List of Exams to Study Abroad

With globalization, not just the businesses but also education mobility has experienced an unprecedented surge. As numerous universities and colleges open the doors of their undergraduate and postgraduate programs to students across the world, a new global network of students, mentors, and professors is being built. Pursuing a program from a quality university abroad will help you build a career of your choice! This post helps you understand the different pathways available to study abroad.

To study overseas, two sets of examinations – standardized tests and language proficiency tests, have to be attempted. Let’s take a look at the table below to know the popular exams for different academic programmes across the world.

Program Level Standardized Test English Language Proficiency Test
Certificate/Diploma

TOEFL (US, Canada & usually
Commonwealth countries); 

IELTS/PTE (Australia, UK, 
Germany, New Zealand etc.)

CAE/CPE for the UK

Postgraduate MS/PhD: GRE
MBA: GMAT/GRE

TOEFL (US, Canada & usually
Commonwealth countries); 

IELTS/PTE (Australia, UK, 
Germany, New Zealand etc.);

CAE/CPE for the UK

Undergraduate SAT/ACT

TOEFL (US, Canada & usually
Commonwealth countries);

IELTS/PTE (Australia, UK, 
Germany, New Zealand etc.)

CAE/CPE for the UK

Medical Programs MCAT
NEET MBBS

TOEFL (US, Canada, & usually
Commonwealth countries); 

IELTS/PTE (Australia, UK, 
Germany, New Zealand etc.);

CAE/CPE for the UK

Law Programs LSAT

TOEFL (US, Canada, & usually
Commonwealth countries); 

IELTS/PTE (Australia, UK, 
Germany, New Zealand etc.);

CAE/CPE for the UK

Standardized Entrance Exams to Study Abroad

Let’s explore the standardized entrance exams available to study abroad depending on the various fields of study and the level of the program:

For Undergraduate Level Programs

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) exam is supervised by the College Board of USA and is a prominent one amongst the standardized exams to study abroad. The students aspiring to get enrolled for undergraduate programs attempt the SAT exam.

The SAT comprises of three main sections, viz., Reading, Writing and Mathematics with an optional essay section. The total duration of the exam is 3 hours and 50 additional minutes are given for those who opt for the essay section.

American College Testing (ACT)

The ACT exam is another popular exam required for getting admissions into the undergraduate programs and is supervised by the ACT, a non-profit body. The ACT exam evaluates test-takers on four parameters, i.e. English, Reading, Mathematics and Science.

For Postgraduate Level Programs

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE score is valid for five years and is a popular choice among the students. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is attempted to get admissions for postgraduate programs. The GRE test is of 3 hours and 45 minutes duration, and tests verbal, analytical, writing and quantitative reasoning of the candidate. 

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is primarily required for the students applying for MBA programs abroad. The GMAT examination is of 3 hours 7 minutes duration and contains 4 main sections, i.e. Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Reasoning and Integrated Reasoning. 

Although GRE scores can also be given for MBA admissions, GMAT score is still the widely accepted score.

For Medical Programs

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

MCAT is an online assessment for students wanting to pursue medical studies in Canada, Australia, USA, and the Caribbean Island. This is based on multiple-choice questions pattern and tests the candidate on biological sciences, physical sciences and verbal abilities. MCAT test is of 7.5 hours duration and is supervised by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

For Law Programs

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

LSAT is a major standardized exam for those wishing to pursue law in Canada, USA, and Australia, etc. The test evaluates the potential candidates on legal aptitude, logical and verbal reasoning.

Language Proficiency Exams

English language proficiency scores are required if the student is from a country where English is not the official language. Here are the major English language proficiency exams:

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

IELTS is one of the major tests for candidates who do not have English as their native language. It is a prominent one in our list of exams to study abroad in Australi and UK but is now being accepted in other major countries.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL, is arguably the most popular language proficiency exam as it is widely accepted by universities globally. This exam is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and exam pattern is quite similar to that of IELTS, that is it consists of Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing sections.

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

PTE is another widely accepted language proficiency exam. Primarily, there are two versions of PTE exams – PTE Academic and PTE General.

PTE Academic is a multi-level test, and it evaluates the candidate’s ability of reading, speaking and listening. This is primarily helpful while applying for a program abroad and is of 3 hours duration. While, PTE General is to appreciate accomplishments in English language learning, and consists of written and spoken sections.

The list shared gives you a preliminary understanding of the standardized test pathways to study abroad.

A quick tip while paying the fees for these standardized examinations, use a digital payment service such as Pax Credit, to save money as they provide market-leading exchange rates and low transfer fees! Sign up with them and they will help you sort out the cost-effective method for your payment needs!

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