The popularity of studying abroad is growing exponentially. Global exposure, subject matter mastery, and networking opportunities are among the many reasons why students choose to study abroad. However, for this it is necessary to take tests of high intellectual demand. While the global study abroad scene has been greatly opened up to accommodate students of all academic backgrounds and interests, there are still certain pre-set academic standards that must be met in order to enter a university or college abroad. These are achieved by passing competitive international entrance exams. Good results on competitive “study abroad” exams also help you win scholarships and other forms of financial aid.

How to get admission to a foreign university?

If you plan to study abroad, the admissions process will require you to take a language test and a standardized test. However, depending on the country, course, college or university you are heading to, you may be exempt from standardized tests, but you will still be required to take a language test to demonstrate your proficiency in the English language. Depending on the course and college / university, you may also be required to provide standardized test scores.

Most Popular Tests

There are several exams that students take to enter the course and country of their choice. Some of the most popular and important international entrance exams include the SAT, MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, IELTS, and TOEFL. These are required for admission to universities and colleges in various countries of the world. Sometimes the need may be a combination of one or more of these and other tests / exams specific to that country and its education system.

Types of tests to study abroad

Language exams

Language tests show your English proficiency skills. You must take one of the language tests in order to enter any university in an English-speaking country. These are necessary to follow almost all courses; undergraduate, graduate, certificate or diploma courses (unless mentioned).

Standardized Entrance Exam for Foreign Universities

The entrance exam to study abroad for various courses may be different. Depending on the courses you choose, you will be required to take only one standardized test for education abroad. In addition, there are standardized tests for different countries.

Exams to study abroad with a scholarship

The most popular and important entrance exams for studying abroad are GRE, GMAT, IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, and ACT. Excellent performance on these international competitive exams can also help students obtain financial aid in the form of scholarships. Many colleges and universities consider the applicant’s performance on these international entrance exams to award scholarships to applicants at the time of admission.

Exams to study abroad after 12th Grade

Those students who have passed upper secondary school have the option of taking various entrance exams to study abroad. SAT, ACT, GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS are some of the important standardized tests that students can take to go study abroad. The choice of the exam always depends on the course, the university and the country you want to go to.

Exams to study abroad after 10th Grade

There are various exams that students can take after the tenth grade, however it is always a better idea to go study abroad after completing your school education. It is better to go study abroad after completing high school or choose a particular career. Apart from this, many colleges and universities require that the applicant be 18 years old and a tutor must accompany the student to take care of him.

Specific tests


The GMAT refers to the graduate management admission test specifically designed for those interested in applying for graduate programs in business administration or MBA. It is a valid and reliable predictor of your academic performance in today’s graduate management classrooms. The test is designed to test your aptitude and ability, not just your knowledge. More than 5,400 programs offered by more than 1,500 institutions in more than 110 countries use the GMAT as part of the selection criteria. It is accepted by countries like India, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, etc.


The GRE or Graduate Record Exam is taken by students applying to graduate school in countries like USA, UK, Australia, etc. It is accepted by thousands of universities around the world. This test measures a student’s basic skills in math, reading, and essay writing. The results of this test are sent to graduate schools along with the student’s application, transcript, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose essay.


IELTS or International English Language Testing System, is a standardized test of English proficiency conducted by non-native speakers who go to English-speaking countries to study, work or live. The brand is jointly owned by IELTS Australia, the British Council and the Cambridge English Language Assessment Test. It is recognized by more than 9,000 organizations around the world, including educational institutions, employers, governments, and professional bodies. To serve different purposes, there are two types of IELTS tests: Academic and General. On the day of the test, the four subtests or modules are taken in the sequence mentioned below:

IELTS listening test pattern

The IELTS listening test takes approximately 30 minutes. It consists of four subparts and is reproduced in audio, in increasing order of difficulty. Each subpart can be a dialogue or a monologue. The listening test is only taken once and the questions in each subpart must be answered while listening, although students have time to double-check their answers.

IELTS reading test pattern

The IELTS reading test lasts 60 minutes. Students must take an academic reading test or a general reading test. Both tests consist of three parts, and in both tests, the parts are arranged in order of increasing difficulty.

IELTS writing test pattern

The IELTS Writing test is also 60 minutes long. Candidates may have the option of taking an academic subtest or a general training subtest. They also have to do two writing tasks, depending on different writing styles. There is no choice for any topic of the question.

IELTS Speaking Test Pattern

The IELTS oral test consists of an individual interview with a specially trained and expert examiner.


The Law School Admission Test is a postgraduate exam taken by students applying to enter law schools in countries such as USA, Canada, etc. The exam is designed to check if you are ready for the courtroom. Measures skills that are considered important to a career in law. The different sections of the exam assess skills such as information management and the ability to draw inferences from it, the ability to think critically, understand complex texts, and evaluate the reasoning and arguments of others.


TOEFL refers to the English as a Foreign Language test that assesses the candidate’s proficiency in English. Because it is a valid and reliable test with an objective and unbiased score, the TOEFL test confirms that a student has the English language skills necessary to be successful in an academic setting. More than 8,500 colleges, universities, and agencies in 130 countries accept TOEFL scores. It is administered in more than 4,500 test centers in 180 countries. More than 27 million people have been tested since it began in 1964.


Students going to the United States for undergraduate courses take the SAT. The purpose of the SAT is to provide colleges with a common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. College admissions officers will review standardized test scores along with your high school GPA, classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews and personal essays.


ACT stands for American College Testing. The ACT is a standardized test administered by the nonprofit ACT to determine a high school student’s college readiness. It was introduced as a competitor to the SAT in 1959, and the two tests are closely reflected in its goal (serving as a reliable indicator of college readiness for high school students) and the framework adopted to achieve that goal. Since the last 5 years, both ACT and SAT are accepted by almost every major college for undergraduate admissions in the US.


The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required to enter medicine in the United States. The MCAT is a multiple-choice test that is designed to assess the examinee’s aptitude and knowledge of relevant topics. MCAT is a standardized and reliable way to test the millions of medical students who aspire to study in the US each year.

Financing of Exams

Like all education, these tests are also expensive. The average fee for these exams is between 11k and 13k. Once you’ve scored well and entered the college of your dreams, the costs of school tuition and living abroad should take over. Approaching a bank might help, but negotiating with financial agencies to get the lowest interest rate on the loan amount you need is not to everyone’s liking.


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