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Know Your Tests

IELTS

International English Language Testing System – IELTS is the international standardised exam for English language proficiency and communication skills for students who don't have English as their mother tongue. Established in 1989 and is accepted by most Australian, British, Irish, Canadian and New Zealand institutions and many universities across the United States. The aim of the test is to check listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of appearing students. It has two forms – IELTS Academic for those who are going to study and IELTS General for those who are going for work.

Test Fee – Rs 7900/-

The test has four sections –

  1. Listening – 40 questions, 30 minutes
  2. Reading – 40 questions, 60 minutes
  3. Speaking – 11 to 14 minutes
  4. Writing – 150 words, 60 minutes
It is a 2 hour 45 minutes test and is valid for 2 years.

TOEFL

The Test of English as a Foreign Language – TOEFL is a test for English proficiency. It is taken up by people whose native language is not English and wish to study at one of the many universities in the United States.

The new format of Internet based test iBT format has replaced the computer based tests and paper based tests since 2005. The score is valid for 2 years. It is a 3 hour 30 minutes long test and has four sections –

  1. Reading – 44 to 60 questions, 70 to 90 minutes
  2. Writing – 1 essay, 30 minutes
  3. Listening – 30 to 50 questions, 40 to 60 minutes
  4. Structure – 20 to 25 questions, 15 to 20 minutes
Test Fee – US $130 (Additional US $15 for score report request) The maximum score is 300 and a score of 230 – 250 is considered decent.

GRE

The Graduate Record Examination is a prime requirement for admission in most of the graduate schools in the United States. Created in 1949, it aims at testing the quantitative aptitude, verbal reasoning, analytical ability and creative thinking skills if the appearing candidates.

There are two areas of the test – GRE General and GRE Subject GRE General Test - The GRE General Test checks the candidates' skills in the following areas-

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing
GRE Subject Tests - The testing areas that are available under this category are :
  • Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Literature in English
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

The test has 3 sections –

Analytical, Verbal and Quantitative and the duration of the test is 3 hour 30 minutes.
Test Fee – Ranges between US $ 140 to US $210 depending on the country it in. GRE General Test costs US $140 and GRE Subject Test costs US $150. With a maximum score of 1600, a score between 1100 and 1300 is considered decent.

GMAT

The Graduate Management Aptitude Test – GMAT is the admission test for applying in business schools. Most of the universities and colleges in USA, Canada and many other parts of the world use GMAT score of the applicant for admission. There is no restriction of age or qualification to give this exam but the person should be a graduate. The test score is valid for 5 years.

The GMAT exam has 4 parts –

  1. Quantitative
  2. Verbal
  3. Integrated Reasoning
  4. Analytical Writing Assessment
Test Fee – US $250

SAT

SAT is a standardised test for admission in various colleges across the United States. Since its introduction in 1926 the name and scoring pattern have changes many times. The aim of the test is to tab the candidate's writing skills that are essential for academic success in every college and university.

It has 3 main sections –

Critical Reading – 70 minutes, Maths – 70 minutes and Writing – 60 minutes and the duration of the test is 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Test Fee – US $50 and US $81 (international)