Higher Education in America: What Tests You Need to Take

 

If you are considering higher education in America, either an MBA or MS you will need to take the following tests:

Graduate Record Examination® (GRE®): Those seeking admission for a Master’s degree in any field apart from management are required to take the GRE test. The GRE® is a computer-based test and consists of verbal, quantitative and essay sections. The GRE test is scored as follows. The Verbal and Quantitative sections are scored on a scale of 130-170 each and the essay section is scored on a separate scale of 0-6. The score is valid for 5 years. The test can be taken throughout the year at certified test centers.

Graduate Management Aptitude Test® (GMAT®): The GMAT test is required for students seeking a management (MBA) degree in America. The GMAT test too, is computer-based and consists of verbal, quantitative and essay and integrated reasoning sections. There is a combined score on a scale of 200-800 for the Verbal and Quantitative sections. There is separate score for the essay section on a scale of 0-6 and one for the integrated reasoning section on a scale of 1-8. The score is valid for 5 years. The test can be taken throughout the year at certified test centers.

Test of English as a Foreign Language® (TOEFL®): Since English is not our native language, all Indians seeking a degree in America are required to take the TOEFL test to prove English proficiency. The TOEFL test is internet-based and consists or reading, listening, writing and speaking sections. The TOEFL test is out of 120 and can be taken on weekends throughout the year at certified test centers. The score is valid for 2 years.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Like the TOEFL® test IELTS too, is an English test required to prove English proficiency. Many American universities now accept IELTS test scores. Hence you may choose to take the IELTS test in place of the TOEFL. The IELTS is paper-based and consists of reading, listening, writing and speaking sections. The score is out of 9.0 and can be taken throughout the year at certified test centers. The score is valid for 2 years.

Note: Prior registration is required for all these tests.

If you are looking for coaching for these tests click this link

Free IELTS Score Reports

IELTS Test centers will send copies of the Test Report Form, free of charge, to up to five ‘recognizing organisations’ (universities and colleges who accept an IELTS score – click this IELTS Global Recognition System link for a list of institutions that accept the IELTS score). If you want your results to be sent automatically to a university or educational institution, include the correct details in the section on the IELTS Application Form – see page 3. and onward for the relevant place to enter their details.) In other words you have to specify the names of the universities and educational institutions you want your free IELTS scores to be sent to in the form before you submit it.

Free Score Reports for the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS Tests

Each of the major tests that students generally take to get higher education in the United States – i.e. the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL tests – allows you to send you scores to a certain number of universities or colleges free of charge.

  • GRE – 4 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified on the day of the test, immediately after your exam
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 18
  • GMAT – 5 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified on the day of the test, immediately after your exam
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 28.00
  • TOEFL – 4 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified one day before the test
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 25
  • IELTS – 5 free score reports (to universities accepting an IELTS score) + 1 given to the candidate
    • names of universities to specified in the IELTS application form
    • additional score reports may be requested directly from the testing center – the fee for additional reports will be specified by the test center
Read our subsequent blogs for more details on free score reporting.

 

TOEFL and IELTS Must Read: All the Most Important Information

Indian students applying to a foreign university have to take exams to certify that they have the required basic minimum skills in English. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are the two leading tests for this purpose.

This post gives you links to some of the most important information about these two tests of English proficiency published earlier on this blog. Take a look. You may find answers to questions you have been waiting to ask.

  • Some students want to apply for admission to a German university. Some to a British or, Canadian one. Some to a combination of American and other universities. So, which exam should you take? If you are confused, find out here: IELTS or TOEFL – Which Exam Should I Take?

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What Happens if I Get a Low Score in the TOEFL or IELTS?

Low Scores in TOEFL/IELTSWhat is the Minimum Score Required?

Most American Universities regard a score of 80 (out of 120) in TOEFL, as an acceptable minimum score for admission. However, students applying to high-ranking colleges generally need a minimum score of 100 on TOEFL or, a score of band 7 (out of 9) on the IELTS. What happens if you get a lower score than you require? Does that mean that admission is not possible?

 

What if I have Less than the Minimum Score Required?

For students, a low score does not necessarily mean an application reject. University admissions committees assess English proficiency based on other application criteria, apart from test scores. In case your score is less than the minimum required you may need to take an English Language course in the University, followed by a test. This course will have to be taken along with the regular curriculum and you will be required to pay an additional fee for it. The best thing to do is to retake the TOEFL and improve your score before joining the University. That way you can get an exemption from the remedial English course.

 

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