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Which exam is required for study in USA ?

Written by  Vishesh Chogtu

Published on Thu, March 31, 2022 11:52 AM   Updated on Thu, March 31, 2022 11:52 AM   9 mins read

When you’r applying for a visa to study in the United States, there are a few things to keep in mind. In order to be admitted to US universities, you must pass a variety of exams that serve as confirmation of your language and intellectual abilities. These include academic evaluations for both undergraduate and graduate admissions to the best colleges in the United States. These standardised assessments are used to compare pupils from all around the world with different educational backgrounds.

IELTS/TOEFL, SAT/ACT (academic assessment at the undergraduate level), GRE/GMAT/LSAT/MCAT, and others are among these examinations. For an overseas applicant, choose between two types of assessments to study in the United States can be tough.

The list of exams to study in USA are as follows:

Exams to Study in USA: Application Fees for Indian Students

Detailed information on the application fees for Indian students for the different exams to study in USA are as follows:

TestFee in INR
GRE17,700 (general test)

English Proficiency Requirements to Study in USA

If English is not your first language, you will need to submit scores or proof of English competence in order to pursue higher education in the United States – Proficiency in English is one of the major requirements for study in USA. Scores from tests like the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE can be used in the same way.


The TOEFL exam, which stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language, is one of the most widely used language proficiency tests. The TOEFL scores necessary may range from 65 to 85 on the internet-based test, depending on the subject and university you pick. In order to get admitted to a Ph.D. programme in the United States, you must have higher grades.

Despite the fact that the TOEFL does not play a substantial role in admissions, numerous colleges, like Princeton, offer English language courses to applicants who do not pass or score poorly on the exam. You can also take IELTS instead of TOEFL; however, verify with the university to determine which one is accepted before taking any of these English language examinations.


Around 3400 universities and colleges in the United States use an applicant’s IELTS score to determine English language proficiency. The minimum IELTS score necessary in the United States varies from 6.5 to 9 depending on the subject and university to which one is applying. Despite the fact that many top schools and universities in the United States still refuse to recognise IELTS scores, IELTS is growing increasingly popular among students since the IELTS fees are lower than the TOEFL rates. However, students should check with their selected university to determine if IELTS scores are accepted.


Over 785 universities and colleges in the United States recognise it. In the United States, a PTE score of 70 is necessary. It varies, though, depending on the courses and colleges one is applying to.


The Duolingo English test is a skill-building tool for foreign students and institutions. Duolingo is a tutoring programme that includes listening exercises, flashcards, and multiple-choice questions to help you learn new words, phrases, and sentences.

Exams to Study in USA for UG Programs

The results of these examinations to study in the United States indicate students’ intellectual and aptitude abilities in high school and junior high school. For undergraduate entrance to US universities, you will need to take either the SAT or the ACT. One exam may be better to the other depending on your strengths and university preferences. Exams to Study in USA for UG Programs are as follows: –


The American College Exam, generally known as the ACT Exam, is a test that an applicant’s aptitude and critical thinking abilities and is needed when applying to American college programmes. The minimal score may vary depending on the courses and colleges chosen, but in general, admission to the United States requires a minimum of 22 points. To be considered for admission, many elite schools, such as the SAT, require students to take the ACT with writing.

No. of Sections4
English, Maths, Reading, Science
ACT Fees50 without writing
68 with writing
Who should take ACThave strong science, are good at trigonometry, prefer simply worded questions
ACT Duration3 hours 35 with writing


One of the most essential exams for applying to college programmes in the United States is the Scholastic Assessment Test, or SAT. Almost all colleges in the United States accept SAT results. The minimum SAT score in the United States is 1300, but this might vary greatly based on the courses and universities. Harvard, for example, does not contact students who have a SAT score of less than 1520 out of 1600. In the United States, top-tier universities may demand candidates to provide SAT reasoning and subject exam results

SAT Fees101 USD without essay, 178 USD with essay
No. of Sections3 (Reading, writing, maths)
SAT Duration3 hours 50 minutes (with essay)
Opt for SAT ifhave a strong vocabulary, can work well with complex and hard worded sections

Exams to Study in USA for PG Courses

Depending on the subject of study, For graduate programmes, there are a range of academic evaluation tests. In the United States, exams like the MCAT, LSAT, and GMAT are only for medical, law, and management/business students. In the United States, however, the GRE is accepted for MS and engineering programmes. Exams to Study in USA for PG Courses are as follows: –


The Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, is required for admission to graduate programmes in the United States, particularly business management degrees. In addition to the general GRE, there are seven different subject-specific examinations available. A GRE score of minimum 160 is required in the United States for admission. Because the GRE exam is needed by so many graduate schools in the United States, different scores can be obtained for different graduate programmes. In some situations, these scores are useful when looking for a post-graduate test in the United States.

GRE FeesGeneral test 205 USD
Subject test 150 USD
Competitive university requirementsSubject tests
No. of Sections3 Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical writing


Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT, is required of students seeking admission to medical schools in the United States. In the United States, the average score for MCAT required is 510. The greatest medical schools in the United States may have even higher expectations. The greater the score, the more likely you are to win.


The Law School Entrance Test, or LSAT Exam, is required for admission to law schools in the United States. The average LSAT score necessary for admission to a law school in the United States is 150, although the top 25 institutions require more than 160.LSAT scores are given a 70% weighting in the admissions process at many law schools in the United States.


In the United States, the Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT, is needed for admission to a business school. The average GMAT score for B-School admissions in the United States is 700. Good GMAT scores and a high GPA are particularly important in the admissions process in the United States. In the United States, GMAT scores are necessary for MBA programmes. Despite the fact that GMAT waivers are available, several fields, like finance and economics, demand GMAT scores when MBA graduates seek for jobs in the US.

GMAT Fees250 USD
Test Centers in India39 in 34 cities
No. of Sections4
Writing, integrated reasoning, verbal, quantitative


In the United States, the Optometry Admission Test, or OAT, is the primary entry exam for Optometry Schools. 21 accredited optometry schools in the United States accepts the OAT test results. Admission to the United States College of Optometry requires a minimum OAT score of 310.


Students applying to dental schools in the United States must take the Dental Admission Test, or DAT. 66 dental schools in the USA accept the DAT test result. The DAT academic score ranges from 12-28 in the United States.

GRE or GMAT before applying for MBA?

Nowadays, applicants are torn between the GRE and the GMAT. The main distinction between the GRE and the GMAT is that the former is used for entrance to a variety of graduate programmes, whilst the latter is utilised for business school admittance. However, several business schools have begun to accept the GRE instead of the GMAT in recent years.

Test nameApplication DeadlineExam Date/ Month
TOEFL1 week before the exam dateOn Sundays and Saturdays throughout the year
GREApril 03, 2022September 04, 2022
GMATMultiple dates are available for 2022Multiple dates are available for 2022
LSATApril 25, 2022May 09, 2022 onwards
SAT (multiple deadlines)February 11, 2022March 12, 2022
ACT (multiple deadlines)2022 dates are yet to be declared2022 dates are yet to be declared
IELTS1 month before the exam dateApplicants book the suitable test dates

Study in USA without IELTS

If you want to study in the United States without taking the IELTS exam, keep the following in mind:

  • You will need a document from your prior university stating that you completed your graduation in English in order to register for PG courses.
  • IELTS is not required if you graduated from a nation where English is the official language.
  • Non-English speaking international students are admitted to some universities in the United States only if they enrol in an Intensive English Language Program (IELP)

Top Universities in USA to Study without IELTS

The following table highlights the major universities in the United States where you can apply without having to take the IELTS exam:

UniversityAlternate for IELTS
University of North AlabamaTOEIC
University of New Orleans (UNO)English Language for Internationals(ELI)
University of ColoradoDuolingo
University of ArkansasPTE/ iTEP/ Cambridge Assessment English/ Duolingo
State University of New YorkPTE/ Duolingo/ Cambridge English Scale
California State UniversityPTE
University of DelawareEnglish Language for Internationals (ELI)
Northwood UniversityEIKEN/ IB/ Cambridge English Test/ ELS/ PTE Academic
National Louis UniversityPTE
Rice UniversityDuolingo
University of DaytonPTE/ Duolingo

About the Author & Expert


Vishesh Chogtu

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