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IELTS

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world’s proven English language test. IELTS was one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing over 21 years ago, and continues to set the standard for English language testing today. IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by over 8,000 organizations worldwide. Last year, more than 2 million tests were taken globally. IELTS is recognized as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true-to-life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation. IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment through more than 900 test centers and locations in over 130 countries.

 

IELTS test structure

All candidates must complete four Modules - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking - to obtain a band score, which is shown on the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF). All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules, while the Reading and Writing Modules differ depending on whether the candidate is taking the Academic or General Training Versions of the Test.

 

Listening

The module comprises four sections of increasing difficulty. It takes 40 minutes: 30 - for testing, plus 10 for transferring the answers to an answer sheet. Each section, which can be either a monologue or dialogue, begins with a short introduction telling the candidates about the situation and the speakers. Then they have some time to look through the questions. The first three sections have a break in the middle allowing candidates to look at the remaining questions. Each section is heard only once. At the end of this section students are given 10 minutes to transfer their answers to an answer sheet.

 

Reading

In the academic module the reading test comprises three sections, with 3 texts normally followed by 13 or 14 questions for a total of 40 questions overall. The General test also has 3 sections. However the texts are shorter, so there can be up to 5 texts to read.

 

Reading

In the academic module the reading test comprises three sections, with 3 texts normally followed by 13 or 14 questions for a total of 40 questions overall. The General test also has 3 sections. However the texts are shorter, so there can be up to 5 texts to read.

 

Writing

In the Academic module, there are two tasks: in Task 1 candidates describe a diagram, graph, process or chart, and in Task 2 they respond to an argument. In the General Training module, there are also two tasks: in Task 1 candidates write a letter or explain a situation, and in Task 2 they write an essay.

 

Speaking

The speaking test contains three sections. The first section takes the form of an interview which candidates may be asked about their hobbies, interests, reasons for taking IELTS exam as well as other general topics such as clothing, free time, computers and the internet or family. In the second section candidates are given a topic card and then have one minute to prepare after which they must speak about the given topic. The third section involves a discussion between the examiner and the candidate, generally on questions relating to the theme which they have already spoken about in part 2. This last section is more abstract, and is usually considered the most difficult.

 

Duration

The total test duration is around 2 hours and 45 minutes for Listening, Reading and Writing modules.

Listening: 40 minutes, 30 minutes for which a recording is played centrally and additional 10 minutes for transferring answers onto the OMR answer sheet.

Reading: 60 minutes.

Writing: 60 minutes.

Speaking: 11–15 minutes.

(Note: No additional time is given for transfer of answers in Reading and Writing modules)

The first three modules - Listening, Reading and Writing (always in that order) - are completed in one day, and in fact are taken with no break in between. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other Modules.

The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user.

 

Band scale

IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. Overall Band Scores are reported to the nearest half band.

The following rounding convention applies: if the average across the four skills ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band.

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GRADUATE MANAGEMENT ADMISSIONS TEST

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive test (CAT) which assesses a candidate’s analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in standard written English in preparation for being admitted into a graduate management program, such as an MBA. It is an international MBA entrance exam

GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council. More than 5,900 programs offered by more than 2,100 universities and institutions use the GMAT exam as part of the selection criteria for their programs site.

 

Prerequisites / eligibility criteria

No official prerequisite. Intended for bachelors degree holders and undergraduate students who are about to graduate. Fluency in English assumed.

Valid for : 5 Years

Exam delivery mode

Computer adaptive mode: Questions get harder as you get more correct, easier as you get more incorrect.

What’s on the Test?

Essay Questions

  • One 30-minute “Issue” essay requiring that you take a position on an issue and support your opinion with relevant examples.
  • One 30-minute “Argument” essay requiring that you analyze the logical structure of an argument.

Verbal Question Format

  • Sentence Correction: You correct the grammar of a given sentence.
  • Critical Reasoning: You analyze the logic of an argument.
  • Reading Comprehension: You read a passage and answer questions.

Math Question Format

  • Problem Solving: Standard multiple choice.
  • Data Sufficiency: You determine whether certain data is sufficient to answer a question.

Registration

Test takers may register for the GMAT either online at mba.com or by calling one of the test centers. To schedule an exam, an appointment must be made at one of the designated test centers. The GMAT may not be taken more than once within 31 days, even if the scores are canceled. Official GMAT exam study materials are available on the mba.com online store and through third-party vendors.

TEST OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the most popular English proficiency exam accepted at North American universities. TOEFL tests the international students’ usage and understanding of North American English as it is spoken, written and heard in college and university settings. The TOEFL test is developed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which sets the questions, conducts the test, and sends each examinee the score report.

Combining All 4 Skills: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing

During the test, you are asked to perform tasks that combine your English communication skills, such as:

  •           Read, listen and then speak in response to a question
  • Listen and then speak in response to a question
  • Read, listen and then write in response to a question

Reading

The Reading section consists of questions on 4–6 passages, each approximately 700 words in length. The passages are on academic topics; they are the kind of material that might be found in an undergraduate university textbook. Passages require understanding of rhetorical functions such as cause-effect, compare-contrast and argumentation. Students answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, essential information, sentence insertion, vocabulary, rhetorical purpose and overall ideas. New types of questions in the TOEFL iBT test require filling out tables or completing summaries. Prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer.

Listening

The Listening section consists of questions on six passages, each 3–5 minutes in length. These passages include two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. The conversations involve a student and either a professor or a campus service provider. The lectures are a self-contained portion of an academic lecture, which may involve student participation and does not assume specialized background knowledge in the subject area. Each conversation and lecture passage is heard only once. Test-takers may take notes while they listen and they may refer to their notes when they answer the questions. Each conversation is associated with five questions and each lecture with six. The questions are meant to measure the ability to understand main ideas, important details, implications, relationships between ideas, organization of information, speaker purpose and speaker attitude.

Speaking

The Speaking section consists of six tasks: two independent and four integrated. In the two independent tasks, test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. They are evaluated on their ability to speak spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In two of the integrated tasks, test-takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. In the two remaining integrated tasks, test-takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard. In the integrated tasks, test-takers are evaluated on their ability to appropriately synthesize and effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. Test-takers may take notes as they read and listen and may use their notes to help prepare their responses. Test-takers are given a short preparation time before they have to begin speaking. The responses are digitally recorded, sent to ETS’s Online Scoring Network (OSN), and evaluated by three to six raters.

Writing

The Writing section measures a test taker's ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated and one independent. In the integrated task, test-takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss it. The test-taker then writes a summary about the important points in the listening passage and explains how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. In the independent task, the test-taker must write an essay that states their opinion or choice, and then explain it, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices. Responses are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by at least 3 different raters.

 

The Pearson Test of English Academic

PTE Test - Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a computer-based test that evaluates a candidate’s proficiency in the English language. There are two formats of the PTE: PTE Academic Test and PTE General Test. PTE is designed for non-native English speakers who want to study abroad. PTE Academic score is accepted for admission to thousands of institutions across the world, including countries like – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Prominent universities accepting PTE Academic include Harvard, Yale and INSEAD. The Australian government even accepts PTE Academic for the visa application process. Meanwhile, PTE General seeks to reward those with improved skills of English language. Apart from being recognized by a number of universities around the world, even ministries of education and employers accept it as proof of English language proficiency.

All about PTE

  • Exam Name               :    Pearson Test of English Academic/General
  • Commonly known as :   PTE Academic/General
  • Exam level                 :   International level test

Conducting body: PTE Academic is accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) and is organized in association with Edexcel Limited, the largest UK awarding body for academic and vocational qualifications. As for PTE General, it is globally recognized and is conducted in partnership with Edexcel Limited.

PTE Eligibility

Candidates need to be at least 16 years before they can sit for the PTE. Students who are between 16-17 years of age need to produce certificates of parental consent to appear in the exam.

  • Applicants should be minimum 16 years of age
  • Applicants below 18 years must submit proof of parental consent

As such there is no specific PTE eligibility criteria. It is required as a proof of English proficiency.

PTE Application Form

Students who are keen to appear for the PTE Academic exam have to first register for the PTE Academic Exam. Students can start applying through the Pearson website, where at first aspirants have to register with a login id and password and complete the procedure.

  • Step 1 : The first step towards registering for the PTE is to create your Pearson account.                Within 24 hours of it you will receive an email with the login details
  • Step 2 :  With the login details, sign in to schedule your test.

PTE Exam Pattern

PTE Academic: The three-hour long exam tests a candidate’s listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. With the aid of a computer and a headset, candidates will be required to listen to, read and respond to the questions. The test is made up of three main parts: speaking and writing (together), listening and reading. Meanwhile, questions will be asked across 20 formats, including multiple-choice, essay writing and interpreting information.

PTE General: This particular PTE is divided into two parts: A written paper and a spoken test. The written test is used to judge a candidate’s listening, reading comprehension and writing skills –the marking is done by external examiners in the UK. The spoken test is examined by trained local examines who then send it to the UK for moderation. The overall test comprises six levels which are linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF).

GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATIONS

The GRE® General Test is a standardized test that is accepted for admission to various disciplines at many graduate and business schools across the globe. GRE 2018 is conducted in two modes; computer-based and paper-based formats. In addition to the GRE 2018 general test, there are seven GRE subject tests that evaluate candidates’ knowledge in their respective fields. Aspirants interested in pursuing a higher education, especially Master's degree, specialized Master's course, MBA or a PhD degree can appear for the GRE. It is conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a US-based organization.  The GRE Test 2018 is available at over 1000 test centers in more than 160 countries. It covers three major sections- Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. While Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning are scored on a scale of 130 – 170, analytical writing is scored on a scale of 0-6. In this article, candidates can know all about GRE 2018 such as dates, eligibility, registration, pattern, syllabus, fee structure and result.

GRE Exam Eligibility

The only eligibility requirement for GRE is the document required to prove your identity. In India, you’ll need a valid passport. You’ll have to get your original passport (not photocopies) which clearly shows your full name, photograph and signature.

No other documentation (like birth certificate, international driving license etc) can be used as an alternate identity proof. They are very strict about this.

Apart from this eligibility requirement, ETS does not set any age, qualification, timing related pre-requisites. However, there will be a range of eligibility criteria set by universities that accept GRE scores. For each of their programs, they may have minimum age, experience and qualification related filters.

GRE Pattern

The GRE is a generalised test that isn’t related to any particular discipline or field. It has been designing to evaluate skills that you’ve already picked up over the years. This allows a wide range of universities to use it to benchmark applicants from diverse backgrounds applying to a big mix of degrees.If you were to look at the overall GRE exam pattern, it has 3 sections: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.

Analytical Writing

This section tests you ability to analyse facts, dissect arguments, judge the presented evidence and put forth your views in the most convincing and structured manner. Try this free online GRE essay grader.

Verbal Reasoning

This section checks your capacity to understand the content author’s perspectives and intentions, prioritise the points made, and connect the dots across various ideas presented, even if they may not necessarily be documented in a coherent manner. This is the tricky section for non-native English speakers. Here’s how you can improve your GRE Verbal Score.

Quantitative Reasoning

This is where you comfort level with numbers and quantitative data is tested. You’ll have to understand the problem and use models and mathematical formulas (from geometry, algebra, arithmentic) to solve them. The good news is that you will have access to a calculator. So no complex mental arithmetic to be done.

 

SCHOOL ADMISSION TEST

The SAT is a standardized test extensively used for college admissions in the United States of America. It was introduced in 1926, since then its name and scoring pattern has changed quite a lot of times, being initially called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, then the name was changed to the Scholastic Assessment Test, and again it was renamed as the SAT Reasoning Test, and now just the SAT. The SAT is owned and governed by the College Board, a nonprofit able private organization in the United States of America. It is developed and administered by the Educational Testing Service on behalf of the College Board. The test is intended to determine a student’s keenness for college. SAT is further categorized into two types. One is the general SAT which analyze the subjects’ knowledge that student has gained during the schooling. Another one is SAT Subject Test to figure out a student’s expertise in an exceptional stream. This test is attempted by those students who want to pursue under-graduate course in Humanities, Biology, Physics, English Literature and Mathematics. The New pattern of SAT, which is due to be revised in 2016, takes 3 hours and 50 minutes to complete. The scores of the SAT range from 400 to 1600, amalgamating test results from two sections each of 800-point: Critical Reading, and Mathematics.