International Exams to Study Overseas

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International Exams to Study Overseas

Thousands of aspirants migrate to various parts of the world every year to complete their higher studies. Whilst the global study abroad scene has opened up tremendously to accommodate students of all academic backgrounds and interests, there are still certain preset academic standards that need to be met in order to gain admission to a university or college abroad. These are achieved by clearing competitive international entrance exams. Good performances in competitive ‘study abroad’ exams also help you to win scholarships and other forms of financial aid.

Some of the most popular international entrance exams include the  IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, DUOLINGO, GMAT and GRE. Among them, IELTS, TOEFL, PTE and DUOLINGO are English language tests. At times, the need may be a combination of one or more of these and other tests/examinations specific to that country and its education system.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) probably top the list with regard to the sheer number of students across the world needing to undertake one or the other to demonstrate English language proficiency. The widest possible selection of universities and colleges accept TOEFL scores, including the top 100 in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The IELTS is a mandatory exam for Indian and other non-native English speakers, especially in the Commonwealth countries, for entry into most reputed universities and colleges overseas, and occasionally for immigration requirements as well. The TOEFL is held throughout the year, usually on weekends. The IELTS, conducted by the British Council, is held in 71 centres spread all over the country, over four times a month.


The PTE Academic exam is an English language test for candidates looking to apply to universities or countries abroad that use English as their primary source of communication. The PTE full form is the Pearson Test of English or PTE -A in short. Candidates would be glad to know that the conducting body of the PTE exam, Pearson PLC Group has launched PTE at Home for candidates looking to appear for the PTE from the safety of their homes. Candidates wanting to register for the PTE test can check out the multiple PTE dates available at a test centre near them. 


The Duolingo English Test (DET), is a standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. DET was developed by education technology company Duolingo and released in 2016. The test is used by many universities and institutions as an accepted measure of English proficiency. Ireland accepts the test as part of its student visa program. DET is an online, adaptive test. Few universities in UK such as Kingston University, University of Southampton, Middlesex University, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Exeter, Cardiff Metropolitan University also accept the Duolingo test.


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is another popular examination among Indian students aspiring to study in the US or Canada. It is a fairly standardized test that measures the verbal, mathematical and general analytical skills of the candidate, though the format has undergone quite a few changes over the years. It is an admission requirement for many graduate courses, especially in engineering and the sciences, in the US.


Management aspirants need to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), which is an admissions assessment for business colleges. Average GMAT scores are in the range of 570-580. However, for top school admissions a score of at least 700 is almost mandatory. New sections have been introduced recently, such as Integrated Reasoning, which have made the test more competitive than before. GMAT test is available throughout the world in more than 500 locations. The slots have to be booked in advance.