Exams to Study Abroad

Studying abroad is the act of a student pursuing educational opportunities in a country other than one's own. This includes primary, secondary and post-secondary students. Students may pursue their entire degree abroad, or they may elect to leave their home country for an academic year, semester, summer or less.

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TOEFL Required for almost all programs in US.
Acceptable along with TWE, in place of IELTS in universities of Canada, Australia, Europe, New Zealand
TSE Recommended for people who plan to apply for a teaching assistantship in US
IELTS Required for most Universities in U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand
Undergraduate Level (Bachelor Degree Programs)
SAT Required for almost all Undergraduate Programs in US
SAT Test Centers and SAT Preparation
ACT Required by a few Universities in US in place of SAT-I
IELTS A standardised test for determining the level of English language for individuals aspiring to study abroad, especially in Australia & UK.
Graduate Level (Master's & Doctoral Degree Programs)
GRE Required for Humanities, Sciences, Engineering fields in US
GRE Required along with GRE, for a few Universities and Programs in US
GMAT Required for Business/Management Programs all over the world
LSAT Law Programs in US
USMLE Medicine Programs in US
CGFNS Required for Graduate Programs in Nursing in US

Test of English as a Foreign Language

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is administered by Educational Testing Services across the world. Some of the institutes located outside the United States also accept TOEFL score as a measurement of English Proficiency of a candidate.

Many government organizations, licensing, certification agencies, exchange and scholarship programs use TOEFL score to assess the English language proficiency of a candidate whose native language is not English.


Educational Qualification: No minimum educational qualification is required to take the TOEFL test. The test administrator "Educational Testing Services" suggests that 11th grade level or above is suitable qualification for taking this test.

Ordinarily a pass in 10+2 level of any recognized Indian Board or University is a suitable qualification to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test. Although the level of test is high.

A score in TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language reflects the English Proficiency of a candidate in English. Generally this test is taken by a candidate who wants to study outside his/her native country especially where English is NOT the native language.

Exemption From TOEFL

Several institutions report that they often do NOT require TOEFL test scores from certain categories of international applicants. These include:

  • Non native speakers who hold degrees or diplomas from postsecondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g., the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand).
  • Non-native speakers who have successfully completed at least a two-years course of study in which English was the language of instruction.
  • Transfer students from institutions in the United States or Canada whose academic course work was favorably evaluated in relation to its demands and duration.
  • Non-native speakers who have taken the TOEFL test within the past two years.
  • Non-native speakers who have successfully pursued academic work at schools where English was the language of instruction in an English-speaking country for a specified period, generally two years.

Students must contact the prospective institutions directly for admission requirements i.e. Requirement of TOEFL score, etc.

Graduate Management Admission Test

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized test, primarily intended to aid the graduate schools of business for assessing the candidates for study. The test is a required part of the admission process for most of the MBA programs in the US , Canada and rest of the world.

In addition, there are several institutions within India, like the Indian School of Business (ISB) - Hyderabad, Great Lakes Institute of Management-Chennai, S P Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR) - Mumbai & Dubai, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS)-Mumbai and Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad (MICA), that consider the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) scores for entry in their programs.

GMAT (Graduate Management)

Admission Test) is developed and administered by the US-based "Educational Testing Service" (ETS) under the direction of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a non-profit organization. ETS (Educational Testing services) sets the questions, conducts the test and sends the score report of the examinees. ETS has appointed Testing Agencies in various countries, which act as franchisees for the ETS. In India, this agency is the Parametric Testing (P) Ltd. which administers the test at 9 centers in the country.

GMAT Eligibility

Anyone and everyone is eligible for taking the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). There is no minimum educational qualification requirement for taking the test. The test scores are valid for five years, i.e., most universities accept scores up to five years old. But it is always better if scores are recent (not older than 2 years).

However, if a candidate's age is below 18 years, then he/she has to send a written form to "GMAT Customer Services" of his/her region signed by parents or local guardian This form authorizes such candidates to take the GMAT(Graduate Management Admission Test) exam and states that the applicant and parent or legal guardian agree to adhere to all the terms and conditions specified by the GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Committee).

GMAT Test Pattern

The GMAT(Graduate Management Admission Test) exam is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), which means that questions are selected as a candidates takes the exam. At the start of each multiple-choice section of the GMAT, CAT exam, candidates are presented a question of middle difficulty. As a candidate attempts each question, the computer scores the answer and uses it to determine which question to present next. As long as a candidate answers correctly to each question, questions of improved difficulty are offered. Whenever a candidate enters the incorrect responses, the computer generally presents questions of lesser difficulty. Next question reflects both the previous performance and the requirements of the test design, which means that different test takers will be presented different questions. Question selection is based on the responses to the previous questions and the GMAT CAT adjusts to an individual ability level. As a result, a candidate gets few questions that are either too easy or too difficult to answer.

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) examination consists of three main parts the Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative section, and Verbal section.

Analytical Writing Assessment

The analytical writing section requires one to write - two short essays in thirty minutes each. The first is the Analysis of an Issue, in which a candidate needs to analyze the issue presented and explain his/her views on it. The second essay is Analysis of an Argument, in which a given argument has to be critically analyzed and evaluated.

For both the essays, the emphasis is on the "Analytical" part and not on the "Writing" part. This implies that a concise essay with well-reasoned points written in simple English will be looked upon more favorably than an essay which falls short on the analytical aspects even though it reflects excellent writing skills.

A five-minute break follows the two essays. The computer gives you the option to take this break or to move directly to the subsequent section. Even if a candidate finishes the essays before the stipulated sixty minutes, the break will still be of five minutes. It is advisable to utilize this break by gearing oneself up for the tougher sections that follow subsequently.

Quantitative Section

The 37 questions in this section comprise two kinds of questions: Problem Solving (PS) and Data Sufficiency (DS). The two kinds do not have a definite break-up; usually there are around 20 PS and 17 DS questions. This section tests the level of Mathematics which is comparable with the level of Class 10 exams, with questions on Number Systems, Percentages, Fractions & Decimals, Algebra (including Quadratic Equations), Geometry (including Basic Coordinate Geometry), Ratio & Proportion, Area & Volume of 2-D and 3-D diagrams, Probability etc. This list is not exhaustive; questions from beyond these topics may also be asked.

While the Problem Solving question requires one to solve a mathematical problem directly and choose the right answer, the Data Sufficiency is of a trickier variety. Each problem comprises a question followed by two statements, which may or may not lead to the answer to the given question. This is what a candidate needs to ascertain - whether the given statements can be used to answer the question or not and if so, whether the statements can be used independently or in conjunction. Each of the five answers options presents five possibilities that arise in this case and candidate has to apply the basic principles of mathematics with strong logic to solve them.

Verbal Section

The verbal section in GMAT requires the basic skills of correct English coupled with reasoning and analysis. The 41 questions, to be attempted in 75 minutes, consist of three types: Sentence Correction (SC), Critical Reasoning (CR) and Reading Comprehension (RC). The three types are intermingled, with no fixed number for each type. The break-up of the questions among SC, CR and RC could be 14-14-13 or 15-13-13 or any such combination.

Graduate Record Examination

A high score in GRE (Graduate Record Examination) alone does not guarantee admission to any of the graduate Schools or Universities abroad, but the test can be looked upon as the first major hurdle to be cleared in the process of getting admission in the Graduate school of choice.

GRE is administered worldwide in two separate sets by Educational Testing Services, United States.

GRE General Tests AND GRE Subject Tests

The GRE General Test measures skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. Areas it measures are:

  • Critical thinking
  • Analytical writing
  • Verbal reasoning and
  • Quantitative reasoning

The GRE Subject Tests gauge the undergraduate achievement in eight specific fields of study.

A candidate may take either GRE General Test or GRE Subject Test or both depending upon the courses and the Institute or University requirements. The eight subjects are:

  • Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology Test Schedule

GRE Eligibility

The prospective graduate applicants take the GRE General test and GRE subject test. GRE scores are used by the admissions authorities or fellowship panels to supplement undergraduate academic, extracurricular records and other qualifications for graduate study.

Some GRE Subject Tests yield sub scores that can indicate the strengths and weaknesses of an individual student and may be useful for guidance and placement purposes.

The GRE test scores are valid for five years and most universities accept scores up to five years old but candidates are strongly recommended to keep latest scores not more than two years old.

GRE Test Pattern

GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is administered by educational testing services as two separate tests;

  • GRE General Test
  • GRE Subject Test

GRE Test Sites

Ahmedabad Allahabad
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
301-302, Abhijeet II,
India 380006.
Phone : 91-79265 61088
Site Code : 8902
119 / 25A, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Civil Lines,
India 211001.
Phone : +91 - 53224 27048
Site Code : 8902
Bangalore Calcutta
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
Maini Sadan, 38 Lavelle Rd,
7th Cross,
Bangalore, India 560001.
Phone : +91 - 8022291770
Site Code : 8904
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
Flat 1/C Sukh Sagar Building,
2/5 SARAT Bose Road,
Kolkatta, India 700020.
Phone : +91 - 33248 52792
Site Code : 8906
Hyderabad Chennai
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
Above SBI, Road 12 Banjara HILL,
AVENUE 1,St 20,
Hyderabad, India 500034.
Phone : +91 - 40233 03903
Site Code : 8908
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
15, Jagannathan Road, Nungambakkam,
Chennai, India 600 034.
Phone : +91 - 44282 41840
Site Code : 8909
Delhi Delhi
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
160A,Senior Plaza,
Gautam Nagar,Yusuf Sarai,
Delhi, New Delhi, India 110 049.
Phone : +91 - 11266 02284
Site Code : 8911
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
160A, Senior Plaza, Gautam Nagar, Yusuf Sarai,
Delhi, New Delhi, India 110049.
Phone : +91 11266 02284
Site Code : 8913
RSC8900 Test Lab - Delhi Mumbai
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
Senior Plaza, 160A,
RSC8900 Test Lab,
Delhi, New Delhi, India 110049.
Site Code : 8948
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
Marwah House,
Saki Vihar Road,
Saki Naka, Mumbai,
Andheri (E) Mumbai, India 400 072.
Phone : +91 - 22285 73160
Site Code : 8921
Trivandrum Hyderabad
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
PTC Towers,
SS Coil Road,
Trivandrum, Thampanoor, India 695001.
Phone : +91 - 47123 38662
Site Code : 8912
Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd
Above SBI,
Road 12 Banjara Hill,
Avenue 1, St 20,
Hyderabad, India 500 034.
Phone : +91 - 40233 03903
Site Code : 8928

International English Language Testing System

IELTS is an English language assessment test primarily used by those seeking international education, professional recognition, bench-marking to international standards and global mobility. IELTS is owned, developed and delivered through the partnership of the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations.

IELTS is an English language assessment test primarily used by those seeking international education, professional recognition, bench-marking to international standards and global mobility. IELTS is owned, developed and delivered through the partnership of the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations.

IELTS tests the complete range of English language skills which will commonly be encountered by students when studying or training in the medium of English. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules. There is an option of either Academic or General Training Reading and Writing Modules. Academic is suitable for candidates planning to undertake higher education study. General Training is suitable for candidates planning to undertake non-academic training or work experience, or for immigration purposes.

IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions. American academic institutions are increasingly accepting IELTS for admissions purposes.

IELTS is accepted by many professional organisations including the New Zealand Immigration Service, the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, the Australian Medical Council, the UK General Medical Council and the UK Ministry of Defence.


IELTS minimum levels required by institutions depend sometimes on particular college or school and country. As a rule, institutions from English spoken countries require a higher level of IELTS than those from non English spoken countries. The highest IELTS level required by a University is 8.5, only two institutions are included here, both from the U.S: the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University. In addition, the higher IELTS level required by institutions from the United Kingdom, where the IELTS was actually originated, is 7.50. Most IELTS requirements by Universities vary between 7.00 and 5.50. For example, the Liverpool University required 7.50, the Cambridge University 7.00 and the Birmingham University 6.0 as the minimum levels, Essex University requires minimum 5.50. In Germany, the Stuttgart University requires an IELTS minimum rate of 6.00.

IELTS is scored on a nine band scale. Each Band corresponds to different English competence. The Band Scores are in either whole or half Bands. The nine bands are described as such:

Band Score User Competence Description
9 Expert User Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
8 Very Good User Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
7 Good User Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
6 Competent User Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
5 Modest User Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field...
4 Limited User Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in use of complex language.
3 Extremely Limited User Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
2 Intermittent User No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1 Non User Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
0 No Original English Used No assessable information provided. Candidate may have failed to sit for the test

Commonwealth Executive Master of Business Administration Test

The Commonwealth Executive MBA/MPA has been offered since mid-2002 through four premier South Asian open universities: Bangladesh Open University (BOU), Indira Gandhi National Open University, (IGNOU, India), Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL), and Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU, Pakistan), although the last, AIOU, began offering courses in early 2003. The CEMBA/CEMPA was designed, developed and implemented as a result of collaboration between the four universities and writers from universities in Commonwealth countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada. This was brokered by COL with funding assistance from the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC).

The CEMBA/CEMPA program provides an opportunity to acquire both accreditation and valuable training for candidates who are resident of a participating country, possess any sort of undergraduate degree (or have worked in a related field for at least two years) and can pass a test of professional experience and English fluency. Projections for the CEMBA/CEMPA promise a significant short- and long-term human and economic development pay-off for the South Asian Commonwealth region.


  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)

These innovative programs consist of 15 equally weighted courses classified as core, specialist compulsory and elective courses. Those interested in attaining the Post Graduate Diploma in Management /Public Administration will need to successfully complete core courses and two specialist compulsory courses. The completion of 15 courses will entitle the leaner to the Post Graduate Diploma in Management/Public Administration.

Features of the Programs

    An open learning program with attendant flexibilities Collaboratively developed learning Materials with a Pan Commonwealth focus Multiple exit points (Post Graduate Diploma and Masters Degree) Value added delivery
  • Including language skills Support through BBC programs
  • Continuous and Term-end evaluation Credit transfer between
  • Participating institutions in the program Interactive learning
  • support systems with teleconference and computer aided support

Eligibility : An undergraduate degree with good standing (certain professional qualifications may be deemed as equivalent to a degree)

  • Minimum of two years of relevant post-qualification experience
  • Residency in any of the Commonwealth countries where the program is offered
  • A good working knowledge of the English language at the postgraduate level
  • Satisfactory score on the CEMBA/CEMPA admission test

Test Pattern The CEMBA/CEMPA programs are designed for highly capable and qualified individuals committed to self-development and a higher level of achievement in their professional lives. The Admission Test (CEMAT) is designed to provide an additional dimension of measurement for the selection of candidates for this rigorous and demanding program of study.

The admission test consists of multiple choice questions designed to test the applicants' capabilities in the following spheres:

  • General Awareness
  • English Language
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Reasoning

Successful completion of the test is one of the essential criteria of eligibility for admission.

Medical College Admission Test

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a pre-requisite for admission to nearly all the medical schools in North America. Designed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the exam is administered twice a year, in April and in August. It is a full day exam composed of four sections, Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, Writing Sample, and Biological Sciences.

MCAT is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess problem solving, critical thinking, and writing skills in addition to the examinee's knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. Scores are reported in each of the following areas: Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, Writing Sample, and Biological Sciences. The MCAT assesses mastery of basic concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics, facility with scientific problem solving and critical thinking and writing skills. The skills and concepts tested by the MCAT are those identified by physicians and medical educators as prerequisite for the practice of medicine.

Test Pattern Duration: The MCAT is a 5¾ - hour test. There are four sections of the test. Two sections are given in the morning followed by the remaining two after a lunch break.

The schedule for the test day and allocated times for each section are as follows:

Sections Questions Time (in Minutes)
Physical Sciences 77 100
Break 10
Verbal Reasoning 60 85
Lunch Break 60
Writing Sample 2 60
Break 10
Biological Science 77 100

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section of the MCAT is designed to assess your ability to understand, evaluate, and apply information and arguments presented in prose texts. The test consists of several passages, each 500 to 600 words long, taken from the humanities and social sciences and from areas of the natural sciences not tested on the MCAT Physical and Biological Sciences sections. Each passage is accompanied by 5 to 10 multiple-choice questions based on the information presented in the passage. Since the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences include a vast range of subjects and since courses in these areas differ greatly in content, test questions will not cover a specific set of topics. You will not be tested for specific subject knowledge in the disciplines covered on the test.

The Writing Sampleconsists of two items, each composed of a brief topic statement and a set of writing tasks designed to elicit a unified, coherent, first-draft essay exploring the meaning and implications of the statement.

The Physical and Biological Sciences sections contain multiple-choice questions. Most of the questions accompany brief informational passages; a smaller number are independent of any passage and of each other. Questions assess knowledge of basic concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics through their application to the solution of science problems.

The content tested on the physical sciences section of the MCAT is drawn from physics and general chemistry. Questions are roughly divided between the two and are mixed throughout the section. Tested physics concepts include Newtonian mechanics, thermodynamics, magnetism, light and optics, nuclear physics, and atomic phenomena. Chemistry concept that you can expect to see include quantum numbers, the Periodic Table, bonding, phases of matter, and acids and bases. In mathematics you need to know are the basics, like algebra, exponents, logs, and a bit of trigonometry. There isn't any calculus, differential equations, or matrix mechanics.

Questions in the Biological Sciences section are drawn from biology and organic chemistry, with a slightly greater emphasis on biology. Tested biology concepts include cell division, muscular and skeletal systems, the lymphatic system, respiratory and circulatory systems, enzymatic activity, viruses, and the nervous system. Organic chemistry concepts that you can expect to see include nomenclature, stereochemistry, spectroscopy, hydrocarbons, amino acids and proteins, laboratory techniques, and hydrolysis and dehydration.

Law School Admission Test

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day standardized test that is a pre-requisite for admission to law schools in US and Canada. It is administered by the LSAC (Law School Admissions Council) four times each year and you can take it at a nearby location. It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants. The test is administered four times a year at various locations around the world. The LSAT is designed to measure skills considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.

Test pattern

The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker's score. These sections include one reading comprehension section, one analytical reasoning section, and two logical reasoning sections. The unscored section typically is used to pretest new test questions or to pre-equate new test forms. The placement of this section, which is commonly referred to as the variable section, varies for different administrations of the test. A 35-minute writing sample is administered at the end of the test. LSAC does not score the writing sample, but copies are sent to all law schools to which a candidate applies.

At a Glance

Logical Reasoning section-I35 minutes24-26 questionsAnalyzing Arguments
Evaluating Arguments
Logical Reasoning section-II35 minutes24-26 questionsAnalyzing Arguments
Evaluating Arguments
Logic Games Section 35 minutes23-24 questionsBasic Logic
Systems of Order
Reading Comprehension Section35 minutes26-28 questionsIdentifying Purpose
Identifying Structure
Ascertaining Main Idea
Experimental Section35 minutes24-28 unscored, experimental questionsAny material tested in sections I-IV
The Writing Sample35 minutesA written case on which of two scenarios is superiorWriting Ability
Ability to Argue a Position

Logic Games are designed to measure your ability to understand a structure of relationships and to draw conclusions from it. You will be asked to make deductions from a set of statements, rules, or conditions that describe relationships among entities such as persons, places things or events. These questions simulate the kinds of detailed analyses of relationships that law students must perform in solving legal problems.

Logical Reasoning

The logical reasoning tests evaluates the ability to isolate and identify the various components of any given argument. Each of the two scored Logical Reasoning sections consists of twenty-four to twenty-six questions based on short passages called "stimuli." Each stimulus takes the form of an argument—a conclusion based on evidence. You will need to understand the stimulus to answer the questions based on it. Common types of questions include weakening, strengthening, assumption, main point, inference, and parallel logic. Each is designed to test your ability to understand, analyze, evaluate, and manipulate arguments. Reading Comprehension - The Reading Comprehension section consists of four passages, each about 450 words long with five to eight corresponding questions. These long excerpts of scholarly passages are reminiscent of the kind of prose found in law texts. The topics are chosen from the areas of social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and the law. Types of questions include identifying the main idea, detail, inference, logic, and extrapolation. The questions are designed to test your ability to read dense, scholarly material and ascertain the structure, purpose, and logic.


The experimental section allows Law Services to test questions for use on future tests. This unscored section generally looks exactly like one of the others, so just do as well as you can on every section, and you'll be covered for this section as well.

Writing Sample

A scenario is given followed by two possible courses of action. You will have 35 minutes to make a written case that one is superior. The section doesn't require any outside knowledge. It's primarily designed to judge your ability to write a clear, persuasive argument.


The LSAT is offered several times a year. Registration for the test can be done Online/by Phone/by Mail. For the most up-to-date LSAT registration information, go to www.LSAC.org

Law School Admission Council
662 Penn Street
Box 2000
Newtown, PA 18940-0998, USA
Fax : 215.968.1119
Website : www.LSAC.org

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