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.

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Salaries Post MS/Phd/MBA

Jobs are available in all fields since the American economy needs people from all walks of life: engineers, managers, graduates from the field of science etc.Of course there are periodic booms and recessions in all fields. But an enterprising person can usually find a good job in any field.

The salaries after completing a master’s-level course of studies in the United States is quite good. After an MS or an MBA, you can get a salary in the range of $55,000 to $85,000 per annum. Of course, the salary structure depends on several factors, including your field of specialization, the university from where you obtained your degree, the geographical are where you get the job and of course your ability to convince your employers of your calibre.

After a PhD you can expect a salary of around $85,000 per year.

Jobs After Studying in America

Is there scope to take up jobs after studying in America? Most students do take up a job in the United States after they have finished their course of study there. However, the student (F1) visa that you get from the US embassy in India does not permit you to take up full-time employment. You have to take permission from the Immigration Department first. The good thing is that obtaining this permission is not very difficult. You are allowed to work after finishing your MS, MBA etc. under Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Once you have got a job it often happens that your employer will request the authorities for a change of status in your visa from F1 (education visa) to H1 (work permit). This can be renewed for 3 years more. During this time many people apply for a Green Card i.e. permission to live in the United States permanently. Once you get your Green Card you will be able to live and work in the United States for as many years as you want.

Why has the GMAT Changed?

GMAT Pattern ChangedThe GMAT has been facing competition from the GRE for some time. Around 600 business schools accept the GRE scores. The less expensive revised GRE, introduced last year, has changed its gears a bit and moved from a heavily vocabulary-based Verbal section to one based more on reading comprehension and critical reasoning skills.

In other words the GRE has become more similar to the GMAT. The GMAT is gearing up for this challenge with the new Integrated Reasoning section.

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