April 17, 2024

Quick Guide – Overseas Entrance Examinations

Once a child completes his senior secondary school, his biggest dream is to get into a good college or a university. The dream of getting into IIT / JEE, PMT, PET, and other such prestigious programmes is the most common one. Not getting a seat in these programmes often leads to depression and frustration.
But one must remember that not getting into these programmes is not the end of the world. There are lots of top class universities around the world that provides a lot of exciting programmes to make these students future ready.
There is a range of degrees and diplomas offered by foreign universities some of which are not available in India. Many universities offer students to take a lot of odd combinations of subjects unlike the traditional programmes offered by Indian universities. I certainly do not mean to undermine any Indian university or our fantastic educational system but just wanted to stress that there is huge variety of educational programmes offered abroad which can open the doors to a lot many career options. There is a lot of focus also on entrepreneurship programmes with sound knowledge about startups and crowd-funding.
But to get into foreign universities is not an easy cakewalk. One needs to be familiar with different examinations and other formalities. I am providing with some most important tests which students are expected to take before they move to any foreign country for higher education. Since we Indians are not the native speakers of English, one needs to prove proficiency in English before flying off.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – Albert Einstein

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English language proficiency exam that measures the language ability of candidates who wants to study or work in a country where English is the language of communication. The four basic language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing – are tested. Students need to take the Academic test and other applicants should opt for the General test. One can take IELTS exam with the British Council.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) measures the ability of non-native speakers of English This test is developed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which sets the questions, conducts the test, and sends each examinee the score report.
TOEFL test is conducted on more than 50 test dates per year. Just like IELTS, TOEFL also tests candidates in four sections, namely, Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing.

IELTS is more preferred in UK, Australia and New Zealand. TOEFL is popular among applicants to universities in US and Canada.
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive test which assesses a person’s analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal and reading skills in standard written English. This test is taken in preparation for being admitted into a graduate management program, such as MBA and Masters in Finance related courses.

SAT Exam
SAT is required to be taken by students seeking admission in undergraduate schools. SAT exam evaluates the written, verbal and mathematical skills of the candidates.
Applicants to undergraduate courses, particularly in US and Canada, are required to take the SAT exam. SAT exam is conducted in three sections, namely, Math, Critical Reading and Writing.

GRE Exam
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required to be taken by students seeking admission in Masters in Science (MS) or MBA. This computer-based exam has been developed to evaluate the verbal, analytical and mathematical skills of the candidates. GRE also has subject tests, apart from the basic GRE exam. The subject tests being offered currently are Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Literature, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology.

Documents Required for Student Visa Application
Two major documents required by every country and college/university are:
Valid passport
Validity may range from minimum one year till the end of the course. There must be a few blank pages in the passport for stamping for visa.
Bonafide Certificate
One needs to provide a proof that he/she is a bonafide student.

Other documentary requirements are largely country specific. Medical reports and bank account details are also required by a large number of countries.

About the author – Ashish Bhatnagar is currently working as the Principal (Cambridge) with Rockwoods High School in Udaipur. He was instrumental in bringing International education to the Lakecity by getting affiliation of the Cambridge University, UK for the school.

He has a vast experience of teaching International curriculum at various senior leadership positions in India, Saudi Arabia and South-Central African country – Malawi. He has also conducted a lot of workshops for teachers, MDP for corporate and career counseling sessions for students.


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