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STUDY ABROAD : Subject Guides - Must read

Study Abroad: Get to know your English tests for university application

IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT or GRE….so many different kinds of tests and exams! Depending on where and what you are interested in, you will most likely be required to sit for one of these exams, often to prove your English proficiency. Do you know which to pick in order to study abroad at your favourite destination?


Here’s a list to get you acquainted:


IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

IELTS is widely recognised worldwide, and preferred in the UK. There are two types of exams: academic and general. The academic version is for those who wish to further higher education in universities and professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who wish to study or practise in the selected country. The general version applies to non-academic training or to gain work experience as well as migration purposes. Read more about IELTS.


GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

A standardised test for those who wish to pursue graduate or postgraduates programmes, GRE aims to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking skills. GRE is a computer-based exam and the result is commonly used for admission and sometimes for funding purposes. GRE has two formats: general and subject test. The general exam is applicable to all programmes and subjects while the subject test is applicable to eight graduate degrees: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, literature in English, mathematics, physics and psychology. Some universities will also accept/consider GMAT.


GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

A computer adaptive standardised test in mathematics and the English language, the GMAT is commonly used by Business schools as one of the selection criteria for admission into an MBA programme. Some business schools also accept GRE scores. GMAT has sentence correction, critical reasoning and reading comprehension, emphasizing more in logic, problem-solving and creative thinking.


SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

The SAT is a standardised test for college and university admissions in the United States. Applicable to all US students, the SAT may sometimes be required for international students as well. The test consists of three sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing. Each section is scored on the scale of 200 – 800 and total scores are calculated by adding the three sections.


TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language)

If USA is your choice of study destination, then TOEFL is the test to take in order to prove your English proficiency. Made up of multiple-choice questions and an essay question, TOEFL is a four-hour test with four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing (essay). For most institutions, the minimum TOEFL score is around 213. Additionally, good results in TOEFL may also better your chances of getting scholarships or financial assistance.


Special Mention:


Online Courses

If study abroad is not an option, your dream of getting a quality education or qualification can still be achieved! Why not consider taking a course online? This way, you are able to complete a course without having to travel far. Alternatively, some online courses offer shorter duration of attendance, making it easier to fit into your budget. You can also choose to study full-time or part-time, most ideal if you are looking for more flexibility. Taking a course online doesn’t necessarily mean zero interaction; on the contrary, you will be able to communicate with your tutor and other students via online video/chat/emails. Never short of options, online courses are available at undergraduate, diploma, postgraduate or MBA level.  Give online learning a chance, you might like it.


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