GRE or the Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized test commonly required for admissions in graduate schools in US. The GRE General test is design to test general capabilities required to excel in a graduate program, such as critical thinking, comprehension skills, quantitative skills and analytical skills. The test comprises of three main sections – analytical, verbal, and quantitative. The Analytical section requires writing essays on a given topic, the verbal section comprises of reading comprehensions and sentence corrections, whereas the quantitative section consists of problem solving, quantitative comparisons and data interpretation questions. Each section is scored on a scale between 130-170, with 1 point increments. The test is adaptive, meaning that performance in one question determines the difficulty levels of the other questions. There is also an experimental section within the test which is unscored. Since there is no way of knowing which questions are experimental and which one is not, you should not be concerned about this and pay equal attention to all questions.
GRE subject tests are designed to assess your knowledge in one of the following disciplines:
A few universities that have specialized program requests for students to take GRE subject test in addition to GRE general test for a holistic assessment of the applicant’s capabilities.
GRE scores are valid for 5 years. One can request a re-test every 21 days after test date.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language is an English Proficiency) is accepted by approximately 9000 universities across 130 countries, including US, Australia, and UK. It is designed to test the academic abilities of international students or non-native English speakers entering graduate programs. It is often also a visa requirement for immigration to English speaking countries. The test consists of four sections – reading, writing, speaking and listening, all of which takes approximately four hours to complete. The test is scored on a scale from 0-120. The scores are valid for two years and there is no restriction in the number of times the test can be taken to improve the score.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the most common standardized English proficiency test often required for study, work and immigration purposes around the world. The test assesses a non-native English speakers’ proficiency in four domains – speaking, listening, writing and reading. The total duration of the test is approximately 2 hours, 45 minutes. There are two modules of the IELTS, known as the academic module and the general training module. The academic module of IELTS should be taken by those who intend to pursue academic or professional training. The general training module should be taken by those who seek to enroll in vocational training, short courses or immigration.
GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardized test designed to gauge a student’s aptitude relevant for business or management school in US. A clear majority of students applying for an MBA, Masters of Finance, or other business school degree(s) choose GMAT over the GRE. The test comprises of analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. The analytical writing assessment sections requires the candidate to critically assess a given argument passage. The integrated reasoning section consists of data interpretation and analysis applicable in real-life business contexts. The quantitative reasoning section involves problem solving and data sufficiency questions. The verbal section comprises of sentence correction and comprehension questions. The total duration of the test is approximately three and a half hours.
Like the GRE, the GMAT is also an adaptive test. The scoring scale ranges from 200 to 800. 700+ is considered as a good score for business schools. The score is valid for 5 years.