How to Save 180 Dollars When You Take the GRE and TOEFL

Most of you know that preparing for the GRE test involves things like hours of practice and learning lots of words and formulae by heart. For the TOEFL, as you are aware, you have to brush up on your grammar. But you most probably never thought that preparing for these tests would involve thinking through which universities or colleges you would like to apply to. But it does, and here’s why: saving the 180 dollars referred to in the title is as simple as selecting the 4 names of universities from a drop-down list. Here’s how it works.

At the end of the GRE test, the ETS allows you to choose 4 universities to which they will send your GRE test score to WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL CHARGE. This is the ‘free score reporting’ feature, so called since the payment for reporting the score to those four institutes is included in the GRE registration fee. The TOEFL has a similar feature. The difference here is that the selection of the university or college you would like to send your free scores to needs to be done BEFORE the exam – any time after you have booked the TOEFL exam date up to 24 hours before your TOEFL test date.

Most students don’t make use of these useful money saving features since they generally don’t decide which universities they want to apply to before their GRE or TOEFL exams. The reasoning is that the choice of university depends on the GRE test score hence, university selection can be done only after the test. So, students normally request what the ETS calls Additional Score Reports (ASRs) only after they have selected universities to apply to (according to their GRE score). At that point they end up paying a fee of 27 dollars for each additional GRE ASR they request and 19 per TOEFL report. But, if you have already made use of the free score reporting feature, you make a saving of $27 + $19 = $46/- per university and $184 for all 4 universities!

But how do you select which universities you want to apply to before you have even got your GRE score? Well, you should have some idea of what universities you want to apply to beforehand – after all, on the basis of your GRE test scores you will only be making a selection of 4 for ‘free score reporting’ from that list; and though you may not have your GRE test scores in hand before the actual test, your mock tests will give you some idea of what scores you can expect. To make that list, talk to seniors or get on to some good discussion forums. This is something that you have to do in any case.

If, on this basis, you can make you make up your mind about what universities you would like to apply to before the GRE and TOEFL exams, you’ll be able to keep that $184 /- in your pocket! That works out to over 11,000 rupees, and you could buy a pretty decent smartphone with that amount or… plan a trip to Goa!

Also check out the link at the end of this sentence for what to do about sending scores to ‘unlisted institutions

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

When You Should Do Your GRE/GMAT/TOEFL

Students planning to take admission in an American university must have their GRE/GMAT/TOEFL scores in hand at least 9 months in advance. This means that:

  • if you are applying for the fall semester, which starts in September, your score must be ready in January of that same year at the latest.
  • If you are applying for the spring semester, which starts in January, you should have your score in hand by March or April of the previous year.

Ideally, however, you should take your GRE/GMAT tests 1½-2 years before hand. That is,

  • engineering, pharmacy and medical students should take the GRE when they are in their third year
  • students pursuing an MA or MSc should take the GRE while they are doing Part 1 of their course.

This is possible since GRE scores are valid for 5 years. Keep in mind, however, that the TOEFL score is valid only for 2 years and therefore should be given only 9 months in advance as stated above.

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Free TOEFL Score Reports

You can send four free official TOEFL® score reports to universities and colleges that you specify before you take the test (see ‘TOEFL Destinations‘ for a list of institutions to which your score can be sent).

ETS states that you can choose or delete universities to which your free TOEFL score report should be sent by using the TOEFL iBT® online registration system until 10 p.m. (local test center time) on the day before the test. You cannot change or delete score recipients after the 10 p.m. deadline. For every university or college that you select to receive a free score report after the 10 p.m. deadline, you will have to pay US$18.

ETS will send official score reports the institutions you choose approximately 13 days after you take the test. However, you should allow 4–6 weeks for locations outside the United States just in case there are postal delays.

For more information click here.

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.

 

Applying for Spring (Jan) 2014 – A Step-By-Step Explanation

If you are applying for spring, here’s one last call to check the timeline for applications – though university deadlines for spring go up to December, the last phase of deadlines is drawing to a close (see deadlines for spring 2014 for more details). For those late universities there are still a number of things you need to get done right away! Note that the timeline below is geared to the earliest universities (which have their deadlines in June). However, the steps given below all need to be taken for all universities no matter what their deadlines are. So, hurry and get into action, there’s no time to lose.

P.S. for those who have already taken admission make sure that you take the 8 steps mentioned right at the end of the blog. Good luck to you all!

January 2013

  1. Review you goals for MS education and choose some specific areas in which you would like to specialize
  2. Register for the GRE and TOEFL examinations – these examinations should preferably be taken by June.

March 2013 – Make a preliminary list of about 30 universities which meet your requirements considering:

  1. Location
  2. Costs
  3. Broad specializations you are interested in
  4. Recommendations by seniors, your professors etc.
  5. Whether your academic profile fits the universities requirements.
Note: for engineers check the free ‘university info‘ feature (under the applications button) at online.dilipoakacademy.com – it lists departments and courses for the top 220 universities (registration is free). Also given are the university rank and GRE and TOEFL institutional codes.

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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University Selection for MS in US!

choosing right universities

We present you the definitive guide to University Selection for MS in US. One of the most difficult and important parts of the whole process of applying to American universities is deciding which ones to apply to. And considering the large number of good universities and the wide variety of courses available, selecting the right universities is a difficult exercise. So, here are a few pointers to help you on your way.

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Application Timeline for Fall 2014 – Make Sure You Are on Track | MS in US | Fall 2014

If you are applying for fall 2014 the clock has begun to tick. So, don’t delay. Review this Application Timeline for Fall 2014 immediately and get to work. Here it is:

 

June-August 2013 – Review you goals for MS education and choose some specific areas in which you would like to specialize.

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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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