Millions of aspirants migrate to various regions of the world every year to complete their higher studies. Whilst the global study abroad scene has opened up tremendously to accommodate students of all academic backgrounds and area of interests, there are still certain preset academic standards that need to be met in order to gain admission to a university or college abroad. These are to be achieved by clearing competitive international entrance exams. Good performances in competitive ‘study abroad’ exams also help you to win scholarships and other forms of financial aid, no small consideration for a majority of the applicants. Here are some entrance exams students need to clear while applying for overseas education.
The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is global systematize exam of English language skill for overseas English language talkers. IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organizations across the world. IELTS is one of essential English-language tests in the world,
IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are created to cover the full range of potential from non-user to expert user. The Academic version is for test givers who want to study at third level in an English-speaking country or seek professional registration. The General Training version is for test giver who wants to work and study at a secondary school or migrate to an English-speaking country.
The contrast between the Academic and General Training category is the content, context, and reason of the tasks.
The IELTS test has four parts
• Listening: 30 minutes plus 10 minutes’ transfer time
• Reading: 60 minutes
• Writing: 60 minutes
• Speaking: 11–14 minutes
The test total time is taken is 2 hours and 55 minutes. Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one part. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
All test giver take the same Listening and Speaking tests, while the Reading and Writing tests differ depending on whether the test giver is pursuing the Academic or General Training versions of the test.
TOEFL stands for Test of English as a foreign language.
Toefl is essential for overseas students pursuing an admission in US universities and colleges for higher studies. TOEFL measures the ability of non-native speakers of English to use and understand North American English as it is spoken, written and heard in college and university settings. The TOEFL test measures English language proficiency in reading, listening and writing and is offered on computer in most regions of the world.
The TOEFL paper-based Test (PBT) is available in limited areas. Scores are valid for two years after the test date, and test takers can have their scores sent to institutions or face time.
1. Listening (30 – 40 minutes)
The Listening section consists of 3 parts. The first one contains 30 questions about short conversations. The second part has 8 questions about longer conversations. The last part asks 12 questions about lectures or talks.
2. Structure and Written Expression (25 minutes)
The Structure and Written Expression section has 15 exercises of completing sentences correctly and 25 exercises of identifying errors.
3. Reading Comprehension (55 minutes)
The Reading Comprehension sections has 50 questions about reading passages.
4. Writing (30 minutes)
The TOEFL PBT administrations include a writing test called the Test of Written English (TWE). This is one essay question with 250–300 words in average.
Pearson Language Tests is a unit of the Pearson PLC group, dedicated to assessing and validating the English language usage of non-native English speakers. The tests include PTE Academic, PTE General (formerly Australia Tests of English), and PTE Young Learners (formerly Australia Tests of English for Children). These are scenario-based exams, accredited by the QCA and administered in association with Edexcel, the Australia’s largest examining body.
PTE General are theme-based exams designed to test how well a learner can communicate in authentic and realistic situations, and not on how well they remember formal vocabulary and structures. For this reason, the tests use real-life scenarios rather than grammatical exercises. They test the four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for most Graduate Schools in the United States. GRE aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills that have been acquired over a long period of learning. The content of the GRE consists of certain specific algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and vocabulary. The GRE General Test is offered as a computer-based exam administered at Prometric testing centers.
The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States., its name and scoring have changed several times; originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, it was later called the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT I: Reasoning Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, and now, simply the SAT.
The SAT is owned and published by the College Board, a private, not-for-profit corporation in the United States. It is developed and administered on behalf of the College Board by the Educational Testing Service.
SAT consists of three major sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. Each section receives a score on the scale of 200–800. All scores are multiples of 10. Total scores are calculated by adding up scores of the three sections. Each major section is divided into three parts. There are 10 sub-sections, including an additional 25-minute experimental or “equating” section that may be in any of the three major sections. The experimental section is used to normalize questions for future administrations of the SAT and does not count toward the final score. The test contains 3 hours and 45 minutes of actual timed sections; most administrations (after accounting for orientation, distribution of materials, completion of biographical sections, and fifteen minutes of timed breaks) run for about four and a half hours. The questions range from easy, medium, and hard depending on the scoring from the experimental sections. Easier questions typically appear closer to the beginning of the section while harder questions are toward the end in certain sections. This is not true for every section (the Critical Reading section is in chronological order) but it is the rule of thumb mainly for math, grammar, and the 19 sentence-completions in the reading sections.