Planning To Study Abroad? Five Exams You Need To Know About

Taking a closer look at the issue, BW Education presents to you five international exams that are taken by students who are planning to study abroad

There are about 3 lakh students from India who pursue higher education abroad every year. It is a tedious and an expensive process but the first step in pursuing higher education abroad is clearing the required examination and become eligible for the admissions. Taking a closer look at the issue, BW Businessworld presents to you five international exams that are taken by students who are planning to study abroad:


Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT is used for taking admission in management schools. It assesses the applicant’s logical and critical reasoning skills along with problem solving abilities. This test is accepted by more than 6000 business and management courses. More than 2100 institutions and universities in 114 countries are within the reach of GMAT. This test is valid up to 5 years, though it might depend on a university’s own validity criteria.

There are around 29 test centres in India and the fee of taking the test is approx. Rs. 16500. Candidates can easily view their scores online.

The test can be taken 5 times a year where each test attempt must be 16 days apart.

2. SAT

Scholastic Assessment Test is usually undertaken for admission into under graduation courses to assess students’ knowledge of reading, writing and mathematics. SAT is applicable in US, Canada and other such countries for under graduate courses. Over 2 million students from 175 countries take the SAT exam every year. The test scores are valid up to 5 years.

In India, over 13000 students take SAT every year. The fee for taking this exam is around Rs 3500. SAT is conducted only a few times a year, usually between the months of October- December.

Students must aim to score at least 2100/2400 to be able to get into a university or college of their choice.

3. GRE

Graduate Record Examination or the GRE revised General Test is for students applying to graduate and business schools, for a Master’s Degree, post graduation or MBA. Universities especially in North America (USA and Canada) usually need applicants to take the GRE. It could just be an admission formality or even a selection criterion for jobs as well. There are over 1000 test centres in 160 countries and the test scores are valid till 5 years after the testing year.

The fee for taking the GRE revised General Test is Rs 12000 in India, variable to USD exchange rate.

Since there are no specific exam dates in India, one has to take an appointment with the closest GRE center. One specific requirement is that the applicant must have a passport to be eligible for the test.


Test of English as a foreign language or TOEFL is a test mostly for non native speakers who are looking to enroll in foreign universities. It tests an applicant’s English language abilities. A few immigration departments also issue residential and work visas according to an applicant’s test scores. Over 9000 colleges in 130 countries accept TOEFL test scores, amongst top 100 colleges in US.

Over 27 million people worldwide have taken the test. The validity of the test is 2 years.

In India, the fee for taking the test is Rs 11.500. An applicant needs to check the score requirements of the universities that he/she is applying to.


International English Language Testing System or IELTS is a test that is used to assess an applicant’s language capability in countries where English is the main form of communication. In countries like UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, IELTS test scores are recognized by their governments for immigration applications.

The exam is recognized by over 9000 institutions all over the world including educational and professional bodies, governments and employers and immigration authorities. Applicants can take the test in over 140 countries across 1000 test locations.

The test scores are valid for 2 years and the fee for taking the exam in India is approx. Rs 11,100. The British Council offers the IELTS test in 42 locations in India.

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