An MS from a renowned foreign university can open several doors for you. It could be a crucial stepping stone on your way to completing a doctorate or help you gain meaningful employment, enabling you to advance your career. Whatever your motivation, choosing to complete an MS overseas requires some preparation. Depending on where you want to go, you may have to complete certain language and other entrance tests to secure admission. Let’s understand the entrance exam requirements a bit better.
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English Language Entrance Exams Required to Study Abroad
If you’re heading to an English-speaking nation like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US, or the UK, you must complete an English proficiency test. Your college wants to ensure that you can follow their classes, which will be in English. Some tests are recognised by multiple countries, while others are only recognized by some. The tests measure how well you can read, write and speak the language.
Let’s see the most widely accepted tests in various countries:
|America and Canada||TOEFL iBT|
|UK, Australia and New Zealand||IELTS or PTE|
|United Kingdom||CAE or CPE|
If you’d like to apply to colleges in UK and USA, you may have to attempt both the TOEFL iBT and IELTS. Always check each college’s language exam requirements before selecting and preparing for a test.
Although Germany is not an English-speaking nation, you can apply for an MS in a renowned German college with the help of IELTS and TOEFL scores. Many international students head to Germany to enjoy a quality education.
Other Entrance Exams for an MS Overseas
If you intend on completing your MS abroad, you also need to complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The Educational Testing Service (ETS) conducts the exam. It’s one of the most popular online exams for students from India who want to study in USA or Europe.
GRE General Paper Patter
The GRE has three main sections:
- Verbal Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Analytical Writing
The analytical writing section requires you to complete two questions within 30 minutes each. You must analyse an issue and an argument in this section.
The quantitative reasoning section contains 40 questions, and you have a total of 70 minutes to answer them. The questions get divided equally into two sections.
The verbal reasoning section is similar to the quantitative one. It has 40 questions broken into two sets of 20. You have 30 minutes to answer each set of questions.
Since Indian students attempt the online GRE, there are two variable sections as well. However, the scores do not directly impact your overall GRE marks.
GRE Subject Exams
The GRE General exam tests a wide range of topics. You may also have to complete a GRE subject exam for admission to your MS program. These exams test your knowledge in a particular field of study. Currently, you can opt to complete the following GRE subject exams:
Until May 2021, the GRE also offered biology and English literature subject exams. However, these have since been phased out. Since GRE scores are applicable for five years, you can continue to use your GRE subject scores until 2026.
Pacing Yourself During the GRE
The GRE is a timed exam, so you must understand how to pace yourself and get the highest possible score. Here are some things you can do to prepare for your exam:
Understand the Essay Template
You have two essay questions in the GRE exam. You can plan your essay structure in advance and review templates to quickly complete the section.
If you come across a difficult question, skip it and move ahead. Complete all the answers you know and go back to fill in the blanks if you have time. Moving ahead gives you the best possible chance of getting a higher score for correct answers.
When dealing with difficult verbal questions, you should predict your answer before checking the answer options. Doing this helps you quickly eliminate incorrect answers and pick the right one. Remember, the exam should show the university that you can think fast and trust your instincts.
Take a Break
You have the option to take a 10-minutes break after completing three sections. Ideally, take a break and give yourself a mental rest before completing the exam.
Check Your Work
If you finish the exam with time to spare, go back and double-check your answers. The process can help weed out small errors and further your chances of securing the seat you want.
Financing Your MS Abroad
Preparing for your MS entrance exams can take a financial toll on your savings. Thankfully, you can rely on loans for students to help with the cost. Most education loans provide funds for exam preparation and registrations. Additionally, education-focused financers help you get all your paperwork in order, minimizing your chances of getting rejected. The funds you receive from an education loan do more than pay for your tuition. You can use the money to finance your living expenses abroad and purchase necessary study materials like books. A lack of finances should never prevent you from completing the course of your dreams.
When the time comes to apply for your MS, always check the requirements of each institution and course. Many sought-after colleges like Harvard and Oxford often post their entrance exam cut-off marks on their website. You can use this knowledge to your advantage and prepare accordingly to secure the required minimum.