Show as: Mobile

Upcoming Scholarship Deadline: The Study a Master's in Europe scholarship application is due May 17th. Learn more!

These Exams Could Help Make Your Study Abroad Dream a Reality

Scholars like to fret at the idea of studying abroad, but most of this fear comes from the unfamiliarity of the process.

Prospective international students will ask questions like: Where do I start? Which exams should I take (if any)? Do I take the necessary assessments online or need to travel overseas? How much will it cost in admission and tuition fees?

While procedures may vary by institution or destination country, some steps are standardized for nearly all learners looking to study overseas.

For instance, in many international institutions accepting learners worldwide, a language exam and some standardized tests may apply.

Still, some institutions exempt standardized tests but insist on a language test that assesses proficiency in a language, English being a prime example. In some cases, a language exam will need to be complemented by one standard exam, often selected depending on the course.

Which Exams Should You Prepare for When You’re Looking to Study Abroad?

Institutions worldwide have academic prerequisites that all overseas students must meet to join their program.

They have also created standardized assessments that seek to test for these requirements in students. Academic performance in these examinations matters. It increases the likelihood of enrollment in various institutions. A desirable score can even increase the possibility of getting scholarships and grants.

Aptitude Tests for Joining a College or University


SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

The SAT is essential if you are going to study in the US. This exam assesses critical thinking abilities, including the aptitude to evaluate and solve math problems, writing, and critical reading.

Universities and colleges use it to gauge a learner’s competence and their chances of succeeding in a study field.


This is the official test for colleges in the US. It examines four academic skillsets: Math, Science, English and Reading.

ACT specifically refers to its scores as a gauge for "college preparedness", and that results for every subtest match with skills in beginner college courses in English, algebra, biology, social science, and humanities.

The ACT is the non-profit firm behind the tests. It hosts its ACT tests in all four-year US colleges and universities, and over two-hundred and twenty other universities worldwide.

While both the ACT and SAT exams are similar, there are a few distinctions that can make you opt for one test over another.


TestAS is a standardized aptitude exam for overseas learners. German universities in Bremen and Bremerhaven use this exam to gauge a learner’s ability to undertake a degree.

TestAS happens four times a year in exam venues worldwide. Visit TestAS’s official website for more information on dates and exam venues. You can also view an example of the TestAS exam on their website.

Proving Your English Proficiency


TOEFL® (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

TOEFL® assesses a learner’s English abilities in an academic environment. Many universities worldwide have added TOEFL® as a prerequisite for all non-English native learners. TOEFL® scores can even increase the likelihood of being awarded scholarships.

Its scores remain valid for two years, after which one must take the exam again in order to gage improvements.

All institutions will consider the most recent TOEFL® performance. Register for this test online once you decide to study overseas. Remember, English is the most popular language worldwide.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

The International English Language Testing System assesses language proficiency in individuals. It determines whether the individual can work or study in settings where English is the dominant interaction language.

Nations like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK have also included IELTS in their immigrant application process.

In the UK, it is one of the two assessments in the nationally-recognized Secure English Language Tests (SELTs).

More than 9000 global organizations recognize the International English Language Testing System — among them academic centers, recruiters, immigration departments, and governments.

👀 Read more: TOEFL® vs. IELTS™ - Which Language Test Should I Take?

Enroll to Business Administration Program


GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

The GMAT is an important prerequisite for enrollment to MBA and business administration programs in the US.

Institutions in several other English-speaking nations consider the GMAT essential.

It uses a computer-adaptive approach to gage the student’s ability to succeed in graduate business courses but focuses on English and math skills.

GRE (Graduate Record Exam)

The GRE gages a learner’s readiness for graduate-level work. It assesses critical thinking, verbal and quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills often not tied to any given study fields.

Many institutions consider the GRE a prerequisite for enrollment to MBA programs and Masters in medical and business courses.

👀 Read more: The GRE® or GMAT™ test for an MBA: Which is better?

The Main Points

Hopefully, this article has primed you to start preparing for studying abroad. Exam readiness is a critical step because admission is guaranteed only for candidates who achieve highly.

Scholars must do extensive research on test requirements, best exam practices and deadlines in order to prepare adequately.

Ready to study abroad?

Click below to see our checklist of everything you need to start your study abroad journey

👉 Make sure that you're ready to study abroad

About the Author


Exam Testing is an online exam system designed for individuals, educational institutes, business organizations and their candidates. The platform can be used by educators to administer regular tests or for students who wish to improve on their own.

Last update: 07 May 2021

You might also be interested in:

Last updated: 4/15/2020

5 Simple Tips For Writing Your TOEFL® Essay

The TOEFL iBT® test writing section includes two essays. Feeling unsure of your writing skills? Read our article to succeed on test day!

Read more
Last updated: 1/18/2021

Blended Learning: A Potential Upside of Recent Educational Upheaval

The future of education seems murky at the moment. A global pandemic has necessitated online learning, leaving students like you wondering how to cope with this new normal. At the same time, by learning how to function online, you also have the opportunity to open your mind to the possibility of a new type of learning.

Read more

Browse 5,000+ online degrees

Interested in studying online? Use our free search engine to find and compare online programs from top universities around the world.

Search online programs

Statue of Liberty - Study Abroad

Win a $5,000 scholarship to study in the USA

Planning on studying a Bachelor's degree the USA? We can help.

Applications are now open

Like us?

Leave a review on Facebook so we can help others like you find their perfect study abroad adventure!

Recommend us ⭐