Student Resources

Standardized Testing

Most universities require the results from U.S. standardized tests. Registration procedures vary so visit the web sites given below and/or contact an educational advising center in the city closest to you.

English Proficiency

If your native language is NOT English and/or you do not have a degree from a university in an English-speaking country, you will be asked to provide evidence of English proficiency. Most universities require scores from TOEFL while some universities administer their own test upon arrival on campus, and a growing number of universities are accepting the scores from the IELTS.

  • TOEFL-The Test of English as a Foreign Language measures the ability of nonnative speakers of English to use and understand North American English as it is used in college and university settings. Many universities have a minimum score required entrance to the academic program. Students with lower scores will be required to take an intensive English language program.

    The test is offered on computer throughout most regions of the world. In areas where access to computer-based testing is limited, a supplemental paper-and-pencil version of the test is administered. For further information, visit www.toefl.org.
  • IELTS-International English Language Testing Systems tests the complete range of English language skills which will commonly be encountered by students when studying or training in the medium of English. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules. There is an option of either Academic or General Training Reading and Writing Modules. The Academic option is suitable for candidates planning to undertake higher education. For further information, go to www.ielts.org.

Undergraduate Exams

Find out what the institutions that you want to apply to require. In general, students applying to selective universities and/or engineering programs should sit for the SAT I. Students applying to highly competitive institutions should sit for the SAT I and the SAT II. For details on the SAT test, click on www.collegeboard.com/testing.

HINT: Don’t panic if your SAT I verbal scores are low compared to the average at the schools to which you are applying. University admissions offices recognize that students who have grown up outside the United States often have lower scores than U.S. students on the verbal SATI sections. Generally they will look more closely at TOEFL or IELTS results, together with scores on the SAT I math sections (on which international students usually perform at a level similar to U.S. students).

 

  • The SAT I:
    Reasoning Test The SAT measures your verbal reasoning, critical reading, and math problem solving skills. It indicates how well you can apply the skills in these areas that you’ve developed both in and out of school.
  • SAT II:
    Subject Tests You can take Subject Tests to show colleges your mastery of specific subjects, such as English, history and social studies, math, sciences, and languages. Colleges can use your Subject Test scores to:
    • Make admission decisions.
    • Help determine how well prepared you are for college programs.
    • Place you in freshman or higher-level course work.
    • Advise you on course selection.

Graduate Tests

Again, check with the programs to which you plan to apply to find out what your testing options are.

  • GRE: Graduate Record Examination
    The GRE General Test measures verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not necessarily related to any particular field of study.
  • GRE Subject Tests are designed to help graduate school admission committees and fellowship sponsors assess the qualifications of applicants in specific fields of study. Subject Tests are currently available in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. For details click on www.gre.org.
  • GMAT: Graduate Management Admissions Test
    The GMAT was designed to help business schools assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management. It measures basic verbal, quantitative, and writing skills that are developed over a long period of time and is available year-round at test centers throughout the world. For details, go to www.gmac.com/GMAT/index.shtml.