Around 3 lakh students go abroad every year for higher education. Now, the craze for studying abroad may be taken adversely as it is brain-drain for the country, or the positive aspect for the individual may be noted. Nevertheless, the process of flying overseas to study is a tedious one. Apart from the various passport and immigration complexities, a student has to prepare for various exams to be merely eligible for getting into the college and course he/she aspires for.
As TOEFL, SAT and other options for all such exams can confuse students, to help them out, here are the top 5 international exams that are taken by students aspiring to study abroad:
What it is: GMAT exam is intended to assess analytical writing and problem-solving abilities with logic and critical reasoning skills that are important in real-world business and management success.
Purpose: Admission to a graduate management programme such as MBA.
Reach: Accepted by more than 6,000 business and management programs worldwide in more than 2,100 institutions and universities located in 114 countries. It has more than 600 testing centers all over the world.
Validity of score: Up to 5 years, though a few universities have their own validity criteria.
India specific: The GMAT exam is offered on demand and year-round in cities throughout India
Fee for appearing for GMAT is currently around Rs. 16500, variable to the changing USD to INR ratio
There are 29 test centers in India
More information: Candidates will be able to view their Official Score Report online using their date of birth to authenticate their access. Both GRE and GMAT can be used for taking admission in management schools, so one has to look into the intricacies of both the exams to see which is more suitable for the candidate. One can even convert their GRE score to GMAT online through ETS, if need be.
Taking the exam more than once: It can be taken up to five times a year, provided that each attempt is at least 16 days apart.
What it is: Assesses a student's academic readiness for college to enroll in undergraduate courses by testing the student's knowledge of reading, writing and mathematics.
Purpose: Entrance exam used by most colleges and universities in the US, Canada, as well as other countries to select students for admissions to undergraduate courses.
Reach: Over 2 million students from 175 countries take the SAT every year.
Validity of score: 5 years
India specific: The test is taken by around 13000 students every year in India
The exam fee is currently around Rs 3500
It is conducted only a few times around the year, generally within the October and December period
More information: Students must aim for a score of 2100/2400 at least in order to get into a top college in the US.
Taking the exam more than once: You can take the exam as many times as you wish, except that some schools judge you by the score in all of your attempts.
What it is: Prospective graduate and business school applicants from all around the world who are interested in pursuing a Master's degree, post graduation, MBA, specialised Master's degree in business or doctoral degree take the GRE revised General Test.
Purpose: GRE is generally required by universities in North America (USA and Canada). It can be a mere admission formality or a selection criterion for jobs as well.
Reach: The GRE revised General Test is available at more than 1,000 test centers in more than 160 countries. In most regions of the world, the computer-delivered test is available on a continuous basis throughout the year.
Validity of score: 5 years after testing year.
India specific: Fee for registering in India is Rs 12,000, variable with the exchange rate You'll require a passport for being eligible for the exam
There are no specific GRE exam dates in India. You can take it any time of the year by taking an appointment with the closest GRE exam center, but as there's always a rush, it's better to make the appointment in advance
More information: Free GRE revised preparation material is available on its official website as well.
Taking the exam more than once: You can take the GRE revised General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days). If you take the paper-delivered GRE revised General Test, you can take it as often as it is offered.
What it is: TOEFL is a standardised test to judge one's English language abilities.
Purpose: Mostly taken by non-native speakers of the language looking to enroll in foreign universities
A few immigration departments use the score to issue residential and work visas as well
Validity of score: Valid for 2 years.
India specific:Test dates for the year 2016 have been given for 35 cities in the country by ETS, the non-profit organisation which administers TOEFL The fees for taking the test in India is approximately Rs 11,500
More information: To check the score requirements for the particular college you want to get admitted to, check out the 'Destination search' tab on TOEFL's official site.
What it is: IELTS is a standardised test to measure the language proficiency of people.
Purpose: To study or work in environments where English is the main form of communication
Governments in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom use IELTS to process immigration applications. In fact, IELTS tests are now one of only two exams included on the UK government list of Secure English Language Tests (SELTs)
Reach: IELTS is recognised by over 9,000 organisations worldwide, including educational institutions, employers, governments, immigration authorities and professional bodies. Over 2 million people took the test last year. Test takers can take IELTS in more than 140 countries and in over 1,000 locations.
Validity of score: Valid for 2 years
India specific: Fee for taking the exam in India is Rs 11,100 up to 30 September, 2016
The British Council offers IELTS tests in 42 locations in India
On completing your registration for the test, you will receive an email with full exam details including venue information approximately 5 days before the test.
More information: You will receive a free IELTS preparation book within 10 days after registration at the address provided by you in the application form. You can expect your IELTS result to be available online 13 calendar days after your test.
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