The majority of undergraduate and graduate programs demand standardized tests as part of their admission application process.
The American stereotype is true: the SAT is a big deal in high school. Many four-year universities need candidates to present scores from standardized tests like the SAT as part of the application process and to evaluate a candidate’s abilities, and candidates understandably get stressed about them. These standardized tests mostly have multiple-choice questions, and some tests comprise an essay as well. They take more than a few hours to complete and some are written by hand, so begin your finger exercises now! Scores are forwarded both to test takers and also to institutions of the candidate’s choosing.
Graduate school programs also demand standardized tests as part of the admission application process, and these vary based on the program or degree. Furthermore, foreign students for both undergraduate and graduate programs are often requested to submit their scores from the TOEFL to evaluate their English language skills.
Don’t be nervous if you feel completely unprepared for these tests. They’re terrifying for everyone, which is why prep courses, practice tests, and private tutoring are widely available. And they are worth it: scholarships are sometimes provided on the basis of high scores, even for foreign students. Bear in mind that each of these tests have fees, so performing well the first time is better for your self-confidence and also your budget.
Standardized Tests for undergraduate admission
SAT: This is the most renowned standardized test for college admission applications, and is known basically as the test to get admission into college. The SAT assesses literacy and math skills using multiple-choice questions, and offers an optional essay as well. The test is written by hand and is computed with a maximum score of 1600, while the essay is graded with three numbers within 2 and 8 that judge analysis, reading, and writing. Starting in 2020, test-takers will also provide information about their background.
ACT: The ACT is considered an alternative to the SAT. Colleges regularly require scores from at least one of these tests without specifying a preference for either, but this info should be checked for every school you’re looking to apply to. The ACT is offered in both an online and handwritten version and includes multiple-choice questions that evaluate literacy, math, and science. The test is calculated on a scale of 1 to 36. If you’re not satisfied with the score of one or more sections, you can retake those particular sections and average your best section scores for a superscore that’s sent to schools as part of your application.
SAT Subject Tests: Some selective universities require that candidates also present scores to SAT Subject Tests, which evaluates your knowledge in specialized areas like literature, various languages, history, math, and a number of sciences. These subject tests are each graded with a maximum of 800.
Tests for graduate applications
GRE: The GRE is the most popular test for candidates to graduate school programs. The test is completed on a computer and evaluates verbal reasoning (literacy), quantitative reasoning (math), and analytical writing (two essays). The reasoning sections are scored on a scale of 130- 170, and the essay is scored on a scale of 1 to 6.
GMAT: Most business schools such as an MBA or Master of Finance program require the completion of the GMAT (one of the standardized tests for admission) as part of the application. This computer test is comprised of the quantitative (math) section, verbal section, and integrated reasoning section, and an analytical writing assessment (essay). The quantitative and verbal sections are each scored with a maximum of 800. The integrated reasoning section evaluates how the test taker assesses data and is graded on a scale of 1 to 8. The writing assessment is scored on a scale of 1 to 6.
MCAT: The MCAT is required for applicants to medical school. The test is completed on a computer and consists of four sections covering chemical, physical, and biological sciences; psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior; and critical analysis and reasoning skills. Each section is graded from 118 to 132, for an overall possible score of 472 to 528.
LSAT: Applicants to law school must take the LSAT. The test is written by hand for all of its six sections, comprising four multiple-choice sections, a trial section, and the writing section. The LSAT is scored on a scale of 120 to 180 points for the multiple-choice sections, but neither the experimental nor writing sections are scored.
DAT: Dental school candidates are mandated to take the DAT. This is a multiple-choice, computer-based test with sections on natural sciences (biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry), perceptual ability, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning. The DAT is graded on a scale of 1 to 30.
OAT: The OAT is the admission test for applicants to optometry school. Its four sections include natural sciences (biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry), reading comprehension, physics, and quantitative reasoning, and the test is completed on a computer. The OAT is scored on a scale of 200 to 400.
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