$206.50

Also Read: Proven methods to pass ACT Exam

5. Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

LSAT is catered to students who want to study law abroad. This exam to go abroad 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 a year and seven times to get your perfect score.

PurposeStandardised test for admissions to law schools in the United States and Canada.
Sections
  • Logical Reasoning (2 sections)
  • Reading Comprehension (1 section)
  • Analytical Reasoning (1 section)
  • Unscored Variable Section (may be any of the above)
Conducting BodyLaw School Admission Council
Duration3 hours and 30 minutes
ScoresScored on a scale of 120 to 180, with a median score of 150.
Fees$222

Also Read: What exams are required to study in UK

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6. Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

MCAT is a standard medical sciences test offered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). This exam to go abroad is mandatory for students who want to pursue a degree in medicine in the most prominent study destinations like the US and Canada.

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 the MCAT, you must travel to countries like Singapore, Israel, and Qatar to take it. You can take the MCATs three times a year and seven times in total.

PurposeStandardised test for admissions to medical schools in the United States and Canada.
Sections
  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS)
Conducting BodyAssociation of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
Duration7 hours and 30 minutes
ScoresEach of the four sections is scored on a scale of 118 to 132, with a median score of 125
Fees$330

Also Read: How to prepare for the MCAT exam

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Exams to study abroad after engineering for Indian students

Studying abroad after completing an engineering degree is a popular choice for many Indian students who seek to further their education and gain exposure to international perspectives. 

To pursue postgraduate studies abroad, such as a Master's or PhD after engineering, Indian students typically need to prepare for and take various standardised exams depending on their chosen country and field of study. 

Here are some of the common exams for abroad studies after graduation and requirements for Indian engineering graduates planning to study abroad:

  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
  • Subject-Specific Tests (e.g., GRE Subject Tests)
  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test, if applicable)

Entrance exam for MS in abroad for Indian students

Indian students pursuing a Master of Science (MS) degree abroad must prepare for and take several standardised entrance exams for abroad studies after graduation. These exams are essential for assessing the applicants' readiness and suitability for graduate-level studies in foreign universities. 

The most common entrance exams that Indian students may need to take when applying for an MS program abroad are:

  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
  • TOEFL or IELTS
  • GRE Subject Tests (if required
  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test, if applicable)
  • Specific Departmental Tests (if required)

Country wise & course wise entrance exams to study abroad for Indian students

Depending on the chosen destination and field of study, there are several country-wise & course-wise entrance exams for abroad studies for Indian students. Some of these popular entrance exams are:

Entrance ExamsCountriesCourses
GREUSA, Europe, othersGraduate programs (master's and Ph.D.)
TOEFLUSA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and more.English language proficiency for all levels
IELTSUSA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and more.English language proficiency for all levels
GMATUSA, some other countriesMBA and management-related master's programs
SAT USAUndergraduate admissions
ACTUSAUndergraduate admissions
MCATUSA, CanadaMedical school admissions
LSATUSA, Canada, etc.Law school admissions
SAT Subject TestsUSASome U.S. undergraduate programs
PTE Various countriesEnglish language proficiency assessment
TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français)FranceAdmission to French institutions
DELF (Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française)FranceAdmission to French institutions
German Language Proficiency TestsGermany, Austria, etc.Admission to German institutions
JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test)JapanAdmission to Japanese institutions
HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi)ChinaAdmission to Chinese institutions
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Exams to study abroad after 10th for Indian students

After completing the 10th grade in India, studying abroad involves pursuing a high school education (equivalent to 11th and 12th grades) in another country.

Here are some common pathways and exams for Indian students who want to study abroad after the 10th grade:

1. International Baccalaureate (IB)

Some international schools and institutions offer the IB program for students aged 16 to 19. You can apply for the IB Diploma Program after the 10th grade. There is an entrance exam and application process for this program.

2. Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

Cambridge offers the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) programs. After the 10th grade, you can enrol in the A-level program, equivalent to the 11th and 12th grades in the UK. You'll need to appear for the IGCSE exams.

3. Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)

Some American high schools and international schools abroad accept Indian students after the 10th grade based on their SAT scores. You'll need to take the SAT, which tests your knowledge of mathematics, evidence-based reading, and writing.

4. Advanced Placement (AP) Program

Some international schools offer the AP program, which allows students to earn college credit while in high school. You can take AP courses and exams to demonstrate your academic skills.

5. Foundation Programs

Some countries, like Australia, offer foundation programs for international students after the 10th grade. These programs prepare you for university entry by providing necessary coursework and exams.

6. Language Proficiency Tests

Depending on the country and language of instruction, you may need to demonstrate proficiency in the language of instruction. For example, you might need to take the IELTS or TOEFL for English language proficiency.

Entrance exams for abroad studies after 12th for Indian students

Studying abroad after completing the 12th grade in India is a common path for many Indian students seeking higher education opportunities abroad. 

Here are some common entrance exams for abroad studies after 12th:

  • Undergraduate entrance exams: SAT, ACT
  • Language proficiency exams: IELTS, TOEFL, or the TestDaF (for German)
  • Admission tests for specific institutions

1. Undergraduate entrance exams

Most countries require students to take standardised entrance exams for undergraduate programs. These exams include:

  • SAT: Commonly used for undergraduate admissions in the United States and some other countries.
  • ACT: Another standardised test widely accepted for undergraduate admissions in the United States.

2. Language proficiency exams 

Language proficiency tests help evaluate your language skills, especially when you are not a native speaker of the language in question. This could include exams like the IELTS, TOEFL, or the TestDaF (for German).

3. Admission tests for specific institutions

Some universities and colleges may have a foreign university entrance exam or interview as part of the application process. Make sure to check the specific requirements of the institutions you're interested in.

Entrance exams are pivotal in the journey of Indian students aspiring to study abroad. These standardised assessments are essential gateways for evaluating academic preparedness, language proficiency, and subject-specific skills. Preparation and performance in these exams significantly impact admission outcomes and scholarship opportunities, underscoring the importance of meticulous planning and dedicated study.

Also read: How to apply to universities through Edvoy?

Frequently asked questions

What are the entrance exams to study abroad for Indian students?

  1. GRE
  2. GMAT
  3. SAT
  4. ACT
  5. LSAT
  6. MCAT

Indian students aiming to study abroad typically need to take standardised exams such as the SAT or ACT for undergraduate programs, the GRE or GMAT for graduate programs, and English proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL per the destination country's and university's specific requirements.

Which foreign country is best for Indian students to study?

The choice of the best foreign country for Indian students depends on factors like field of study, budget, and personal preferences. Common choices include the United States for its diverse academic options, Canada for its welcoming immigration policies, and Germany for its tuition-free or low-cost education.

How can I study abroad for Indian students?

To study abroad as an Indian student, you should start by researching universities and programs, preparing for required exams, gathering necessary documents, and applying through the university's admission process or relevant scholarship opportunities.

Can I study abroad without exams?

While some universities and programs abroad may accept students without exams, it is generally uncommon. Most institutions require standardised tests or English proficiency exams to assess a student's qualifications and language skills.

Is GMAT easy for Indian students?

The difficulty of the GMAT exam varies from student to student. Some find it challenging, while others may consider it manageable with dedicated preparation. 

Which exam is required for the USA?

For studying in the USA, Indian students often need to take exams like the SAT or ACT for undergraduate admissions and the GRE or GMAT for graduate programs, depending on their chosen field of study.

Is IELTS compulsory in the USA?

While IELTS is accepted by many institutions in the USA for English proficiency assessment, it's optional for all. Some universities also accept TOEFL scores; a few may offer waivers for English proficiency requirements based on academic qualifications.

How many exams are required to study abroad?

Generally, Indian students may need to take two or more exams, including standardised tests and English proficiency assessments.

What are the typical MS abroad exams required for admission to universities overseas for Indian students?

  1. TOEFL
  2. IELTS
  3. GRE
  4. GMAT

What are the foreign entrance exams for engineering?

  1. SAT
  2. ACT
  3. GRE
  4. TOEFL
  5. IELTS
  6. GMAT

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