International Entrance Exams to Study Overseas

International Entrance Exams to Study Overseas

International Entrance Exams to Study Overseas
Ashma Shrestha

Many students go to different countries each year for higher studies. Although it's easier now for students from various academic backgrounds to study abroad, there are still certain academic standards to meet for admission to foreign universities or colleges. To get in, you usually have to pass competitive international entrance exams. Doing well in these exams can also help you get scholarships and financial aid.

Some important exams for studying abroad include the SAT, MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, IELTS, and TOEFL. Different countries may require one or more of these exams, along with other specific tests for their education system.

For those aspiring to study abroad, especially from non-English speaking Asian countries to English-speaking Western countries, language exams play a crucial role. Since the primary medium of communication in these countries is English, students need to pass a language proficiency test to demonstrate their English skills.

The main English language tests for studying abroad after 10th, 12th, or graduation are IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE. Scores from these exams are also important for non-native English speakers seeking to immigrate to English-speaking countries for job opportunities.

Let's take a closer look at two of these language exams:

IELTS (International English Language Testing System):

IELTS has two modules:

  • Academic Module: Aimed at higher education levels abroad, including universities, research positions, or other academic-related work.
  • General Training Module: Focused on social skills and workplace practices, required for work or immigration purposes.


  • Validity: 2 years
  • Cost: INR 16,250
  • Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Minimum Score: 5.5-6.0
  • Test Frequency: 48 times a year for Paper-based IELTS, and computer-delivered IELTS is available 7 days a week, 3 times a day.
  • It's important to note that each educational institution may have its own minimum score requirements, typically above 6, for admission.


TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language):

  • Conducted to measure English language proficiency in non-native speakers.
  • Accepted by colleges and universities in Australia, the UK, Canada, the US, and other countries.
  • Two methods: Paper-Based Test and Internet-Based Test (more popular).


  1. Validity: 2 years
  2. Cost: INR 16,900
  3. Duration: 3 hours
  4. Minimum Score: 90-100 (preferred by most universities)

There's no passing score, but a minimum score of 90-100 is preferred. TOEFL is often favored by American educational institutions over IELTS.

TOEFL is conducted 50 times a year, with 4-5 times a month.

It's advisable for students to check the specific score requirements of their preferred institutions before taking these exams.

PTE (Pearson Test of English):

PTE stands out from IELTS and TOEFL due to its distinctive features. Firstly, it relies completely on computerized technologies for scoring. Secondly, results are typically declared within five days of taking the test, making it a suitable choice for those with time constraints.

  • Structure:
    • Validity: 2 years
    • Cost: INR 15,900
    • Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
    • Minimum Score: 51-60
  • PTE focuses more on everyday English language use rather than university-level language proficiency.

PTE tests are available throughout the year, and the availability of test dates depends on your chosen test center and type. Check the official website for more information.


Let's compare IELTS and PTE to understand their differences.



Academic and General


2 Hours 45 Minutes

2 Hours 15 Minutes

Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking

Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Comprehension

Band 1-9

Score 10-90

Multiple Choice, Fill-in-the-blank, Short Answer, Essay, and Speaking

Multiple Choice, Fill-in-the-blank, Short Answer, Essay, and Speaking


Duolingo is a newer language proficiency test widely accepted by over 4,500 institutions worldwide. It assesses your ability to use English in real-world situations and is popular in the USA and Canada.

  • Structure:
    • Validity: 2 years
    • Cost: INR 4852
    • Duration: 45 minutes
    • Minimum Score: 10
  • Duolingo is recommended when you need urgent test results, as results are typically available within 2 days.

Standardized Entrance Exams for Studying Abroad

While language proficiency tests are the initial requirement for your study-abroad plan, you also need to successfully navigate an entrance test specific to your chosen course. The entrance exam you'll encounter depends on whether you are aiming for undergraduate or postgraduate studies.

Undergraduate Programs:

For undergraduate programs, you typically need to clear exams such as SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test), MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), and ACT (American College Testing). These exams evaluate aspirants' problem-solving, critical thinking, and writing skills, along with their knowledge of principles and concepts related to the specific study niche.


  • Validity: 5 Years
  • Cost: INR 8,055-9,062
  • Duration: 3 Hours
  • Minimum Score: 400
  • There are also subject-specific SATs, but they are not commonly required nowadays.

10 Proven Preparation Tricks & Strategies For SAT Exam


  • Validity: 5 Years
  • Cost: ₹16,703 (approx)
  • Duration: 2 Hours 55 Minutes
  • Minimum Score: 16-17

Postgraduate Programs:

For postgraduate programs, the entrance exams include LSAT (Law School Admission Test), GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), and GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test).


  • Validity: 5 Years
  • Cost: INR 15,017 (approx)
  • Duration: 3 Hours 15 Minutes
  • Minimum Score: 151

It is essential for pursuing a Master’s degree in Law in the USA, and valid for admissions in the USA, Canada, and Australia.


  • Validity: 5 Years
  • Cost: INR 22,550 (approx)
  • Duration: 3 Hours 45 Minutes
  • Minimum Score: 130

There are also GRE Subject exams, but they are not commonly required.

Everything to know about the GRE Test


  • Validity: 5 Years
  • Cost: INR 24,600 (approx)
  • Duration: 3 Hours 7 Minutes
  • Minimum Score: 200

Mandatory for MBA admissions globally, evaluating problem-solving, critical, logical, reasoning, and analytical skills.

100,000+ students achieved their study abroad dreams with us.  Start your journey today.


Which language proficiency tests are important for studying abroad, and why?

Common language proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE are crucial for studying abroad. They assess your English skills, ensuring you can effectively communicate and succeed academically in an English-speaking environment.

What standardized entrance exams are required for undergraduate and postgraduate programs when studying abroad?

For undergrad programs, SAT, MCAT, and ACT are common, assessing problem-solving and critical thinking. Postgrad programs often require LSAT (for law), GRE (for science/business), and GMAT (for MBA), evaluating specific skills and knowledge.

What's the difference between SAT and ACT, and how do I choose?

SAT focuses on written, verbal, and analytical skills, while ACT assesses written, mathematical, verbal, and scientific skills. The choice depends on your strengths and the preferences of the universities you're applying to.

Are subject-specific SATs necessary for admission to universities abroad?

Subject-specific SATs exist but aren't commonly required. General SAT scores are widely accepted. Check specific university requirements before opting for subject-specific tests.

What's the significance of GRE for postgrad studies, and are GRE Subject exams necessary?

GRE is vital for postgrad studies in the US, Canada, and global business schools. GRE Subject exams are not commonly required. Check specific university requirements for clarity.

How long are standardized test scores valid, and what are typical minimum score expectations?

Scores are typically valid for five years. Minimum score expectations vary; for example, SAT minimum is 400, ACT typically accepts scores above 16, LSAT requires a minimum of 151, GRE minimum is 130, and GMAT usually expects scores over 200, with some schools preferring a minimum of 700. Check specific institution requirements.

Related Posts :


Why study in the USA?

The United States (US) is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after destinations by international students around the globe. With thousands of renowned universities that offer a wide range of courses a
Study info centre SThu Apr 20 2023

Top Five (5) Reasons to Study in the USA

The United States of America (USA) hosts the most international students in the world. Quality education, a unique curriculum, a multicultural environment, and abundant opportunities are reasons many
Saru NiraulaThu Apr 20 2023