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What are the Exams to Study Abroad?

Are you dreaming of studying abroad? Then you might be aware that you need to qualify for some exams to get admission abroad. These exams are the gateway toward your dream. These exams are designed so that the colleges and universities abroad can understand you and your caliber.

But the questions that arise are: what are the exams to Study Abroad? What is the eligibility criteria? Are these exams tough to crack? Is there any specific age limit?

To know everything about these exams, keep reading. 

Language Exams Required to Study Abroad

Several colleges and universities worldwide require every international student to take a globally recognized English language exam. Such exams help universities and colleges know that you have the required language skills to succeed academically.

Many colleges and universities in the United States of America, the UK, New Zealand, Dubai, Canada, and Australia require you to take these language exams as part of their admission process.

You might be thinking, what are the exams to study abroad? Here are some popular language exams that you can undertake:

1. IELTS Exam

The International English Language Testing Exam, commonly known as IELTS, is a popular language exam you are required to give if you want to study in a country where English is a primary mode of communication.

This exam tests your ability to communicate in four basic English language skills - listening, writing, speaking, and reading. The major countries which accept IELTS are the UK, Australia, the USA, Canada, and New Zealand.

Duration of the Exam

The exam has four different parts - Listening (30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes), and Speaking (15 minutes). The total time duration for an IELTS exam is 2 hours 45 minutes.

Exam Format

You can take the exam in a computer-based format or paper-based format. In the computer-based exam, the first three sections are on a computer, and the last is conducted before an examiner.

Similarly, in the paper-based format, you solve the first three sections on paper, either with a pen or HB pencils. The last section is conducted face-to-face with a professional.

The paper is divided into four sections -

  • IELTS Listening - 40 questions in 30 minutes
  • IELTS READING - 40 questions in 60 minutes
  • IELTS Writing - 2 questions in 60 minutes
  • IELTS Speaking - 15 minutes


The average score band for an IELTS exam ranges between 5.5 - 6. Here is a table that highlights the average score band for different sections of the IELTS exam. 

IELTS Section

Average Score Band

IELTS Reading


IELTS Listening


IELTS Writing


IELTS Speaking 





INR 16,250

2. TOEFL Exam

TOEFL, also known as the Test of English as a Foreign Language, is another prominent language test you can take when you decide to study abroad.

The test is a means to measure your ability to understand four important language skills in the English language. They are - writing, speaking, listening, and reading. The countries which accept TOEFL scores are Australia, the UK, Canada, the USA, Europe, and New Zealand..

Duration of the Exam

The exam is conducted in four parts - Writing (50 minutes), Reading- (75 minutes), Speaking (15 minutes), and Listening (60 minutes). The total time duration for the exam is 3 hours 20 minutes.

Exam Format

The exam is conducted in two ways - a computer-based exam and a paper-based exam. You can take the exam in any of the available ways.

The paper is divided into four different parts, each having its own value:

  • TOEFL Reading - 40 questions in 75 minutes
  • TOEFL Listening - 40 questions in 60 minutes
  • TOEFL Speaking - 4 questions in 15 minutes
  • TOEFL Writing - 2 questions in 50 minutes


The scores in a TOEFL exam are based on a scale of 0 -120. Each of the four sections has a score based on a range of 0 - 30. Here a table is given which tells about the scoring system:

TOEFL Sections (0-30)

Proficiency Level (0-120)

Reading Section

Advanced Level (24-30)

High-Intermediate Level (18-23)

Low-Intermediate Level (4-17)

Below Low-Intermediate (0-3)

Listening Section

Advanced Level (22-30)

High-Intermediate Level (17-21)

Low-Intermediate Level (9-16)

Below Low-Intermediate Level (0-8)

Speaking Section

Advanced Level (25–30)

High-Intermediate Level (20-24)

Low-Intermediate (16–19)

Basic (10–15)

Below Basic (0–9)

Writing Section

Advanced (24–30)

High-Intermediate (17–23)

Low-Intermediate (13–16)

Basic (7–12)

Below Basic (0–6)


INR 16,035 

3. PTE Exam

The PTE exam is commonly known as the Pearson Test of English or PTE-Academic. The exam measures your ability to communicate and understand English and assesses you under four heads - speaking, writing, listening, and reading.

The exam scores are accepted by around 3000 colleges and universities. The exam is also accepted for visa applications in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia.

Duration of the Exam

The total duration of the exam is 2 hours 15 minutes.

Exam Format

The PTE exam is a computer-based exam where you will respond to different questions under the prescribed time limit.

The exam format will be as follows:

  • Speaking and Writing: 28 to 36 questions in 54 - 67 minutes
  • Reading: 13 to 18 questions in 29 - 30 minutes
  • Listening: - 12 to 20 questions in 30 - 43 minutes

In the PTE exam, you will score on a scale that ranges between 10 - 90. The table below highlights the scoring method of the exam: 

Excellence Level

PTE Score


30 - 36 




43 - 50


50 - 58




65 - 79

Very Good



85 - 90


INR 15,900

Standardized Entrance Exams for Foreign Universities

When applying to any university or college abroad, you must take a standardized entrance exam. The exam is based on the university, course, and the country. These exams help the universities and colleges understand that you have the required knowledge and ideas about the subject that you will study. Some popular exams you can take are as follows:

1. LSAT Exam

Law School Admission Test, also known as LSAT, is a standardized examination that the Law School Admission Council conducts. The exam aims to assess law students based on critical thinking, advanced reading skills, and reasoning skills. The exam is conducted for undergraduate and post-graduate courses.

Age Limit 

No age limit

Test Cost 

INR 17,578

Test Date

June 8 - June 11, 2023

Test Duration

3 hours 30 minutes

Academic Eligibility

Every participating law school will have different eligibility criteria

Test Format

5 sections with Multiple Choice Questions

120 - 130 questions


November 10, 2022 - May 26, 2023



Score Validity 

5 years

Countries that Accept These Scores

Australia, Canada, The United States of America

Major Courses

LLM, 5-year integrated LLB, 3-year integrated LLb

2. GMAT Exam

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a prominent exam conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Test Council for admission to business and management courses worldwide. It is a computer-based online exam.

Age Limit

Above 18 years

Test Cost

INR 22,800

Test Date

No fixed date

Test Duration

3 hours 7 minutes

Academic Eligibility

A bachelor’s degree from a recognized university

Test Format

Multiple Choice Questions

80 Questions


Multiple registration windows


Available after 20 days of the exam 

Score Validity

5 years

Countries that Accept These Scores

France, The United States of America, Canada, Australia, Germany, The United Kingdom

Major Courses

Masters in Management, Masters in Finance, Masters in Accounting, Masters in Financial Economics

3. MCAT Exam

The Medical College Admission Test is a standardized examination to pursue medical studies. The exam is organized by the Association of American Medical Colleges(AAMC). It is a computer-based examination that assesses your scientific knowledge.  

Age Limit

No age limit

Test Cost

INR 26,981

Test Date

Multiple exam dates are available 

Test Duration

7 hours 30 minutes

Academic Eligibility

Must be studying or have completed MBBS

Test Format

Multiple Choice Questions

230 Questions


October 2022 (for the first half of 2023)

February 2023 (for July-Sept 2023)


Available after 30 - 35 days of the exam

Score Validity

3 years

Countries that Accept These Scores

The United States of America, Canada, Australia, Caribbean Islands 

Major Courses

Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of  Veterinary Medicine

There are several other entrance exams that you can undertake. Moreover, it is recommended that you stay in touch with the university administration to get the latest updates.  

Exams to Study Abroad with Scholarships

Many universities and colleges worldwide offer scholarships and financial grants to international students. These scholarships help manage the cost of studying and living in a foreign country which can be quite expensive. Some of the most popular scholarship exams are as follows:

1. Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)

The Scholastic Assessment Test is a test that you can undertake if you want to study abroad in undergraduate programs. It has been designed to evaluate your written, verbal, and mathematics skills. There are many colleges and universities that offer different numbers of scholarships based on your score.

SAT Score 

SAT Scholarship

Amount Offered

1400 - 1600 

Colorado Christian University Honors Scholarships

INR 5.76 lakh

1201 - 1400

Gill Elliott Scholarship

INR 1.64 lakh

1001 - 1200

College of Saint Rose Academic Scholarships

INR 18.13 lakh

400 - 1000

5 Strong Scholarship

INR 32.96 lakh

2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

It is a computer-based examination you must undertake if you want to be admitted to globally recognized business schools. It evaluates your analytical skills, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. One of the highly competitive exams offers you a number of scholarships.

Name of the Scholarship

Name of the Course


Chevening Scholarship

Masters in the UK universities

Monthly Stipend

Fullbright- Nehru Masters

Economics, Arts, Culture, and Management

Tuition fees, living cost

Inlaks Scholarship

Arts and Humanities 

Up to INR 8.24 lakh

Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship

Post-Graduate Level Course

Tuition fees and living expenses

3. Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)

It is one of the most popular foreign language exams for studying abroad. The exam measures your ability to understand the English language. It assesses you on four parameters - reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You can also get several scholarships through this exam.

Name of the Scholarship

Amount Offered

Research Grant for Graduate Students

Up to INR 4.12 lakh

Samuel J. Messick Memorial Lecture Award

Up to INR 82,000

Jacqueline Ross TOEFL Dissertation Award

Up to 2.06 lakh


Every college and university abroad has its own standardized entrance exams and foreign language tests. These exams help you in the long run. Firstly, they make your mind quick and sharp. Secondly, they make your resume powerful. And finally, they open a world of endless opportunities.

Before attempting any exam, you should carefully research the exam, the course, and the university. Choose the exam that suits your academic requirements and the one that is the best for you. The best thing about these exams is that even if you do not qualify in the first attempt, you can take them again. 

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