WHAT TESTS SHOULD I TAKE?
What tests do I need to take to go to the US?
All universities in the US require you to take the standardized aptitude tests. Even when they say that they don't require it, you should assume that you'd have a more competitive application with the scores. Even if the school does not need you to take the tests, the US embassy might give importance to the fact and ding you for it. So, take whatever the universities' website says with a grain of salt. Do yourself a favor and take the standardized tests.
As a high-school student applying to US universities for a bachelor's degree, you need to take the ACT or SAT exam. You can read more about these exams on our Standardized Aptitude Tests page or download our app to understand which test works to your advantage. ACT/SAT exam measures your aptitude at a global scale. They don't, however, compensate for your english proficiency, for which you would need to take the IELTS/TOEFL exam. You need to take the ACT/SAT exam to get admitted into a university no matter if you are aiming for science, arts, medical, engineering, law or business. One of these tests is what you need to get your foot into a US university.
Note - some universities are now going away from these exams but it's still not an industry norm and so if you want to play it safe, take one of these exams before you start applying.
GRADUATE (MASTER'S & PhD)
Before we talk about the tests, let's talk about the basic minimum requirement to even be considered for a Master's application in the US. You need to have graduated with a 4 year bachelor's degree. If you graduated with a 3 year degree then you should first complete another year of education (master's maybe) from an accredited university in your country before you can start applying to universities in the US.
Let's look at the tests now. As someone in university or a graduate with a full-time job, you'd be taking the GRE to apply to Master's programs in the US. And, there is no alternative to this exam. You have to take it, even if your dream university says that they don't require you to take the exam. To learn more about the GRE and find related resources, check out our Standardized Aptitude Tests page or download our app.
If you are smarter than the most of us and decide to do a PhD then you'd probably have to take the GRE Subject Test. This is particularly mandatory if you are pursuing a Science or a Math field. This test is in addition to the GRE that you have to still take like other mere mortals.
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A Master's in Business Administration most likely would require you to take the GMAT exam. Some schools with a more technical focus in data etc. might admit you with a GRE but GMAT is a safer bet if you are trying to diversify your career options after the MBA. Now, something that you should know about the MBA admissions in the US is that almost all good schools require you to have at least three years of work experience. And your college research projects and internships don't count towards those three years. So, go get a job first if you think "management is my calling".
ENGLISH PROFICIENCY TEST
IELTS/TOEFL exams test your english proficiency. This means they test you on your speaking, writing, reading and listening skills to see if you'd be able to understand what you are being taught. Why do you need to take another test to prove that you can speak and understand english when you have already take the harder tests like the ACT, SAT, GRE or the GMAT? Beats us! But there is no escaping these tests. Unless you are from a country where the official language of communication is English or you have had at least two years of formal education in a country where English is the official language. So, someone from India/China would need to take the IELTS/TOEFL exam but someone from Nigeria might be exempt. In the US, most universities would require you to take IELTS/TOEFL if you are not from one of the English speaking countries like (UK, New Zealand, Australia etc.). To learn more about the tests check out our Standardized English Proficiency Tests page or download our app to see which test would help you get better scores.
What tests do I need to take to go to the Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand?
For these countries you usually only need to take the english proficiency tests like IELTS/TOEFL. Your GPA from high-school and college is what would determine your aptitude. The top universities in these countries, however, would require you to take the standardized aptitude tests. So, if you are looking at the Oxfords and the Cambridges, please look carefully at the additional amount of verification that they might need you to do to prove your potential.
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