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Exams Required to Study in UK

exam to study in UK

Commencing higher education in the UK requires more than just academic excellence; it necessitates a thorough understanding and successful completion of various standardised tests. These exams are pivotal in assessing the readiness and suitability of candidates for the rigorous academic environment of UK universities.

The United Kingdom is a popular overseas student choice in much of the globe with 18 universities in the world's top 100 rankings at the QS World University Ranking 2024. While the country has a fantastic cultural experience, international exhibitions, and world-class qualifications, you may require standardised testing to complete your university application.

Navigating through the entrance exam requirements is a vital step in your journey to study in the UK. With the right preparation and understanding of these exams, you can strengthen your application and move closer to achieving your academic goals.

Which Exam is Required for Study in the UK?

For international students planning to study in the UK, understanding the specific exams required is crucial. This section provides a detailed overview of the key exams necessary for various academic programs in the UK, along with their required scores.

Exam Type


Required Scores for UK Universities

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

A standard test for English language proficiency, widely accepted by UK universities.

Typically 6.0 – 7.5, varying by program and institution.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Another popular English proficiency test is recognised by many UK institutions.

Scores around 80-110 on the internet-based test, depending on the course.

PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic)

A computer-based English language test accepted by several UK universities.

Generally, a score of 55-70 is required, varying with the course.

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

Required mainly for business-related postgraduate programs like MBAs.

A score range of 600-700 is often sought after by top business schools.

GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)

Required for a variety of postgraduate courses, assessing various skills.

Quantitative and Verbal scores around 150-160 each, with Analytical Writing scores of 4.0-4.5.

Requirements to Study in the UK for International Students

Academic Qualifications

  • Undergraduate Programs: For admission into undergraduate courses, students typically need to have completed their secondary education with good grades. UK universities often require A-levels or equivalent qualifications like the International Baccalaureate (IB).
  • Postgraduate Programs: For postgraduate studies, a relevant undergraduate degree from a recognised university is essential. The specific grade requirements can vary depending on the course and university.

English Language Requirements for the UK Student Visa

As English is the primary language of instruction in the UK, non-native speakers must demonstrate their language proficiency. Accepted tests include:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Widely recognised by UK universities, with specific score requirements set by each institution.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Another popular option, accepted by many universities in the UK.
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic): Increasingly accepted by UK universities, known for its computer-based testing format.

Standardised Exams for Graduate Programs

  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test): Often required for business-related postgraduate programs, such as MBAs.
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examinations): Required for a variety of postgraduate courses, assessing verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills.

Additional Requirements

  • Personal Statement: A well-crafted personal statement is crucial, outlining your motivations, academic interests, and career goals.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Typically, universities ask for two or three letters of recommendation from academic or professional referees.
  • Interviews: Some courses may require an interview, either in person or via video call, as part of the admissions process.

Meeting these requirements is the first step towards securing a place at a UK university. It's important to research the specific requirements of your chosen course and institution and prepare accordingly. With the right qualifications and preparation, international students can embark on a rewarding educational journey in the UK.

Want to get expert guidance? Contact AECC today!

Subject-Specific Requirements to Study in the UK for Indian Students

When planning to study in the UK, international students must be aware of the subject-specific requirements that vary depending on the chosen field of study. This section outlines these requirements, ensuring students are well-prepared for their academic journey in the UK.


  • LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test): Required for undergraduate law programs at several UK universities. It assesses aptitude rather than specific legal knowledge.
  • Cambridge Law Test: Specific to the University of Cambridge, focusing on critical reading and writing skills.


  • UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test): Essential for medicine and dentistry programs. It evaluates mental abilities and behavioural attributes.
  • GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test): For graduate-level medical programs, assessing reasoning in humanities, social sciences, and science subjects.
  • BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test): For Medicine, Biomedical Science, and Dentistry courses.
  • HPAT (Health Professions Admission Test): For healthcare-related courses.

Mathematics and Computer Science

  • MAT (Mathematics Admissions Test): Used by universities like Oxford and Imperial College London for mathematics and computer science courses.
  • STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper): Required by some universities for mathematics programs, focusing on A-level mathematics knowledge.

Business and Management

  • GMAT: Often a prerequisite for MBA and other business-related postgraduate programs.
  • GRE: Accepted by a range of postgraduate programs, including business and management.

Engineering and Technology

  • Specific Portfolio or Project Work: Some universities may require the submission of relevant project work or a portfolio, especially for design and engineering courses.
  • English Language ProficiencyIELTS/TOEFL/PTE: Essential for non-native English speakers across all subjects to demonstrate language proficiency.

Importance of These Exams to Study in the UK

  • Tailored Assessment: Each test is designed to assess specific skills and knowledge relevant to the field of study, ensuring candidates are well-suited for their chosen academic path.
  • University Requirements: These exams are integral to the application process for many UK universities, forming a critical component of candidate evaluation.

Preparing for Success

  • Research and Planning: Identify the specific exams required for your chosen course and university.
  • Focused Preparation: Allocate sufficient time and resources to prepare for these exams to meet the required scores.

Each UK university and course may have unique subject-specific requirements. It's crucial for students to research and understand these prerequisites well in advance to ensure a smooth application process. Preparing for and meeting these requirements is key to securing a place in the desired course and university in the UK.

In summary, navigating through the various exams required to study in the UK can be a complex process, but it's a crucial step towards achieving your academic goals in one of the world's most renowned education systems.

For Indian students looking to streamline this journey, AECC, a leading study abroad consultant, offers invaluable assistance. Their expertise in guiding students through the intricacies of choosing the right exams, preparing effectively, and aligning them with the requirements of UK universities, makes AECC an essential partner in your educational journey to the UK. 


What are the main exams required to study in the UK?

The main exams include IELTS or TOEFL for English proficiency, GMAT or GRE for postgraduate courses, and specific tests like LNAT for law, MAT for mathematics, and UKCAT for medical studies. 

Is IELTS mandatory for studying in the UK?

Yes, IELTS or an equivalent English language proficiency test is generally mandatory for non-native English speakers applying to UK universities. 

Do all UK universities require the GMAT for MBA admissions?

Not all, but many top business schools in the UK require GMAT scores for MBA admissions. Some universities may accept GRE scores or offer GMAT waivers under certain conditions. 

How can AECC help Indian students with exams to study in the UK?

AECC assists Indian students with selecting the right exams, providing preparation resources, and offering guidance on meeting the specific exam requirements of UK universities.

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