Exams Required to Study in the USA?

Updated on 05 May, 2023

Students are required to take some standardized tests as proof of their language proficiency and academic eligibility to be eligible for admission in colleges and universities of the USA. These test scores measure and compare students from various educational backgrounds. There are different tests accessing compatibility for other courses. You need to take exams that might be suggested or required by the university you’re applying to. Therefore, you must consult with your university or admission counselor.

To help you understand, we have researched what exams are required to study in the USA. Read on to know everything about the exams needed to study in the USA.

Here’s the list of the exams required to study in the USA along with the fee and important details:

ACT (American College Test) 

The multiple-choice test is a standardized college admission test. It evaluates critical thinking and analytical skills to understand the readiness of students to join a college. The official ACT scores vary depending on the universities and courses one is applying for. The minimum accepted score is 22 in general. Here are the further details related to ACT Exam

Exam duration3 hours, 35 minutes (writing included)
Exam feesINR 12,358 (with writing)INR 11,167 (without writing)
Number of SectionsMathEnglishReading ScienceWriting (option)
Qualifying score22
Who should apply for the ACTHigh school graduates applying for UG courses, stronghold on science, trigonometry and English

SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

SAT Exam is a multiple-choice test that helps in evaluating students’ knowledge in writing, reading, and mathematics. This paper-based test also helps to obtain grants from the government. The College Board examines students applying for admission in undergraduate courses by looking at the SAT scores. Top universities accept SAT scores in the USA, including Harvard. Many universities in India also accept SAT scores for admission.

Exam duration3 hours, 50 minutes (writing included)
Exam feesINR 7,892 (with writing)INR 6,997 (without writing)
Number of SectionsReadingWritingMathematics
Qualifying score400-1600
Who should apply for the SATHigh school graduates applying for UG courses, strong problem-solving capability 

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE Test is mandatory if you are applying for engineering and a master’s in the USA. Along with GRE, there are subject-specific tests that one can take up. Some business schools have also started accepting GRE scores for admission in MBA. The test comprises three different sections and is accepted by more than 1400 universities across the globe. It is available in online and offline mode.

Type of testGeneral test and Subject test
SectionsAnalytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning
Score 160
Test DurationGeneral- 3 hours, 45 minutesSubject- 2 hours, 50 minutes
Who can take the testStudents aiming to take admission in MBA, MS, and law etc.
Exam feesGeneral- INR 15,165Subject- INR 10,989

LSAT (Law School Admission Test) 

To take admission in law, taking up LSAT is mandatory for students. The accepted score for the LSAT is 130. However, if you want to take admission in top law schools such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and more, you will have to score higher than 160.

Exam duration2 hours, 20 minutes
Exam feesINR 3,800
Number of SectionsAnalytical reasoningLogical reasoning 1, and 2Reading comprehension
Qualifying score150-160
Who should apply for LSATStudents aiming to enroll in law schools

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

GMAT exam is mandatory if you aim to take admission in top B-schools in the USA. The average score students need to score is around 700. A GMAT score is required if you wish to pursue an MBA in the USA. Please note that though many universities do not require GMAT scores while taking admission, companies ask for it while interviewing.

Exam duration3 hours, 07 minutes (excluding two 8-minute breaks)
Exam feesINR 18,620
Number of SectionsIntegrated ReasoningVerbal reasoningQuantitative reasoningWriting
Qualifying score650-700
Who should apply for GMATStudents enrolling for MBA

MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

Students aspiring to enroll in medical school need to appear for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). The computer-based test evaluates biological and physical science, writing skills, and verbal reasoning. There are also psychological, biological, and social behavior foundation sections. MCAT is generally a success predictor test that officials use to determine whether you can survive through the course and its rigorous curriculum.

Exam duration7 hours, 30 minutes
Exam feesINR 25,750
Number of SectionsCARS, Biology, Physical Science, Psychology, Biological and social behavioral foundations
Qualifying score500-650
Who should apply for MCATStudents aiming to enroll in medical schools

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

Almost all the universities in the USA accept IELTS scores to measure the English Proficiency of international students. However, many universities do not require the IELTS score if you have documents to support your language knowledge. 

Exam duration2 hours, 45 minutes
Exam feesINR 14,700
Number of SectionsSpeakingReadingWriting, &Listening
Qualifying score6.0 to 8.0
Who should apply for IELTSStudents aiming to enroll in best universities of the USA

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

TOEFL Exam is one of the majorly used English language frequency tests to determine the required language knowledge. Students aspiring to enroll in Ph.D. will also have to take the test and score higher to be eligible. However, you need to consult with the university you are enrolling to confirm the exam scores that they require for admission.

Exam duration2 hours, 30 minutes
Exam feesINR 13,832
Number of SectionsSpeakingReadingWriting, &Listening
Qualifying score600 to 900
Who should apply for TOEFLStudents aiming to enroll in best universities of the USA

PTE (Pearson English Test)

PTE is an English language computer-based exam commonly accepted by all the universities around the globe. For students seeking to study in a major English-speaking country, the PTE-academic test is most beneficial to them. It is a computer-based test and recently has launched the test-from-home format. 

Exam duration3 hours
Exam feesINR 13,300
Number of SectionsSpeakingReadingWriting, &Listening
Qualifying score600 to 900
Who should apply for PTEStudents aiming to enroll in best universities of the USA

 What exams are required to study in the USA after 12th? 

TOEFLINR 14, 500
ACTINR 6,000- 7,700
SATINR 6,000- 7,700
GREINR 14,600
MCATINR 25,700
GMATINR 18,800

Sachi Singh

An avid reader and an aspiring content creator, Sachi is a writer not only by profession but heart. She has also dabbled in the industry as a freelancer for a while now.

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