12th Nov 2022
Afia Azmi

Entrance Exams For Studying Abroad (PTE, ACT, GRE, GMAT, IELTS, and TOEFL)

There are too many universities abroad and there are also many entrance exams for abroad studies. We get confused because all of them sound alluring and sceptical at the same time. However, to get into a university abroad we have to take seriously the concept of the entrance exam for foreign universities. Because each university is unique and so is their criteria for accepting the applicants, even if all of them have appeared for the same entrance exams.

Some of the popular entrance exams for abroad universities whose reputations speak for themselves include PTE, ACT, GRE, GMAT, IELTS, and TOEFL. Let’s get a quick view of each of them.


PTE – Pearson Test of English Academic

This is a widely accepted English language certification test recommended for students who want to showcase their English language abilities to get into any foreign university.

Eligibility Criteria: Anyone of 16 years and above

Test Format

  • Speaking & Writing (54-67 Minutes)
  • Reading(29-30 Minutes)
  • Listening (30-43 Minutes)

Average Total Time: 3 hours

Test Fee: INR 13,000

Registration: Online through the official PTE website

Test Date: Conducted round the year

Results: Available online within 2-4 working days of your test date

ACT – American College Testing

This is a widely accepted English language certification test recommended for students who seek admission to undergraduate schools in the US and Canada

Eligibility Criteria: Anyone of 13 years and above

Test Format: Sections include -

  • English
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science Reasoning
  • Essay (Optional)

Test Duration -

  • 2 hours 55 minutes (Without essay)
  • added 40 minutes (With essay)

Test Fee -

  • INR 11,198 (Without Essay)
  • INR 12,468 (With Essay)

Registration: Online through the official ACT website

Test Date: Conducted in three intervals –

  • April 01 and 02
  • June 10 and 11
  • July 16 and 17

Results: Available online within eight weeks of the giving the test administration

GRE – Graduate Record Examinations

The GRE is taken by aspirants who want to pursue their higher education forward through degrees such as master’s, specialized master’s in business, MBA, JD or doctoral degree, PhD, etc.

Eligibility Criteria: No age restriction specified as such

Test Format: Sections include -

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing Skills

Test Duration: 3 hours and 45 minutes

Test Fee: INR 15,912

Registration: Online through the official ETS (GRE) website

Test Date: Conducted year-round

Results: Available online in your ETS account 10–15 days after your test date.

Read More - GRE Exam Dates, Centers, Tips to Score 310+

GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test

This test is for meant graduate aspirants who wish to pursue management studies and business studies abroad.

Eligibility Criteria: 18 years and above (Candidates between 13 to 17 years old must have written permission from their parents or legal guardian)

Test Format: Four sections include -

  • Analytical Writing
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning

Test Duration: 3 hours and 30 minutes

Test Fee: INR 20,600

Registration: Online

Test Date: You can appear a maximum of five times a year. The retake option is available after every 16 days.

Results: Available online within 7 business days of completing your test.

Read more - GMAT: Everything You Need to Know

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language

This standardized language test is one of the popular entrance exams for overseas universities. With the pandemic taken into consideration, this test has been redesigned for applicants to appear it from within the comfort and safety of your home. This test is usually accepted in universities in the USA and Canada.

Eligibility Criteria: No age restriction specified as such

Test Format: Four sections include -

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing

Test Duration: Average 3 hours

Test Fee: INR 14,242

Registration: Online

Test Date: Conducted more than 60 times a year

Results: Available online in approximately six days from the test date.

Read more - A Guide to Writing the TOEFL Exam

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

This is one of the most popular English language tests meant for students from non-native English speaking countries to study or work abroad. Most of the countries such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Canada accept these scores.

Eligibility Criteria: Recommended for students of 16 years of age and above

Test Format: Four sections include

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

Test Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Test Fee: INR 14,700

Registration: Online via the British Council website

Test Date: Convenient dates are available multiple times throughout the year.

Results: Available online in 3 to 5 days of the test, or certain categories within 13 days of the test date.

Read More - A Comprehensive Guide to Writing the IELTS

As is probably clear from the above details, none of the entrance exams requires any special skills or eligibility in education as such. The only thing that matters to them and must matter to you is the level of preparation and hard work you are to put in for your dream of studying abroad. There is no one specific entrance exam for university applications. You have to choose which one suits you and your prospects most aptly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q.1) Is PTE easier than IELTS?
There is actually no answer to this. Both have the ability to change their levels to hard or easy depending on your level of preparation. Both of them are difficult at their own levels. Both require the same amount and even higher levels of studying and understanding their categories of the test. The time limit shouldn’t matter to you as long as you try to do your best, always.

Q.2) What is a passing score for the GRE?
The maximum score is 340 and it ranges from 260-340. A score of 300 is considered good and average. Universities such as Princeton University, University of Oxford, Stanford University, London School of Economics, Imperial College, etc. usually require a score of 310-350.

Q.3) Should I take IELTS or TOEFL to study in the US?
While IELTS is partially paper-oriented, the TOEFL test is fully online. However, instead of being a 2 hours and 45 minutes test like IELTS, the TOEFL is of 4 hours, including the same four categories of examination. However, in the US, most students opt for TOEFL as it is accepted by almost 11,000 universities around the world.

Q.4) What GMAT score is required to do an MBA in the top universities in the US?
The average GMAT score cut-off for business schools in the US is between 650-690. However, you must aim for 700+ if you want to ace for the top B-Schools of America. For example, University of Pennsylvania has a cut-off of 732, Harvard Business School - 730, Stanford University - 733.

Q.5) Can I do MBA in the UK without GMAT?
Some of the top UK universities for MBA without GMAT include the University of Reading, The University of Central Lancashire, Birmingham City Business School, Lancaster University Management School, Durham University Business School, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Warwick School of Business, and the University of Warwick.

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