TOEFL is an English proficiency test and is a must for most USA Colleges. All Indian students who have done their schooling in India are recommended to take the exam. The Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL as it is more popularly referred as, is compulsory for all international students for admissions to most of the good US universities. Sometimes, it is even required at the visa stage. However, sometimes when students have done English at HL (high level) during their IB or A-Levels curriculum can be exempted from taking the test but again this depends on the university that the student is applying to.
The maximum score on the TOEFL is 120. The duration of the test is 4 hours. Different universities have different requirements. Most universities require a total score of more than 90.
The TOEFL Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) tests all four language skills that are important for effective communication: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. It is also essential for Visa purposes. TOEFL Scores are valid for two years.
No, not all the MBA programs outside India. But to seek admission into the reputed Business Schools, especially American Business schools, one has to have a GMAT score. Moreover, it is better to have a GMAT score on your resume as it enhances one’s profile.
Most of the Universities take the best score. However, it is best to confirm the same from a particular university before applying.
Yes, you can apply to the universities based on your provisional scorecard that you receive on the day of the test. But only if the university waives the requirement and as long as you are able to send the official score once it is out before the university’s admission deadline
GMAT is accepted in a lot of Indian Business schools like ISB, IIMA (PGPX), IIMC (PGPEX), SP Jain, Great Lakes, etc.
After taking the exam you are given the choice of cancelling your score without seeing it. If you choose to do so, the score is lost forever but it gets reported on all subsequent score charts that you had cancelled an exam.
If you cancel more than 7 days prior to test date, you will get a refund of USD 80. If you cancel within 7 days of the test date, you will not get any refund. So, it is better to reschedule than to cancel.
You will see your score for the quantitative and verbal sections the moment you finish the exam but official scores (with scores for AWA) will take at least 21 days to reach you.
Scoring is between 200 (Minimum) and 800 (Maximum) with 10-point increment for Quantitative and Verbal section combined. About 2/3rd of the test takers score between 400 and 600. The Quantitative and the Verbal scores are scaled out of 60 and range between 0 and 60. Score below 9 and above 44 in Verbal and below 7 and above 50 in Quantitative are rare.
The AWA section is scored between 0 and 6 with 0.5 point increments. An AWA score of 4.0 + is a decent score.
Your GMAT score will be valid for 5 years from the date the test was taken.
GMAT® can be taken unlimited number of times with a gap of a minimum of 31 calendar days between 2 tests. (It is highly advisable not to appear for GMAT too many times as it may affect the applicant’s candidature). However, one can give the test only 5 times in a calendar year.
It is one of the various criteria that the admission council looks at. However, a good GMAT score does improve chances of admission.
You can take GMAT five times in a year.
GMAT – the Graduate Management Aptitude Test, is required for admission to US, Canadian, British and Australian colleges for doing an MBA.
Different universities have different fee structures for different under grad programs. However, on an average, the four years can cost you anywhere between Rs. 20-25 lakhs per annum, if you haven’t been awarded a scholarship or a fee waiver option of the university concerned.
The universities only accept official scores sent directly by CollegeBoard / ETS depending on the test taken. Scores to 4 colleges can be sent free of cost while taking the exam.
SAT is held 7 times in a year in the US : August, October, November, December, March, May and June.
However, in other countries it is held 4 times a year : October, December, March and May.
SAT I is a paper-based general test, assessing math, reading, writing and language and essay skills. Most US Universities require SAT Scores for admissions. SAT I is a 3 hours and 50 minute multiple choice test with the essay and 3 hours test without the essay. It has a validity of 2 years. SAT is scored out of 1600: a separate score of 800 each for Mathematics, Reading and Writing while the essay is scored separately on a scale of 2 to 8.
Many universities also require students to take SAT-II Tests. It has a validity of two years. Each SAT II Subject Test is of one-hour duration, scored out of 800. SAT II is only required by top colleges. SAT II is conducted for the following subjects: Literature, American History and Social Studies, World History, Math IC, Math IIC, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and different languages like Chinese, German, French etc. Check with your college whether they want it.
Earlier the full form of SAT used to be The Scholastic Aptitude Test, technically called the SAT-I, which comprises of a general test assessing reading, writing and language and math skills. It is accepted for U.S. College Admissions. Most U.S. Universities ask for the SAT for admissions to their undergraduate programs. However, now the SAT does not specifically have a full form attached to it.
An ideal time to write SAT is in the 11th grade.
A student needs to do proper research work for the correct course. Based on these researches, he can get guidance for his future moves. The varied steps one should consider are:
Collect as much information on the concerned university & program.
Read information on study materials through handouts, catalogs, pamphlets.
Constantly refer to the university web sites.
Read student evaluations.
If possible, watch program videos.
Take guidance from returned students on courses offered abroad
Some colleges don’t have a deadline. Students can apply all year round.
There are two sessions-Spring (January session) and Fall (August session). Deadlines vary from college to college, although normally deadlines for fall start in end November and carry on till end February. Deadlines for spring start in June and carry on till December.
A. GMAT/GRE/SAT/SAT II Results
B. High School and College results – transcripts (these have to be Xeroxed and attested by the school and college authorities and sealed and signed across the flap.)
C. 2-3 recommendations from teachers if one has just finished one’s studies or from one’s employer if one has been working for more than 1 year. These have to be in original for each college and again sealed and signed across the flap. Sometimes the colleges send their own format else one can get it written like a letter on the College / University letterhead. Most of the LOR submission happens online as a part of the application process.
D. Essays or SOPs – Most Colleges require students to write 2-3 essays. These essays are very crucial for the student’s candidature. Students are advised to adhere to the specified word limit. If no word limit is mentioned, students would do well to not write more than 500 words per essay. Some typical essay topics:
Why do you want to study this course, give us your strength and weaknesses, describe an ethical dilemma that you encountered, cite an instance where your leadership / team skills came to the fore etc.
E. Extra curricular activities
F. Work experience – particularly helpful for GMAT.
G. 16 years schooling – not mandatory, but desirable
Undergraduate students can easily get jobs of up to 20 hours a week on campus. This helps them to meet their personal expenses. Many Graduate Students, because of their busy schedules, do not get time to work, however, they often get TA / RA (Teaching/ Research Assistantships). These pay quite well and are best obtained when students reach their Universities.
Most college cost anything between $ 30000 and $ 50000 per year. This includes Tuition, Boarding and Lodging. If one gets a scholarship, then the fees gets reduced by that amount.
One can get up to 100% scholarship. Masters students find it easiest to avail of scholarships as compared to MBA. Undergrad students can also avail of scholarships of varied amounts. The parameter considered for scholarships are academics, SAT / GMAT. GRE score, overall profile and quality of application. Government Banks also offer easy study loans for up to 60 lakhs. One should take the examinations latest by July in the preceding year.
Generally, work done simultaneously along with one’s studies is not considered as work experience. Only full-time work experience is considered. However, if one has done some summer jobs for a well known company or one was working while doing one’s graduation by correspondence, then the Admissions Committee may consider it as work experience. In such cases, candidates may send relevant certificates to the Colleges.
GPA means Grade Point Average. It is given on a scale of 0-4, 4 being the highest. It is equivalent to the Indian percentage system (0-100%). It is difficult for us to convert so ideally when one sends the information to the college, one needs to attach one’s score, as also the highest in one’s class, lowest in one’s class and average in one’s class. Using this, the Admissions Committee deduce one’s GPA.
While school is in session, you may work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week. During vacation periods, you may work full-time (40 hours per week)
Yes, but there are some additional requirements that you must fulfill:
You must be a full-time student in the U.S.A. for at least one academic year (9 months) before requesting permission to work off campus.
Both you and the employer must complete certain forms. These forms may be obtained from your foreign student advisor.
Yes. No special permission from the INS is necessary to apply for an on-campus job. Also, money earned from either an on-campus or off-campus job will not be enough to cover your tuition and living expenses. This money should be considered to be only a small supplement to your other financial resources.
Yes. The American system is very flexible. So you can change your field of study while studying in a particular university e.g. a student doing his M.S. in the engineering or the physics department can shift to the computer science department. But it often happens that when you transfer your terms for some other subject, the new department may not accept all your earlier credits. They may treat you as a fresh admission and accept only those credits that are similar in both courses.
Yes. If you are not satisfied with your university, after you join it, you can apply to other universities and transfer your credits to the university you choose. You can do this at any time, but usually most students transfer admissions after the 1st or the 2nd semester. You should be aware that the new university may not accept all your credits and may ask you to take some extra credits. You can also take transfer, if another University is giving you financial aid.
Generally yes, but relevant work experience is more likely to be considered e.g. if you are applying for Environmental Engineering, then you must have worked in the field for at least a year. You must send your work profile, duly authenticated by your employer, along with the application form.
Generally yes. But funds keep coming to professors throughout the year. What matters more is the fact that most universities do not have comparable courses for Spring and Fall. We recommend that you compare the difference in courses before taking a decision.
US laws do not allow students on an F-1 visa to work off-campus. But on-campus job opportunities are available. It is possible to work for up to 20 hours per week and the pay can vary between $6-10 per hour, depending on the area and type of work. Jobs can vary from working in a computer lab to library work or dishwashing in the cafeteria.
The cost of education in the United States for a Masters program ranges from $15000 to over $40000 per year. In addition to tuition fees, books and food, you have to plan for the expenses towards housing, health insurance and transportation.
Most universities offer substantial financial assistance to their students. They can be divided into three types:- Fellowships/Scholarships, Teaching or Research Assistantships, Campus Jobs.
No, this is not true. The American education system and job market needs students from various fields. In fact, non- engineering students stand a better chance of getting financial support from US universities. Every year we send several students in the fields of Sociology, Psychology, Geography, Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, Literature and Languages, Environmental Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunology, Physiology, Biomedical Sciences, Toxicology etc. A majority of these students secured admission in the top ranking universities with financial aid.
It is not possible for M.B.B.S. degree holders to obtain visas for further studies in medicine in the United States unless they pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). But a M.B.B.S. degree holder can seek admission in M.S. or Ph D programs in non-clinical subjects such as Immunology, Bacteriology, Anatomy, Genetics, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Toxicology, Pathology, Bio-medical Engineering, Public Health, Biotechnology etc. For this they will have to take the GRE ® test and the TOEFL ® test.
Nowadays, apart from a good GMAT® score, many universities ask for work experience of at least 2 years.
American universities are not generally willing to accept Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees obtained through correspondence courses. Also, degrees offered by institutes not affiliated to recognized universities are not accepted.
Generally, American universities require that you complete 16 years of education before enrolling for a graduate program. Therefore students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree after 15 years of education are required to complete an additional relevant one year to qualify for admission to American university. However, there are some universities that accept 15 years of education but it is better to acquire the 16th year to keep all options open.
Students aspiring to join American Universities in the Fall Semester beginning in August/September should take the examinations latest by August or September of the preceding year. Students planning to join in the Spring Semester beginning in January should take the examinations latest by May or June in the preceding year.
The tests can be taken more than once. Universities generally consider the best score but sometimes they may consider the average score. The decision is totally at the discretion of the university concerned.
Some universities require you to take the GRE® whereas some require you to take the GMAT. We recommend that you check the specific requirements of the universities you are interested in applying to.
The GRE® (Graduate Record Examination) is required for Master’s and Doctoral degree courses in all subjects other than Management (Engineering, Physics, Biology, Pharmacy, Computer Science, Psychology, etc.)
The GMAT® (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) is required for all Management courses. It is also advisable to take the GMAT® if you are applying for an MS in related fields like Finance, Accounting, Marketing and allied fields
The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is required for all undergraduate i.e. bachelor’s level courses
The TOEFL® (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required for all International students whose native language is not English and are seeking admission to American universities.
Students desirous of studying abroad have to clear one of the three examinations given below:
1. SAT – for under graduate studies
2. GRE® – for Masters / PhD
3. GMAT – for MBA
Yes, a passport is the mandatory requirement at the time of any international examination. One has to carry a valid passport at the time of the examination.
Writing the GRE and TOEFL are pre requisites for admissions to quality Masters and PhD programs in the US. Almost 1000 business schools also accept the GRE scores for MBA Programs in the US.
It depends on the student’s comfort level and confidence for the test. There is no thumb rule here that needs to be followed. Once a student is prepared for a test, he / she can take it.
The best time to take the GRE is either in Sem V or VI. The earlier a student takes the GRE the better it is as at higher grades, the study and co-curricular work increases. Moreover, the GRE score is valid for 5 years. So, it is advised to take the GRE in either the 2nd or 3rd year of your education. The final year should be left for application planning.
GRE Test Fee: $205
TOEFL Test Fee: $ 170
It depends on the university’s admission requirements. Both the TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid in American Universities. However, for countries outside the US, one must take the IELTS – Academic test.
STEM fields include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. As per this program, students graduating from a STEM-designated program are eligible on student visas for an additional 35 months extension on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) apart from the 12 months that all graduates receive. The complete list of STEM deGRE®e programs can be found at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/stem-list.pdf
- Register at www.ets.org/gre
- Registration fee is (US$205 in India)
- Your test fee entitles you to request that scores be sent to as many as four graduate institutions or fellowship sponsors
- Additional score reports can be ordered for a fee of US$27 per score recipient.
The score for GRE is valid for 5 years and TOEFL is valid for 2 years.
GRE test is conducted 365 days in India. The test dates are available online on www.ets.org.
The closer you get to 340 the better it is. Anything above 320 is a good score.
GRE can be taken only 5 times in a year with 21days between 2 different attempts.
The test has an on-screen calculator in the Quantitative Reasoning Section.
The universities only accept official scores sent directly by ETS. Scores to four colleges can be sent free of cost while taking the exam. Subsequently, for each score report sent to a college, you would have to pay USD 27.
The GRE score is very important as it is the only common parameter for comparison of students from different backgrounds and countries. Besides, your academic record of the last 4 years, your overall profile and your application materials play a vital part towards securing scholarships.
The GRE revised General Test uses the foundations of high school math to test quantitative reasoning. The test material measures your ability to understand basic concepts of Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data Analysis; to reason quantitatively; and to solve problems in a quantitative setting.
For the questions with multiple answers, all of the selections made must be correct in order to receive credit for answering the question correctly.
The GRE Subject Tests are intended to measure your knowledge of specific subject matter. Subject Tests are available in eight disciplines: biochemistry, cell and molecular biology; biology; chemistry; computer science; literature in English; mathematics; physics; and psychology. These tests are given in paper–and–pencil format three times per year, in September, October and April worldwide.
These tests are given separately from the GRE General Test and require additional fees of US $ 150. Check with the graduate schools to which you are applying to determine whether any of these extra tests are required. You must take these tests only if a university asks for it. Moreover, it is mainly taken by those students who wish to specialize in explicit areas like Math, Physics, etc.
Yes. You can cancel your scores immediately after you take the GRE test. This is the only time you can cancel your scores. Unfortunately, you must make the decision to cancel at the testing center before you see your scores. In addition, the fact that you cancelled your scores will be noted on your official GRE score report.
The TOEFL iBT Writing Section and GRE Analytical Writing measures are intended to measure different sets of skills. The TOEFL iBT Writing section contains two writing tasks: an independent task asks test takers to support an opinion in writing, and an integrated task that asks test takers to write responses that integrate and organize information from a reading passage and a lecture. These writing tasks are not designed to measure higher levels of critical thinking and analytical writing, but center instead on candidates’ composition skills and command of English vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and syntax with some analysis and synthesis of material. Therefore, scores on the two tests are not comparable.
Because the TOEFL® test emphasizes fundamental writing and comprehension skills, the TOEFL score can supplement an Analytical Writing score by helping faculty determine whether a low score on the GRE Analytical Writing measure is due to lack of familiarity with English or lack of ability to produce and analyze logical arguments.
Score reports will be sent to your designated institutions approximately 15 business days after your order is placed. For the four recipients you choose at the test centre: Your official scores will be available in your My GRE Account and sent to your score recipients approximately 10–15 days after your test date.