Study Abroad
Entrance Exam

Now that globalization has made different parts of the world more accessible to all, the prospect of pursuing higher studies abroad has increased in popularity. This is the reason why every now and then, students look to crack one or the other study abroad entrance exam to secure admission into universities abroad.

Therefore, it helps to have a good idea about the most important and prestigious exams, ranging from proficiency to skill-testing exams. The top 5 of such exams have been explained in detail here.


IELTS Exam


Perhaps one of the most important study abroad entrance exams, the International English Language Testing System a.k.a IELTS Exam is the test of an individual’s proficiency in English. English is the most widely spoken language in the world and, therefore, candidates wanting to study and/or work abroad need to prove their ability in this language.

The IELTS Exam covers a majority of the top countries as well as more than 10,000 organizations worldwide. A further deep dive into this exam is given below.

Conducted By


1. British Council
2. IDP: IELTS Australia
3. Cambridge Assessments English

Fees


1. For UK Visas and Immigration = INR 15,100
2. For Computer-delivered IELTS = INR 14,700
3. IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1) = INR 13,940
4. Pen and Paper-based IELTS = INR 14,700

Pattern


Strategy is extremely important when it comes to cracking this exam. Therefore, candidates need to have a basic idea about the IELTS exam pattern so that they can plan their preparation accordingly.

Listening


The Listening Section covers a wide range of skill sets of the candidates. A brief idea of the skills that it tests are mentioned below: -

1

How good of an understanding a candidate has when it comes to some broad and encompassing ideas.

2

The understanding level of the candidate as far as specific factual information is concerned.

3

The presence of mind of candidates to gauge as well as recognize the attitudes, opinions, and purpose of a speaker.

4

How good candidates are in following the development of an argument.

Duration


30 Minutes
(excluding 10 minutes of Transfer Time)

Number Of
Questions


40

Test Sections


Section 1: An everyday conversation between 2 people
Section 2: A monologue set in an everyday context
Section 3: Conversation between up to 4 people, set in an educational/training context
Section 4: Monologue on an academic subject
Each section can ONLY be heard ONCE

Marking Scheme


1. +1 for every correct answer
2. Though in marks initially, scores are reported in whole and half bands
3. The total score out of 40 is converted into the IELTS 9-band scale

Reading


Coming to the Reading Section of the IELTS Exam, this is also the test of skills for the candidates in terms of grasp and comprehension. Candidates are tested on: -

1

Reading for Main Ideas


2

Reading for Gist


3

Reading for Details


4

Understanding Inferences and Implied Meaning


5

Recognizing and Understanding the opinions, attitudes, and purpose of writers


6

How good the candidates are in following an argument

Duration


60 Minutes
(no transfer time given separately)

Number Of Questions


40

Test Sections


Academic Reading:-
3 Sections of a total of 2,150-2,750 words
Each section has 1 long text from reputed books, journals, magazines, and newspapers
Texts can either be descriptive and factual, or analytical and discursive
There may also be diagrams, graphs, and illustrations.
Glossary is provided for technical terms
General Training Reading:-
Section 1: Consists of 2-3 short factual texts on topics relevant to everyday life in an English-speaking country
Section 2: Consists of 2 short factual texts on work-related issues
Section 3: Consists of 1 relatively longer text on a topic of general interest

Marking Scheme


1. +1 for every correct answer
2. Though in marks initially, scores are reported in whole and half bands
3. The total score out of 40 is converted into the IETLS 9-band scale

Writing


When it comes to the Writing Section of the IELTS Exam, there are tasks given to the candidate that require them to record their responses. The content is judged on the following parameters: -

1

Content

2

Organization and Presentation of Ideas

3

The Accuracy and Range of the Vocabulary and Grammar

Duration

40 minutes

Number Of Questions

4 Tasks (2 of Academic Writing and 2 of General Training)

Test Section

Academic Writing
Task 1 (150 words): Students need to organize, present and compare data. Also need to describe stages of a process, as well as explaining how a particular event/process works.
Task 2 (250 words): Students are judged on their ability to present a solution to a problem. Also asked to compare and contrast evidence and opinions as well as evaluate and challenge ideas, arguments, etc.
General Training
Task 1: Students are tested on their ability to express needs, wants as well as likes and dislikes. Also tests how students provide general information as well as their ability to engage in personal correspondence.
Task 2: Tests the ability of students to provide general factual information, outline a problem as well as present a solution. Also tests the ability to express needs, wants, opinions, arguments, etc.

Marking Scheme

Students are given scores on:
1. Task Achievement and Response
Coherence and Cohesion
Lexical Resources
Grammatical Range
Accuracy
Though in marks initially, scores are reported in whole and half bands

Speaking


This is one of the most important sections in the IELTS Exam as far as communication is concerned. The Speaking Section evaluates an individual on the following parameters: -

1

The ability of candidates to communicate opinions and information on everyday topics, situations, and experiences; that too through answering a bunch of questions

2

The ability of candidates to speak at length on a particular topic, that too using the appropriate language.

3

The ability of candidates to nicely organize their ideas.

4

The ability of candidates to express and justify opinions.

5

The ability of candidates to analyze, discuss, and speculate about issues.

Duration


11-14 Minutes

Number Of Questions


3 Tasks

Test Sections


Part 1: Introduction and Interview
In this 4-5 Minute test, candidates need to introduce oneself as well as answer certain questions on family, home, and other such topics.
Part 2: Individual Long Turn
In this 3-4 Minute test, candidates are given a task card including a topic and the relevant points regarding that.
Candidates are given a pencil and paper as well as 1 minute to prepare.
They then have to speak for 1-2 minutes as well as answer questions by the examiner.
Part 3: Two-way Discussion
In this 4-5 minute test, examiners ask further questions related to the topic in Part 2. These can also lead to discussions on abstract issues.

Marking Scheme


Students are given scores on: -
Fluency and Coherence
Lexical Resources
Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Pronunciation

PTE Exam


The Pearson Language Tests a.k.a PTE Exam is a computer-based exam that mainly tests the overall English language proficiency and fluency of an individual seeking to study and/or work in a country where English is the main medium of communication.

This 3-hour study abroad entrance exam measures the candidate’s English speaking as well as reading and writing skills.

Conducted By


Pearson Group

Fees


For Most Countries, PTE Academic = INR 13,700
For the UK:-
PTE Academic UKVI (Visa) = INR 14,400
PTE Home A1 and B1 = INR 12,200

Pattern


Strategy is extremely important when it comes to cracking this exam. Therefore, candidates need to have a basic idea about the PTE Exam pattern so that they can plan their preparation accordingly.

Speaking and Writing


This test begins with the Speaking and Writing Section, which is the longest section of the PTE Exam as it’s more than an hour long. This 77-93 Minute section has 7 different question types. Candidates are tested mainly on how good their writing and speaking skills are with regard to an academic environment.

Personal
Introduction


Candidates need to give information about themselves.
There are 25 seconds to read the prompt and 30 to record the response.
Candidates can only record their answers once.

Read Aloud


A text of up to 60 words will appear on the screen, which the candidate needs to read aloud.

Describe The Image


Candidates are required to describe the image on the screen in detail. They get 40 seconds to do so.

Re-Tell Lecture


A lecture is played on the screen, which the candidate needs to re-tell. They get 40 seconds to do so.

Answering Short Questions


Candidates need to answer a question in 1 word or a few, within 10 seconds

Summarize Long
Text


Candidates are required to write a one-sentence summary of a passage of up to 300 words. They get 10 minutes to do so.

Essay


Candidates get 20 minutes to write a 200-300 essay on a given topic. They’re given a prompt of 2-3 sentences.

Reading


The Reading Section is a relatively shorter section as compared to the above, but it’s as important. This 32-40 minute integrated test has 5 different types of questions.

Fill In The Blanks (Read & Write)


A text of up to 300 words appear on- screen with several gaps/blanks.
Candidates need to drag the requisite words from the box below

Multiple Choices, Multiple Answers


Candidates need to answer MCQs on a content. They can select more than 1 response

Re-Order
Paragraphs


A bunch of text boxes appears on the screen randomly Candidates need to put them in order so that it becomes content of up to 150 words

Fill In The Blanks (Verbal)


A text of up to 80 words appears on- screen with several gaps/blanks. Candidates need to drag the requisite words from the box below

Multiple Choice,
Single Answer


Candidates need to answer MCQs on a content There is only 1 correct response

Listening


This section analyzes the grasp and understanding that candidates develop after being provided an eternal data/stimulus for some time. A better explanation of the same has been given below.

Summarize Spoken Text

After listening to a 60-90 second audio, candidates need to write a 50-70 word summary.

Select Missing Word

After listening to a recording, the candidates need to select the right word that completes the recording.

Fill In The
Blanks

A text of up to 80 words appears on- screen with several gaps/blanks.
Candidates need to drag the requisite words from the box below

Write From Dictation

Candidates need to type the sentence after listening to a recording saying it.

Multiple Choice, Single Answer

Candidates need to answer MCQs on a content
There is only 1 correct response

Multiple Choice ,Multiple Answers

Candidates need to answer MCQs on a content
They can select more than 1 response

Highlight Incorrect Word

Candidates are given the transcript of a recording while this same recording plays.
They need to identify the words that are different in the transcript from the ones said in the recording

Highlight Correct Summary

After listening to a recording, candidates need to select the paragraph that best summarizes it

TOEFL Exam


As the name suggests, the Test Of English as a Foreign Language a.k.a the TOEFL Exam is the only proficiency test that measures all 4 English language skills of the individual i.e. Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking happens in an academic setting.

This study abroad entrance exam is recognized and accepted by around 11,000 universities across 150 nations including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA among others.

Conducted By


Educational Testing Service (ETS)

Fees


$190/INR 14,096

Pattern


Strategy is extremely important when it comes to cracking this exam. Therefore, candidates need to have a basic idea about the TOEFL Exam pattern so that they can plan their preparation accordingly.

Listening


This section tests the basic comprehension ability of candidates. In addition, it also tests the pragmatic understanding of the candidates (attitude and confidence) as well as synthesizing/connecting information.

Duration


41-57 Minutes

Number Of
Questions


28-39

Details


Candidates need to answer questions about brief lectures/classroom discussions after listening to such recordings

Reading


This section analyzes how well the candidates can read and understand the textual data, especially ones that are used in the academic context. This test is 54-72 minutes long and contains data from university-level textbooks, and deals with a particular topic/discipline.

Duration


54-72 Minutes

Number Of Questions


30-40

Details


Candidates need to read a passage and answer questions related to it

Speaking


This section tests how fluently candidates can speak English in an academic setting. For this purpose, candidates are given 4 tasks resembling real-life classroom situations.

Duration


17 Minutes

Number Of Questions


4 Tasks

Details


Candidates are allowed to discuss a familiar topic along with whatever they’ve read and listened to

Writing


This section tests the ability of the candidates to write fluently in English, mainly how clearly and concisely the candidates present their ideas.

Duration

50 minutes

Number Of Questions

2 Tasks

Details

Candidates are required to read a passage and then listen to a recording. This is followed by them typing their response

GRE Exam


The Graduate Record Examinations a.k.a the GRE Exam/GRE General Test is mainly taken by individuals who seek to pursue a master’s degree or a specialized master’s degree in MBA or JD or pursue any doctoral degree.

This study abroad entrance exam is accepted by B-schools as well as law and graduate schools across the world. In fact, one’s GRE Exam scores can supplement their undergraduate records as well as other documents required to get admission, like LORs (Letters of Recommendation).

Conducted By


Educational Testing Service (ETS)

Fees


$213/INR 15,820

Pattern


Strategy is extremely important when it comes to cracking this exam. Therefore, candidates need to have a basic idea about the GRE Exam pattern so that they can plan their preparation accordingly.

Analytical Writing


There is an “Analyze an Issue” session of 30 minutes There is also an “Analyze a Task” session of 30 minutes

Verbal Reasoning


Candidates need to answer 20 questions each for 2 sections. Each section is 30 minutes long.

Quantitative
Reasoning


Candidates need to answer 20 questions each for 2 sections. Each section is 35 minutes long.

Unscored


Varies across test centre locations

Research


Varies across test centre locations

GMAT Exam


The Graduate Management Admission Test a.k.a GMAT Exam is a test especially created by business schools and, therefore, tests the requisite business and management skills of the candidates. These include: -
1. Critical Reasoning Skills
2. Logical Skills
3. Data Sufficiency
4. Problem-solving skills
This computer-based test uses state-of-the-art technology to provide questions to the individual based on his/her ability. Said questions are designed by international experts to get rid of the US-centric and English-speaking bias. This is the reason the GMAT Exam is recognized by around 21,000 universities across 114 countries for over 6000 courses/programs.

Conducted By


GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council)

Fees


$250/INR 18,569

Pattern


Strategy is extremely important when it comes to cracking this exam. Therefore, candidates need to have a basic idea about the CAT Exam pattern so that they can plan their preparation accordingly.

Integrated
Reasoning


30 Minutes Long
12 Questions
It measures the candidates’ ability to analyze and evaluate data in multiple formats

Quantitative
Reasoning


62 Minutes Long
31 Questions
It measures the candidates’ ability to use reasoning to analyze the data and arrive at conclusions

Verbal
Reasoning


65 Minutes Long
36 Questions
It measures the candidates’ ability to evaluate arguments as well as understand and correct written content according to standard English

Analytical
Writing


30 Minutes Long
1 Assessment only
It measures the candidates’ ability to think critically and effectively communicate their ideas

Candidates even have the option of selecting the particular order in which they want to appear for each section of the exam. The chronology options that are available have been mentioned below: -

1. Analytical Writing Assessment > Integrated Reasoning > Quantitative Reasoning > Verbal Reasoning
2. Verbal Reasoning > Quantitative Reasoning > Integrated Reasoning > Analytical Writing Assessment
3. Quantitative Reasoning > Verbal Reasoning > Integrated Reasoning > Analytical Writing Assessment

FAQS