Top 6 Exams Required For Studying Abroad

If you are a student planning to study abroad, you are likely to sit for some exams. These can be called entrance exams or qualifying exams that give you the leverage of being selected by university of your dreams.


Every year, more than 3 lakh students from India go to a foreign destination for their higher education. Along with the hassle of visa and immigration, you must be prepared for at least one, or sometimes two of the following exams in order to ease your process of studying abroad.

  1. GMAT- Graduate Management Assessment Test
  • About GMAT- This exam has been specifically designed to assess and predict how a test taker is likely to perform academically is business schools and MBA Programmes.
  • Why is it required- To get admissions into various graduate Business Programmes such as MBA
  • GMAT test format- GMAT exam lasts for approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes and consists of 4 sections- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal.
  • Validity of scores- All GMAT scores are valid up to 5 years
  • Availability- The exams are held on demand and throughout the year
  • Centres- GMAT exam is available throughout 29 cities in India
  • Fee- The exam fee is approximately INR 16,500 ($250) and is variable to the changing value of USD to INR
  • Other Info- The test can be taken up to 5 times in one year with a gap of at least 16 days between two consecutive tests.


  1.      GRE- Graduate Record Exam
  • About GRE – This exam has been designed to assess skills that a student may have acquired over a period of time that are not based on any specific fields of study.
  • Why is it required – To get admissions into graduate programmes, Master’s degrees, post graduation, MBA, doctorate degree etc. in generally USA and Canada.
  • GRE test format – GRE exam lasts for about 3 hours 40 minutes and consists of 5 sections- One Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), two Verbal sections, one Quantitative section and one Experimental section which can either be based on Verbal or Quant. The sequence of the pattern is not se and these 5 sections may occur in any order.
  • Validity of scores – GRE scores are valid up to 5 years from the date of the examination
  • Availability – Exam dates for GRE are not specific and a student may take the exam any time of the year after taking an appointment with their nearest GRE centre.
  • Centres – GRE is available in over 160 countries with more than 1000 test centres around the world.
  • Fee – The exam fee is approximately INR 13,000 ($195) and varies on the changing value of USD to INR
  • Other Info – The test can be taken up to 5 times in one year with a gap of at least 21 days within two consecutive test dates.


  1.      SAT- Scholastic Assessment Test
  • About SAT- SAT has been designed to assess a student’s readiness for undergraduate programmes by testing their mathematical, reading and writing skills.
  • Why is it required- SAT is an entrance exam in most colleges and universities in USA and Canada and is used for admissions in undergraduate programmes
  • SAT test format- The test lasts for about 3 hours and 45 minutes and consists of 3 major sections- Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing and each section is divided into 3 parts.
  • Validity of scores- All scores are valid for 5 years
  • Availability- SAT is conducted a few times around the year in India, especially between October and December.
  • Centres- SAT is available across 10 cities in India currently.
  • Fee- The current exam fees is INR 3500
  • Other Info- The test can be taken as many times as a student wants, however some schools judge students on the basis of their scores in all attempts.


  1.      TOEFL- Test of English as a Foreign Language
  • About TOEFL- It is a test required by a lot of universities to test the English proficiency of students coming from a country where English is not a native language
  • Why is it required- Most US and Canadian universities require a TOEFL score and a few immigration departments also require this score for issuing residential and work visa.
  • TOEFL test format- TOEFL test lasts between 3 to 4 hours and consists of 4 sections- Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.
  • Validity of scores- TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years
  • Availability- The tests are held throughout the year.
  • Centres- TOEFL can be given through 35 cities in India and are conducted by ETS.
  • Fee- The current fee for the test is INR 11,500 ($170) and may depend on the variation of USD to INR value
  • Other Info- Not all universities require TOEFL scores and students must carefully review their university requirements before taking the test


  1.      IELTS- International English Language Testing System
  • About IELTS- It is a standardised English Proficiency test managed my British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.
  • Why is it required- Most universities in the countries such as European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA etc accept IELTS scores. Apart from this, most countries require General IELTS score for immigration and work visas
  • IELTS Test Format- The test lasts for about 3 hours and consists of 4 sections- Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking
  • Validity of scores- IELTS scores are valid for 2 years
  • Availability- The IELTS tests are held 4 times in a month, throughout the year
  • Centres- The British Council offers around 42 centres across India and IDP offers around 40 centres in India for the tests
  • Fee- IELTS test fee is INR 11,100 until 30th September 2016
  • Other Info- Students receive IELTS practice book within 10 days of their registration and results are out after 13 days from the date of the test


  1.      PTE- Pearson Test of English
  • About PTE- The test was designed to assess the English proficiency and readiness of a non-native English speaker.
  • Why it is required- This test measures the level of English of students who come from a non-native English speaking background to assess how ready they are to participate in programmes in English language.
  • PTE test format- The test lasts for about 2 hours 55 minutes and consists of 4 sections- Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening.
  • Availability- The tests are held throughout the year
  • Centres- Currently 16 cities in India provide the test centres for PTE
  • Fee- The current fee is INR 10,900.
  • Other Info- Students normally receive their results in 2 days after the test.


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