Education: U.S and U.K Entrance
All international students whose native language is not English are required to take the 'Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)'. Few institutions may accept scores from other English language examinations.
Students aspiring to pursue undergraduate studies in the United States will be required by universities to take:
SAT Reasoning Test
SAT Subject Tests
Most graduate departments require students to take one or more of the following:
GRE - Graduate Record Examination (General Test)
GRE - Graduate Record Examination (Subject Test)
GMAT - Graduate Management Admission Test
TSE - Test of Spoken English
Standardized Admission Tests details at a glance for undergraduate and graduate click here.
Programs in law, medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine require:
LSAT - Law School Admission Test
MCAT - Medical College Admission Test
DAT - Dental Admission Test
PCAT - Pharmacy College Admissions Test
VCAT - Veterinary Aptitude Test
A few other tests:
USMLE - United States Medical Licensing Examination
CGFNS - Council for Graduate of Foreign Nursing Schools
CPA- Certified Public Account Accountant Examination
Certain courses like Fine Arts may not require any admission test scores (except TOEFL) but creative material would need to be submitted.
Please check from individual universities, which tests you would need to take to be eligible for the program of your choice. It is important that you begin the test preparation well in advance. An examination fee needs to be paid to take eachMost U.S. institutions/universities include standardized tests as a mandatory ; part of their application requirement. Details of which tests individual universities/institutions and their departments require, are given by the universities, in the material accompanying application forms.
Most common source of information used is the Peterson’s guide. The Directory of Graduate Programs and the Official Guide to MBA programs also gives range of test scores accepted by various universities/departments.
Entrance tests can be repeated many times, if needed. An institution may evaluate a candidates recent, highest or average his scores depending on its admissions policy. It is always advisable to seriously practice for atleast three months prior to appearing for these tests.
It is also advisable to give these tests well in advance as the application will not be considered complete without test scores. Generally, scores are announced six weeks after the examination.
These tests are objective in nature i.e. multiple choice tests with no passing or failing scores. There are no pre-requirements for giving these examinations and no particular sequence in which they need to be completed.
English Proficiency Tests for All Levels of Study in the U.S.
(Test of English as a Foreign Language)
Most U.S. institutions require international applicants whose native language is not English to demonstrate their English language proficiency by taking the TOEFL test before they are considered for admissions. The test uses a multiple choice format to measure the ability to understand English which consists of three sections:
• Listening Comprehension - Measures ability to understand English as spoken in North America
• Structure and Written Expression - Measures ability to recognize language that is appropriate for standard written English
• Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension - Measures ability to understand non-technical reading matter
This test is hold almost 10 times a year including Friday administrations.
(Test of Written English)
The TWE test is given with the TOEFL test on certain dates only. The purpose of this half-hour essay test is to demonstrate ones ability to write and express ones in English. i.e. ability to generate and organize ideas, to support those ideas with examples or evidence and to compose in standard written English in response to an assigned topic.
If an institution or university wants an international student to take the TWE test, it has to be taken with the TOFEL. One cannot register to take the TWE test separately. It is not added to the TOEFL score. If you write an essay on a different topic from the one assigned to you, your essay will not be scored.
(Test of Spoken English)
required mainly at graduate level, especially for financial aid applicants.
The TSE test (Test of spoken English) is administered to evaluate spoken English proficiency of International students whose native language is not English. It requires examinees to answer orally a variety of questions presented in printed and recorded form. Your spoken answers are recorded on tape, No writing is required. This test is not administered as a part of the TOEFL test.
Although it is administered on a few TOEFL testing dates, it is administered separately. However, if you plan to take TOEFL and TSE on the same date, check the test center list in your TOEFL bulletin to make sure that both tests are being administered at the same center on the date you want.
On the test you are asked :
There are two separate registration categories within the TSE program: TSE–A and TSE–P
TSE–A is for applicants applying for teaching and research assistantship who have been asked to take the TSE test by admissions office or department concerned of any U.S universities/institutions.
TSE–P is for individuals such as those who are taking the TSE test to obtain liconsure or certification in a professional or occupational field.
Test for Graduate Studies
GRE (Graduate Record Examination):
GRE test is required of students enrolling for a master’s or doctoral program in the arts, sciences and engineering fields. It consists of two independent test: the General GRE and the Subject GRE.
When a university requires a GRE test as a part of their entrance requirements, it is generally assumed that they only require you to take the General GRE test. It contains seven 30-minute sections designed to measure verbal, quantitative and analytical abilities.
They include verbal reasoning questions, reading comprehension and mathematical questions that require arithmetical reasoning, the solution of algebraic problems and interpretation of graphs, diagrams and descriptive date.
Six sections of the General test contribute to the test scores; one unidentified separately timed section has trial questions that are not included in the actual test scores. The GRE General Test is held in the morning on each test date. In India, the GRE test is mostly held four times in a year.
GRE Subject :
The Subject tests are designed to measure knowledge and understanding of subject matter related to graduate study in specific fields and also to assess whether a student has the prerequisite background to undertake graduate study in a particular field.
Since most graduate departments within a university establish their own entrance requirements, including tests, it is necessary to write to the institution directly to find out whether the Subject GRE is required by the department in which the student is interest and if so, in which subject. You could also refer to the Peterson’s Guides and the Directory of Graduate Programs.
GRE Subject tests are currently available in sixteen different subjects:
Total testing time for each Subject Test is 2 hours and 50 minutes except for the Revised Music Test which has a total testing time of about 3 hours.
Only one Subject Test may be taken on any given test date. The subject GRE in India is only offered in October each year. The GRE Subject test is administered in the afternoon of the same date as the GRE General test.
GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test)
The GMAT test is designed to help graduate schools of business assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management. It does not test specific knowledge attained through college course-work or achievement in any particular subject area.
It measures a student’s general verbal, mathematical, analytical and problem-solving skills that are developed over a long period of time and are associated with success in the first year of study at graduate schools of management all of which indicate an aptitude for management studies.
The quantitative sections of the test measure basic mathematical skills, understanding of elementary concepts and the ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems and interpret graphic data. The variable sections of the test measure the ability to understand and evaluate what is read and to recognise basic conventions of standard written English as well as advanced comprehension skills and the ability to grasp and analyze data.
The GMAT consists of seven separately timed sections, each containing multiple choice questions. One of the seven sections contains trial questions needed for pre-testing and equating but they are not identified and appear in varying locations within the test. You should therefore do your best on all sections. The total testing time is three and one half hour. In India, the GMAT tests is held four times a year.
For test forms and additional information write to
for TOEFL And GRE: Institute of Psychological and Educational Measurement (IPEM), 25-A, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Allahabad-211001, Phone:(0532)604881/604644
For GMAT :
Graduate Management Admission Test, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box G103, Princeton, NJ 08541-6103, U.S.A, Phone:(609)771-7330, Fax:(609)771-7681, (609)771-7906
To obtain an application form, send a request letter to the agent. No payment is necessary.
Tests for Undergraduate Studies
Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) I and II
SAT 1 : Reasoning tests :
This is three-hour multiple choice test that measures the verbal and mathematical reasoning you have developed over many yeas, both in and out of school. The test questions are roughly divided in the following manner:
1. Verbal Reasoning: focuses on a student’s ability to read critically several given passages, including double passages with different points of view. It will in addition test students verbal reasoning skills and knowledge of vocabulary in context.
2. Mathematical Reasoning: will include regular mathematics, quantitative comparisons and emphasize on a student’s ability to apply mathematical concepts and interpret data. Few questions will require students to produce their own responses - not select from a choice of answers. Use of calculator is permitted, although not required.
3. The test also includes a 30-minute section of equating questions (verbal, mathematical). Answers to those questions do not count toward your score.
Your SAT scores, course grades and other in formation about your academic background help college admission officers evaluate how well prepared you are to do college-level work. Because courses and grading standards vary widely from school to school, scores on standardized tests such as the SAT help colleges compare the ability of students from different schools from different countries.
SAT II: Subject tests:
The subject tests are one-hour multiple choice tests in specific subjects. Unlike the SAT 1 which measures general abilities, SAT II measures your knowledge of particular subjects and your ability to apply that knowledge. Not all college require SAT II for admission or placement.
The ones that do either require specific combinations of subjects, or permit students to choose from among the various tests. Check the requirements of the colleges where you might apply before deciding which subject test to take. 18 subject tests are available in the following areas: Writing, Literature, Foreign languages, History, Mathematics, Sciences, English as a Second Language.
The writing test, a part of SAT II, will include a direct writing sample and multiple choice questions that require recognition of the conventions of standard written English, appropriate diction, and effective and logical expression.
For SAT/ACH information and forms write to:
College Board ATP
P.O. Box 6200
Princeton, NJ 08541-6200
U. S. A.
* To obtain an application form , send a request letter with your complete name and address. No payment is necessary.
Practice Guides for Preparation of these tests
The most commonly used guides are :
Dates for the entire testing year are given on information bulletins that contain the application forms. As registration for tests takes time and centres get full in India, it is advisable to start the process early, at least 3 to 4 months before the date you plan to give the exam.
USEFI does not distribute forms, help/assist students in filling the forms, register students for the test, mark score reports etc.
USEFI Regional Offices:
Sundeep, 4 Now Marino Lines, Mumbai-400 020. Phone: 2663956.
American Consulate Bldg, Anna Salai, Madras-600 006. Phone: 8257195, 8273040.
American Center, 38 Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, Calcutta-700 016. Phone: 2451636-37, 2451211-19.
U.S.EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION IN INDIA, Head Office: Fulbright House, 12, Hailey Road, New Delhi-110001. Phone:3328944, 3328945.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
The IELTS is a test of English devised and managed by the British Council, the International Development Programme (IDP) Education Australia and the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES). It is meant for non-native speakers who want to join academic or training programmes in English. It gives a reliable indication of how well overseas students will cope in English in a study context.
The test indicates a candidates overall English languages proficiency and profiles his/her ability in listening, reading, writing and speaking.
The British Council Division in India administers the test in Madras, Mumbai, Calcutta and Delhi.
How to apply : Once an institution in the UK or Australia or another country where English is used as a medium of instruction, asks you to take the test, or if you plan to go to any of these countries for higher education in the near future, you should write to the IELTS Administrator, English Studies Unit, British Deputy High Commission, British Council Division, 737 Anna Salai, Madras-600 002.
If you have received a letter from an institution asking you to take the test, please enclose a copy.
You will receive a registration form which you should complete carefully and accurately with in the help of the enclosed IELTS handbook. Return the form with your test fee (drawn on a Demand Draft in favour of British council Division, Madras).
The test is offered approximately once every two months. Please get in touch with your nearest British Council division officer to find out the exact date of the next test.
For those who cannot take the test on a scheduled date, the British Council Division may be able to arrange a special sitting on a mutually convenient date for a higher fee.
About the Test:
The test is divided into four subtests: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Listening and Speaking modules are the same for all candidates. However, if you plan to undertake academic study it is recommended you sit for the Academic Reading and Writing modules. If you plan to pursue a non-academic/training programme, it is better to take the General Training Reading and Writing modules.
The entire test takes about three hours with two breaks. Please note that the last subtest (Speaking) can be held upto two days after the other three subtests, depending on the number of candidates sitting the examination on a particular date.
Scoring is done on a band of 0 to 9. Many academic institutions find a score of 7.0 acceptable, though specific programmes may demand higher scores, eg. for medical practice.
Test scores will be sent directly to the institution you have applied to within two weeks from the date of the test. A copy of your test score will also be mailed to you. Your scores are normally valid for a period of two years, but it is left to the discretion of the receiving university to judge the validity period of your scores.
Borderline candidates may query their results within one month from the date of issue of results. Their scores will be double checked and marked again. However, if you have to resit the test you will have to wait three months, since research indicates that test scores show little improvement without tuition for at least three months.
Preparing for the test:
Two packages of specimen materials consisting of a booklet and an audio cassette one produced by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) and one by the British Council called How to prepare for IELTS, have been designed to help students prepare for the test. They are available for sale at the Madras, Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta offices of the British council Division.
These packs are available for reference at all the four centres and the British Libraries.
Offices in South India:
British Deputy High Commission,
British Council Division, 737, Anna Salai, Madras-600002.Phone:8525002, 8525412; Telex: 041-7775 BCMS IN; Fax: 044-8523234
The British Library, YMCA Building, Thiruvanantha puram-695001. Phone:330716
The British Library, 39, St Mark’s Road, Bangalore-560 001. Phone: 2213485
The British Library, Sarovar Centre, 5-9-22 Secretariat Road, Hyderabad-500 004. Phone: 230774.
British Council division, British Deputy High Commission.
( Courtesy: Manorama knowledge adventure )