International students seeking admission in American colleges and universities are required to take one or more standardized tests. The purpose of these tests is to provide a standard evaluation method to compare the abilities of the international students that come from different countries.
The scores from these exams are sent with the student’s application and other information to be considered for a seat in the relevant college/university. The students also stand a chance to get foreign scholarships and grants if their scores fulfil the required criteria.
Here some of the standard exams that are needed to be taken in the US by international students.
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Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL)
Almost all graduate and undergraduate programs in the US necessitate the international students that they take TOFEL. The score from this test determines that they are proficient in English and can study in US colleges. Students are evaluated on reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
The total paper is of 120 marks. Different colleges in the US have set different cut off marks for admission that vary between 60 and 100. On an average, the minimum TOEFL score to get access in ranked national US universities for undergraduates is considered to be about 78, for ranked national liberal arts colleges it is about 83.
Still, you would require at least 100 marks if you would like to get a seat in a famous high ranking university.
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
International students seeking admission in mostly non-business courses in the US are required to take the GRE test. However, there are many business schools also that are accepting GRE scores.
A GRE paper is set for 340 marks, and if you wish to gain admission in a well-known graduate school, then your score must not be less than 320. Students are gauged on analytical writing, quantitative reasoning and verbal skills. It is a computer-based exam.
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
All international students that have applied for admission to an MBA college in the US must clear their GMAT. This test is compulsory to gain admission not only in the US business colleges but also in all the top business colleges across the globe.
The different sections of GMAT test the students for quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, logical and verbal skills. The entire paper is set for 800 marks. The cut-off marks required by top-ranking business colleges on an average in the US vary between 680 and 740. Stanford University requires the students to score at least 737 (standard).
SAT (Originally Scholastic Aptitude Test)
SATs, the students of high school for writing, numeracy and literacy skills. Many undergraduate colleges in the US require the students to take an SAT exam. Not only does SAT the students for the skills learned in schools that they would need in college, but they also test them on how well they can scrutinize and resolve issues.
SAT results take up to 5 weeks to be released. An SAT paper is set for 1600 marks. The cut-off marks required by colleges are between 1000 and 1400. Students can also get a perfect score of 1600.
These are the universal standard exams that most colleges in the US require international students to take. Along with this if you wish to enrol in a specific college, then there are additional exams which you must take. For instance:
- Students seeking admission in law schools must take the Law School Admission Testing Program (LSAT)Students seeking admission in medical schools must take Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
- Students seeking admission in dental schools must take the Dental Admission Testing Program (DCAT)
Individual colleges and schools may require additional tests to be made, especially if they are skill-based programs.