Top 5 Exams to Study Abroad after 12th and Graduation

Competitive Entrance Exams to Study Abroad After 12th

Every year, lakhs of students fly overseas to complete their higher education. Though in recent years, the opportunities for studying abroad has increased significantly, it doesn’t mean that gaining admission in colleges or universities abroad has become any less difficult.

Aspirants have to crack a variety of exams to be eligible for the admission. Normally, a student has to prepare for at least two exams: a language test and one standardized exam.

The language exam is to test your English language proficiency. Depending on the country, courses, and institutions you are aspiring for, sometimes you may be excused from the standardized test. But sometimes your score on those standardized exams may become extremely crucial for getting into some of the colleges of your choice.

At times, a student has to sit for a combination of exams to get into the colleges of a specific country. Here are the top 5 exams to study abroad after 12th and Graduation.

1. Language Tests (TOEFL and IELTS)

There are a few globally accepted tests to judge the aspirant’s English language proficiency before he or she can apply to a college abroad. TOEFL, IELTS are the two most popular English language exams taken by the students aspiring to go abroad. A few colleges in the US and most colleges in the UK accept PTE too. CAE and CPE are the preferred choices of English language tests for various British universities.

Reach of the Exam

Aspiring students are required to take any one of these exams to get admission into the courses they are targeting. Note that almost all courses – whether undergraduate, postgraduate or diploma – require this. Most of the colleges and universities in UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, including the top hundred institutions, accept TOEFL scores. For the Indian and other non-native English speakers from the Commonwealth countries passing the IELTS exam is absolutely necessary.

When is the exam held?

The IELTS test is conducted by the British Council more than four times a month. The TOEFL is conducted throughout the year, mostly on weekends.

Validity of the scores

Both the scores of TOEFL and IELTS remain valid for 2 years.

2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE is a standardized test taken by those students who want to study in the colleges and universities in USA and Canada. Prospective graduate students and business school aspirants from all over the world sit for this exam. For some business schools and universities, this computer-delivered test is merely a formality or a selection criterion.

Reach of the exam

The GRE exam is conducted at more than 1000 centers in more than 160 countries all over the world.

When is the exam held?

A student can sit for the exam at any time of the year. The test is available on a constant basis.

Validity of the scores

GRE scores remain valid for 5 years after testing year.

3. Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)

SAT or the Scholastic Assessment Test is mainly for those students who want to enroll in an undergraduate school in the US, Canada, and some other countries. The test judges the applicant’s skills in reading, writing, and mathematics.

Reach of the exam

The test is conducted by the College Board of the United States of America at centers in 175 countries. To get into the top colleges in North America, one has to score at least 2100/2400.

When is the exam held?

Usually, the SAT is available 7 times a year: October, November, December, January, March, May and June. Mostly it is held on the first Saturdays of these months.

Validity of the scores

SAT score remains valid for 5 years.

4. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT is for the business school applicants. An average score of 570-580 is normally considered to be a good score to get into the colleges abroad. But admission into the top management schools always requires a score of at least 700. It is extremely cut-throat competition and the recent changes in the test-pattern like the introduction of Integrated Reasoning have made the exam even more competitive.

Reach of the exam

GMAT is held in more than 600 centers across the world. The scores are accepted by more than 6000 business and management programs in more than 2100 colleges and universities of 114 countries.

When is the exam held?

The computer-delivered test is offered throughout the year. The candidate has to book a slot in advance at the center of his or her convenience.

Validity of the scores

Normally the GMAT scores are valid up to 5 years.

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5. Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Both these exams are standardized tests for those aspirants who want admissions into the courses with particular specializations. If the student wants to get into a medical school in the USA, he or she has to take the MCAT or the Medical College Admission Test.

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is mandatory to get into any law school in the USA. Both these tests assess the candidate’s aptitude and knowledge about the relevant subjects.

In the case of MCAT, apart from testing the knowledge of the fundamentals of relevant sciences, the test also assesses the candidate’s written analysis and problem-solving capacities.

LSAT, on the other hand, also focuses on the reading and comprehension skills, the power of analytical reasoning and logical reasoning skills of the examinee. The exam consists of five 35-minute sections of MCQ-type questions.

Reach of the exam

Almost all the medical schools and law schools require the applicants to sit for these exams. Each year, around 71,000 students from all over the world sit for MCAT. LSAT is also an extremely popular exam throughout the world and approximately 110,000 students take the test every year. Almost all the law schools recognized by the American Bar Association has made it a necessary criterion for admission.

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When is the exam held?

LSAT is a half-day standardized test conducted 4 times a year along the guidelines established by the Law School Admission Council of the United States of America. MCAT is conducted 25 times each year by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). In both the cases, the applicant must book a slot well in advance.

Validity of the scores

MCAT scores are valid for 2-3 years depending on the medical schools. LSAT scores are valid for not more than 5 years.

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