Posted on Monday, August 6, 2018
Taking a standardised test is an essential pre-requisite to studying abroad. International college admissions is a highly competitive scenario, and doing well on a test of repute can secure access to a student’s dream institution. Additionally, in some cases, test scores are key in determining whether he/she will be offered a fellowship or a scholarship, which is important for many overseas students. In a huge pool with students from different regions competing for a few seats, standardised becomes an objective and comparable factor in the admission file. Per se, this should not be the only criterion but in situations where a choice needs to be made between two equally compelling cases, this kind of testing helps.
TOEFL and GRE
ETS (Educational Testing Service), the nonprofit educational assessment and research organisation, develops and administers TOEFL iBT test and GRE General Test. While TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test is an academic English proficiency test needed for undergraduate and graduate level programmes, the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), test is a proven measure of readiness for graduate-level work and potential for success in graduate programmes.
While it is well known that TOEFL is the English proficiency test to take to apply to US and Canadian universities, it is also accepted by more than 10,000 institutions in 130 countries around the world. This includes Australia and New Zealand, (destinations increasingly favoured by Indian students) where every university accepts TOEFL scores, not just for academic purposes but also for immigration. Similarly, while the GRE test is a must for graduate school applications to the US, it is also accepted by institutions in destinations like Canada, Australia, UK, and Germany.
The broad spectrum of acceptability of these tests spans disciplines as well as regions. For example, when we look at GRE, the notion that this is typically oriented towards STEM courses springs to mind. However, it’s perhaps not that well known that more than 1,200 business schools around the world also accept GRE scores also many reputed US law schools.
Headstart over peers
Preparing for the TOEFL and GRE tests give students a headstart over their peers by helping them develop proficiency in the areas that matter in the classroom and the workplace. The TOEFL iBT focuses on academic English actually used in higher education, unlike everyday social English. The GRE test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are essential to success not just in graduate studies but also in a career. Preparing for either test can give students the confidence to engage with faculty and other accomplished students from around the world.
US remains a preferred choice
It’s a fact that the US remains the primary destination of choice among aspiring students, especially from India. Over several years now, our data suggests that Asian students, especially from India and China, have taken tests like the TOEFL and the GRE as a route to securing admissions in the institutions of their choice in the US and around the world, and we don’t see that trend changing anytime soon.
The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an English language proficiency test.
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