Find Tuition assignment for GRE,GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS

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SAT Preparation & The Complete Guide to SAT Exam

This post will be an insight into SAT Exam preparation, its eligibility and its importance.

Why appear for SAT Exam and why is SAT preparation important?

As the nation’s most widely used college admission test , the SAT Exam is the first step towards higher education for student of all backgrounds. It’s taken by more than two million students every year and is accepted by virtually all colleges and universities. The full form of SAT is scholastic Aptitude Test. Here, we will discuss about SAT Exam and SAT preparation strategies.

There are many reasons to take the SAT Test, but here are a few of biggies:


The SAT tests the reading , writing and math skills that you learn in school and that are critical for success in college and beyond .

It gives both you and colleges a sence of how you’ll be able to apply the thinking , witing and study skills required for college course work .


The questions in SAT Exams are rigorously researched and tested to make sure students from all backgrounds have an equal chance to do well in SAT Exam.

The SAT test is straightforward. There are no tricks designed to trip you up. Students who do well in the classroom are often the same ones who will do well on the SAT Exam too.


The SAT Exam also provides the opportunity for you to connect to scholarship opportunities, place out of certain  college courses and learn more about your academic  strengths.


SAT Test scores are among the factors considered in college admission. Many schools websites share the range of SAT scores reported by their admitted students. You can also  find this information in college search. This valuable information allows you to research which colleges to apply.


The 21st century global economy is fast-paced and changeable. You’ll need a new set of skills –and a habit of lifelong  learning –to flourish in this information age.

The best way to succeed and thrive as an adult is to challenge yourself to rise to a high level of academic excellence now. You’ll do that best by taking challenging high school courses working hard in them.

The SAT provides a trusted, globally recognized indicator of your academic readiness for college. In a way the SAT Test is bridge between the hard work you have already done and the college that is best fit for the future you are about to create.

What are eligibility criteria to appear for SAT Exam?

There is no defined eligibility for the SAT exam . However, it is expected that you have high school education to be eligible for the exam. For example you can appear for the SAT test even if you are a home-schooled student.

Although there is no age eligibility, most students appear for the test in their junior or senior year at school. There are certain identification provisions that are required for the SAT exam. For example, you will need to carry acceptable photo identification to the test center, failing which you will not be allowed to take the SAT exam:

  • School identification card
  • Student ID form
  • Government issued ID
  • Driver’s license

Candidates who are above the age of 21 years are considered as adult test takers. If you are 21 years on the day of the SAT test you will need to carry your national ID that has your photograph, to the SAT test center, no other ID is accepted at the SAT test center. Also the SAT exam is limited to adult test takers.

For example , if you are above 21, you cannot opt  for the stand by registration nor can you request for test changes of any kind .

SAT preparation
SAT Preparation Tips

Your eligibility for the exam is considered even if you are a home–schooled student. If you are Home-schooled candidates you will need to download and take a printout of the student ID form from the college-board website HERE and get it validated from a notary.

As far as grades or marks are concerned, there is no defined minimum percentage that you need to secure for eligibility for the SAT exam.

However colleges do consider your school grades in addition to your SAT exam scores and other criteria. Thus, you must ensure that you work hard to achieve good grades at school to have an advantage over other applicants.

The SAT test is open to students from all backgrounds because there is no eligibility for the SAT exam. As a result, there is a variety of aspiring students for this SAT exam and the competition to gain admission into a good college is getting tougher by the day .

Thus, you must ensure that you are well prepared to  achieve high scores in the exam. In addition, you also need to have a good academic record and be engaged in sports and extracurricular activities all these factors will propel you towards gaining admission to a good college.

What are strategies to prepare for SAT Test?


SAT Exam Practice Test
SAT Exam Practice Test

Nothing can prepare you for the SAT Test like actually taking the test, block out the window of time every 1-2 weeks to take a full-length, timed practice SAT test. Not only will this help you keep track of your progress, but it’ll also help increase your test taking “endurance”.

Sitting through a 3 hours and 45 minute SAT exam is grueling and you don’t want SATtest-day to be the first time you’ve taken the SAT full exam under time pressure. It’s important to learn strategies to deal with test exhaustion and to figure out how to pace yourself.

After taking each SAT practice test, evaluate your performance and focus your subsequent prep work on your weakest areas. You also will become familiar with the various sections of the SAT test, as well their structures and the instructions that introduce each section.

Already knowing what to expect will give you a precious few extra minutes to spend actually answering questions.

SAT Exam Test Structure
SAT Exam Test Structure


Here we are highlighting SAT Preparation strategy. With the exception of the critical SAT reading section, question on the SAT Test are in ascending order of difficulty. This means that questions at the beginning of a section are easier than those at the end.

So you should not spend equal amount of the on every SAT question. The question at the beginning of each section should be easily and quickly answered, allowing you to save up time to devote to the harder question at the end.

And even though the critical reading questions aren’t arranged in order in order of difficulty, there are still important strategies to master in the SAT Reading section.

For example, you should answer detail-oriented question first, saving general questions about the passage for the end .

SAT preparation of Vacabulary
SAT preparation of Vacabulary


In addition to taking SAT practice tests, you should also practice reading articles on unfamiliar subject matters before the SAT test. Read a few paragraphs then stop and try to identify the author’s argument.

This will help you on the SAT reading comprehension passages which will almost be about strange subject matter. Look up any words you don’t know as you read, too…. Which leads us to number 4!


The SAT Test is not the scripps-howard national spelling bee. You don’t have to cram every word from the dictionary into your head. But studying vocabulary is really easy way to increase your SAT score, especially if you study smart.

SAT preparation and usefulness of Calculator
SAT preparation and usefulness of Calculator


Your teachers in school may sing the praises of “mental math” but on the SAT Test, your calculator is best friend. It’ll save your time and help prevent against careless errors, why wouldn’t you use it. Practice using calculator.


While the SAT Test will give you some geometry formulas at the beginning of the test, you should still memorize all these formulas and others  before test day.

We hope that you have clarified most of the SAT Preparation strategies and structure of the SAT Exam. Still wish to know more, write to us at

Sushma Das, a freelance content writer with

Also Read:

Computer Based TOEFL Test & FAQs

Pearson Test of English

IELTS Exam Preparation Tips

Computer based TOEFL Test & FAQs

About TOEFL computer based test:

TOEFL Test Computer based is taken by those aspirant students who plan to further their studies in English Speaking Countries. TOEFL Full form is “Test of English as Foreign Language”. This measures your ability to communicate and understand English at academic environment. Some student also appear for IELTS

Listening Reading, Writing, Speaking are the skills which are tested in TOEFL test format. TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) is one of the most trusted examinations which is accepted by 9000 institutions in 130 countries across the world.

 TOEFL Test format:

TOEFL Test section No. of questions Total no. of questions Timing
Reading 3-4 passages, 12-14 questions each 36-42 60-80 minutes
Listening 4-6 lectures, 6 ques. Each

2-3 conversations, 5 ques. Each

 lectures 24-36


Total: 34-51

60-90 minutes
Break 10 minutes
Speaking 6 tasks:

Two independent

Four integrated

—— 20 minutes
Writing 1 Integrated task

1 Independent task

 —– 20 minutes

30 minutes

TOEFL Reading Section:

Reading section in TOEFL Test has two formats viz. long and short. It is the short format; number of passages given will be 3 to solve within 60 minutes however long format contains 4 passages to be solved in 80 minutes.

Very rarely, 5 passages may appear on the test with the time limit of 100 minutes. All passages are of academic nature.


TOEFL Listening Section:

TOEFL Reading section of the test has two formats like reading that is Long and short. Long format will be 90 minutes long with which will have 6 lectures and 3 conversations and short will be merely 4 lectures and 2 conversations. Audio recording will be played in North American, British, Australian or New Zealand.

Note: If Reading test has a long format, Listening will have a short one and vice versa.

TOEFL Writing Section:

This section is 50 minutes long which is divided in two tasks.

Task 1 Task 2
Integrated essay Independent essay
This task must be written between 150 to 225 words in 20 minutes. There is no penalty for writing more number of words.


For this task students are subjected to a reading passage and a recording which is 2 to 3 minutes long. Both passage and recording are based on the same theme however, content discussed within will differ. Students are required to integrate response from passage and recording and then type it on their computer screen.

Recording will be played once but they can see the passage on the left side of the computer screen.

This task needs to be completed in 30 minutes with the words ranging from 300- 350. No penalty for longer responses.


For this task, students are presented with an issue, or an argument on which they have to share their views or present a solution, or agreement or disagreement.


This does not contain a passage and recording as in task 1.

Skills test in writing are; grammatical range and accuracy, vocabulary, logical flow of ideas, Formatting, and completion of task.

TOEFL Speaking Section:

This section is 20 minutes long. And this is divided into 6 tasks:

Task 1 Independent speaking topic with 15 seconds to prepare and 45 seconds to record response in the microphone.
Task 2 Independent speaking topic with 15 seconds to prepare and 45 seconds to record response in the microphone.
Task 3 Integrated topic based on campus environment: Read a topic+ Listen to a conversation and based on this respond to the question asked. 30 seconds preparation and 60 seconds to record a response will be provided.
Task 4 Integrated topic based on academic environment: Read a topic+ Listen to a conversation and based on this respond to the question asked. 30 seconds preparation and 60 seconds to record a response will be provided.
Task 5 Integrated topic based on campus environment: In this part of the speaking, students have to listen to a recording and based on which they have to record their answer. 20 seconds preparation time and 60 seconds to respondwill be allotted.
Task 6 Integrated topic based on Academic environment: In this part of the speaking, students have to listen to a recording and based on that, they have to record their answer. 20 seconds preparation time and 60 seconds to respond will be allotted.

TOEFL Fees Structure:

Registration TOEFL Fees may differ as per country
Late registration US$40
Rescheduling US$60
Reestablishment of annulled scores US$20
Supplementary score reports (for each institute or agency) US$19 each
speaking or writing test score evaluation US$80
Speaking and Writing test score evaluation US$160
Reverted individual check (either paper or electronic) US$20

Use this link for registration as there is no walk in registration for the exam. Link HERE.

TOEFL Frequently asked questions:

  1. How many times can the TOEFL test be repeatedly taken by the TOEFL TEST taker?

TOEFL test can be taken as many times as the candidate wishes to take. Nevertheless, there must be a gap of 12 days after the result of previous test have been declared.

  1. Is it possible to order additional TOEFL test reports?

Yes, it is possible by paying 19 dollar for each TOEFL Test report.

  1. Is it possible to take refunds in case not of not appearing for the TOEFL test?

It is possible to withdraw your registration no later than 4 full days before TOEFL test date and take a reimbursement which will be half the original test fee paid. Refunds will be in U.S. dollars. Refunds are not available in cash.

  1. When is the right time to register for the TOEFL test?

Registration must be done as early as possible. Register for TOEFL Test at least 3 to 4 months before to reserve your seat. Your TOEFL test date have to be 2 to 3 months beforehand your initial admittances application or other cut-off date.

  1. Are students allowed to make notes during the TOEFL test?

Yes, they are. Students can take notes all through the full TOEFL test. But they are not allowed to take the notes outside the TOEFL test centre in order to maintain complete security.

  1. What do students need to carry on TOEFL test day?

Nothing more than a legal ID proof which has student’s name, latest photograph and signature will be accepted.

They must mention ID information before registering and the ID proof must be exactly the same which was mentioned during registration for TOEFL Test

  1. Do not forget to do this on your TOEFL test day:

Reach 30 minutes before scheduled time of the TOEFL test. If you reach late, the TOEFL Test centre reserves all rights to not allow you to take up the TOEFL test and also, you cannot claim for the refunds.


You are not allowed to carry any electronic devices inside the TOEFL test room, if found with them, you will be terminated from the TOEFL test.

All the Best!

Aparna Sakhare

an instructor with

Also Read:

  1. SAT Preparation & the Complete Guide to SAT Exam
  2. Pearson Test of English Academic: Understanding the System
  3. IELTS Exam Preparation Tips

Pearson Test of English Academic: Understanding the System

Introduction of PTE Academic

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) is a new-fangled, transnational, computer-based academic English language test which perfectly assesses the listening, reading, speaking, and writing abilities of test participants who belong to non-English Environment as well as must prove their level English proficiency.

PTE Academic Test provides a realistic measure of candidates’ linguistic skill to academia, upper teaching organizations, and administration sectors besides organizations demanding academic English.

PTE exam is recognized by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

PTE Academic Test format

Pearson English Test is a CBT test i.e. a Computer Based Test. And following is your PTE test layout:

PTE Part Content Time allowed

PTE Segment Content Length
Introduction Introduction Introduction
1 Speaking and writing 77-93 minutes
2 Reading 32- 41 minutes
3 Listening 45-57 minutes
After segment 2, there will be a break of 10 minutes

 Contents in the PTE Test

Section Types of questions Number of questions
Speaking Read Aloud 6
  Repeat sentence 10
  Describe image 6
  Retell lecture 3
  Short questions 10
Writing Summarize written text 2
  Write essay 2
Reading multiple choice, select single answer 2
  multiple choice, select multiple answers 2
  Reorder paragraphs 2
  reading: Fill in the blanks 4
  reading and writing: Fill in the blanks 5
Listening Summarize spoken test 2
  multiple choice, selectmultiple answers 2
  Fill in the blanks 2
  Highlight correct summary 2
  multiple choice, select single answer 2
  Select missing word 2
  Highlight incorrect words 2
  Write from dictation 3


Candidates are permitted to take a short break after segment 2 of the PTE test i.e.(Reading). Directives will appear on the computer screen at the applicable time.

In order to take a break, Directions on the screen must be followed. The break is planned for 10 minutes, which comprises of the time it takes to sign back into the PTE testing room and return to desk.

If participants surpass the assigned 10 minutes, the time will be taken away from the subsequent segment of the PTE test. If Candidates do not need a break, the break time will not be furthered to test time.


Some objects check verbal English ability. Participants will be tested on their ability to speak into a microphone and record their response. They will have an opportunity to record their response just once.

If they do not answer in three seconds after hearing the tone, their answer will not be documented in addition,they have to go forward to the next section.


Some objects check written English ability. Candidates have to write their replies as per the standard written English norms by means of an accepted spelling concord, for illustration, British or American.

For this section of the PTE exam, participants are allotted a precise amount of time to answer back. If they do not answer the writing elements in the given time, they have to go forward to the next section.


There is a single time section containing five types of items. Here, students are given a short passage to read and based on this they are supposed to answer the questions. Types of questions are given above.


Some objects check ability to listen to spoken English. The PTE test uses diverse ranges of English, alike British, American, and Australian.

Pearson Test of English Academic
PTE Test

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Registration

Visit following website, click on ‘Quick Links’ which can be seen at the right hand side, tick on ‘Register for PTE Academic’.

Policy for repeating the PTE exam

Students can repeat the PTE test as many times as they want after receiving the PTE test results of earlier exam. Organizations will not be in a position to perceive candidates’ scores from earlier attempts.

Hence, Students are in a position to forward their scores to an infinite number of organizations, but only seven recipients must be selected at any one time.

Validity of the scores is for two years from the date of the PTE test. Thereafter scores will not be reflected on the website.

Common FAQs about the PTE exam

What is PTE Test?

It is a computer based academic English language test aimed to measure the listening, reading, speaking and writing abilities of test participants who do not belong to English environment that is, those who come from countries where English is a secondary language. 

When will I receive my PTE Test scores?

From the date of the test taken, you will be informed within five days via electronic mail when your PTE Academic scores are accessible.

Results can also be viewed by means of an account which a candidate must have created while doing registration of PTE exam and a request for making the scores available to an unlimited number of organization of student’s choice can be made.

What is the procedure of the universities to check PTE scores?

You need to forward your marks to the institute you have applied to as well as pertinent immigration consultant via your Pearson account. In order to do this,you are required to log into your account, choose your PTE Academic score and click on ‘Send Scores’. 

What is the best way to get ready for the test?

This link can be used for a free practice test and also right to use a range of means to benefit while doing PTE test preparation. There is free online tutorial is available on this website 

Availability of Locations for the PTE test:

This link contains information about availability of centres for the PTE test.

How much should I score In PTE Exam to be accepted by institutes?

Consult with the organization you are applying to for PTE Academic entrance scores however PTE Test score assortment is from 10 to 90.

PTE Payment policy

Candidates need to make a full payment while booking the PTE test which should be according to the currency specified for the particular nation otherwise payment will not be accepted.

Note: If the PTE test participant is aged 16 to 17, he or she requires filling parental consent form which must be scanned and sent to Pearson through fax or via email.

Aparna Sakhare, a freelance trainer with

Read more about

  1. SAT Preparation & the complete guide to SAT Exam
  2. Computer based TOEFL Test & FAQs
  3. IELTS Test Preparation Tips


IELTS Exam Preparation Tips: Conquering This English Proficiency Test

IELTS Exam Preparation Tips

IELTS Exam is an acronym which is used for International English Language Testing System.  IELTS Exam is a n English language proficiency exam in which applicants English language proficiency is tested to understand how well a candidate can read, write, speak and listen.

IELTS exam is taken by those planning to study abroad, move to another country. IELTS Exam is generally taken by students who are planning to study abroad in English speaking environment, or move to countries like Canada, Australia, UK etc. where IELTS is accepted for official purposes.

IELTS Exam is also requested at time for people who have already immigrated to countries to certify their English language ability in terms of their profession.

Besides, IELTS student can also check TOEFL which is also Test of English as Foreign Language.

Duration of the IELTS Exam:

IELTS Exam is 2 hours and 44 minutes long. First, there is the listening section which takes about 30 minutes which is same for all contenders.

The noteworthy point about the IELTS test is as it is created by university of Cambridge ESOl exam, Ielts Australia and British council, this exam will be in British or Australian mostly.

Types of IELTS Exam:

There are basically two types of IELTS exams viz. General IELTS and Academic IELTS. Academic IELTS Test is slightly harder as it is meant for academic purposes i.e. if IELTS Test takers are planning to go to a college or a university you are asked to take up academic IELTS Test.

Reading and writing sections of Academic IELTS Test are different than that of General IELTS Test and more challenging, too. General IELTS is taken up by those person are planning to immigrate and it is little bit easier.

IELTS Exam Preparation Tips
IELTS Exam Preparation Tips
IELTS Listening Test:

It is same for both IELTS academic as well as general. It is 40 minutes long which includes 30 minutes recording and 10 minutes extra time for transferring answers on the answer sheet. It has 4 sections with 10 questions each.

It includes objective type questions like fill in the blanks, multiple choice questions, diagram completion, following directions, flow chart completion.

Task 1 and 2 are based on social survival conversely task 3 and 4 are based on academic topics like training, seminar, presentations, lecture etc. And section 1: Dialogue, Section 2: monologue, section 3: Dialogue, Section 4: Monologue.

IELTS Speaking Test:

This section of the IELTS test is also similar for academic as well as general format and last for 14 minutes. IELTS Speaking Test is divided in 3 parts. This IELTS Speaking test is recorded for marking purpose. And it is one on one interaction with the examiner unlike other exams. 

Part Nature Of Interaction Timing
1 Introduction & interview 4 – 5 minutes
2 Long turn: Students are provided with acue card with pointers and a one minute preparation time. Students are expected to speak maximum for 2 minutes. 3 – 4 minutes
3 Abstract discussion based on the topic in part 2. 4 – 5 minutes

 Comparison of IELTS Academic Reading V/s IELTS General Reading:

IELTS Academic Reading IELTS General Reading
1.      It comprises of 3 passages with 40 questions.

2.      Topics are from journals, magazines, books, newspapers.

3.      It encloses a number of types of questions such as multiple choice questions, true/ false/ not given or yes/ no/ not given, matching headings, matching sentence ending, sentence completion, diagram label completion, short answer questions, fill in the blanks etc.

1.      It covers 3 sections with 40 questions.

2.      Topics are taken from leaflets, newspapers, instruction manuals, magazines, advertisements.

3.      It encloses a number of types of questions such as multiple choice questions, true/ false/ not given or yes/ no/ not given, matching headings, matching sentence ending, sentence completion, diagram label completion, short answer questions, fill in the blanks etc.

Academic Writing General Writing
1.      Contains 2 tasks.

2.      Duration 01 hour.

3.      Task 1 is advised to be completed in 20 minutes with minimum of 150 words

4.      Task 2 is suggested to be completed in 40 minutes with minimum of 250 words.

5.      Task 1 requires students to summarize the information given in the form of a diagram or data in the form of graph, table or chart. However task 2 requires them to give their opinion, compare, contrast the argument or issue presented

Note: There is no penalty for writing more than required words.


1.      Contains 2 tasks.

2.      Duration 01 hour.

3.      Task 1 is advised to be completed in 20 minutes with minimum of 150 words

4.      Task 2 is suggested to be completed in 40 minutes with minimum of 250 words.

5.      Task 1 is letter writing and the letter could be formal or informal. Whereas task 2 asks to present a solution, compare, contrast the issue presented.




Note: There is no penalty for writing more than required words.

IELTS Test Score:

IELTS Test scores are reported in terms of band from 0- 9. IELTS Score is reported as a whole or a half band score i.e. as 9, 8.5, 8, 7.5, 7 and so on. Students are given separate IELTS Test scores in each of the sections and the average of all four is reported as overall IELTS band score.

Depending on the purpose of doing the exam an applicant might be asked for the overall scores or specific score in a particular section. For example, if an applicant is planning to study journalism in a particular university, they might care very much that how will he write, so they might require a minimum of 7 or 8 in writing even though his overall score in the other sections might be near to the ground.

Exam Dates for Academic Pattern of IELTS Test in India:
JANUARY 09 14 23 30
FEBRUARY 13 18 20 27
MARCH 05 12 19 31
APRIL 02 16 21 30
MAY 07 19 21 28
JUNE 04 16 18 25
JULY 09 14 16 30
AUGUST 04 13 20 27
SEPTEMBER 03 10 15 24
OCTOBER 08 13 22 29
NOVEMBER 03 05 19 26
DECEMBER 03 10 15 17

Exam Dates for General Pattern of IELTS Test in India:

MARCH 05 19
APRIL 02 30
MAY 19 21
JUNE 04 25
JULY 16 30
AUGUST 04 20

 Registration fees for the IELTS exam in India is INR 10600/-

Kindly go HERE to register for IELTS test.

Frequently Asked Questions about IELTS Test which plague your mind!

  1. What is the validity of the IELTS Test score?

Answer: IELTS Test Scores are valid for next two years from the IELTS exam date. However some institutes accept IELTS Test scores even after 2 years on providing the proof that student has maintained his English language proficiency.

  1. When can we reappear for this IELTS exam?

Answer: IELTS Test can be taken as many times as students wish after receiving earlier IELTS test results. However, students must do enough practice before they make up their mind to repeat for the IELTS test.

  1. How can I find my IELTS Test result?

Answer: IELTS Test results can be found online within 10 days of taking the IELTS test however a hard copy of the IELTS result is posted to home address or educational institute on 13th day depending on which address was provided during IELTS registration.

  1. What kind of identification proof is required for IELTS Test?

Answer: IELTS Test accepts only a passport as an identification proof on the day of exam. But during IELTS registration, students need to carry their valid passport, driver’s licence, student’s ID.

  1. What should I carry on the day of IELTS exam?

Answer: Only pens, pencils and erasers are allowed to be taken inside. Answers for reading and listening must strictly be written in pencil however for writing, students have a choice of writing with a pen or a pencil. No electronic devices can be taken inside for appearing IELTS exam.

  1. Can you tell me about the recording played during the listening exam of IELTS?

Answer: Recording is played only once and students are expected to write answers while they listen and at the end of the IELTS test when they are given extra 10 minutes, they can transfer answers on their answer sheets.

  1. Do I get any preparation time at all?

Answer: only part 2 of the speaking allows students one minute preparation time. However part 1 and 3 of the IELTS test have no preparation time.

  1. Which Course books should I refer to prepare for IELTS test?

Answer: There are many books available in the market like Barron IELTS, IELTS Cambridge 1, 2, 3, 4…….9. Also, Students are provided with a course book after they register for IELTS test either through British Council or IDP.

  1. Which test centre have easier test format for IELTS?

Answer: We have two test centres viz. British Council and IDP. However, test centres do not create the exam papers, they are created by Cambridge University, and hence test centres cannot be the reason for stringency or clemency of the IELTS test.

  1. Are the tests conducted on the same day?

Answer: IELTS test takes usually takes two days. As Reading, Writing and listening sections are conducted on the same day, on the other hand of IELTS Test, speaking section is conducted either a day before or after these three sections.

  1. What skills are exactly tested in IELTS?

Answer: IELTS Writing section tests students on their logical flow of ideas (Cohesion and coherence), Complexity of Grammatical range and Spelling mistakes, Task Achievement/ Response and Lexical resources.

Nevertheless, Speaking section tests skills such as pronunciation, Fluency and coherence, grammar and accuracy, Lexical resources.

Contributed by Aparna Sakhare, freelance tutor with

Important Guidelines for Foreign Exams: TOEFL, IELTS, GRE & GMAT

Guidelines for Foreign Exams

This article has been penned by Pratyasha Ghosh to give important guidelines for foreign exams.

Foreign exams like TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), GRE (Graduate Record Examination), GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) are very important tests for any student/person wishing to study in Foreign countries like UK,USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or any other developed countries.

The advantages of globalization are fairly well known to the contemporary generation thanks to media and technology.

Thus, the student today is well versed in the kind of opportunities that are available. An international degree is much valued in India, herein come exams like the TOEFL, IELTS, GRE and GMAT including others.

Now these are the more popular exams that everyone is aware of, what most students don’t know is how to go about it. Hoping the following information and guidelines will help we dive straight to the point.

Universities abroad require two basic tests, one the language test (like TOEFL Test and IELTS Test ), the other the knowledge test (like GRE and GMAT).

TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign Language): Basically a language test for non native English speakers, the TOEFL is an examination required for admission to Universities in the U.S.A. testing areas include listening reading, speaking and writing in English.

Held in over 165 countries the test is conducted both online (iBT) and off line (PBT) scores ranging from a maximum of 120 in iBT to 310-677 in PBT. The test costs 170 USD


IELTS (International English Language testing System): Like TOEFL, this is also an English language eligibility test. Clearing this test will bring you one step closer to admissions in universities of Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

It will test your ability to understand, analyze and reproduce information in English for effective communication.

One point of difference from TOEFL is that the IELTS has two kinds of examinations- one held for students aspiring for higher education abroad known as the academic version while the other needs to be taken by people who want to immigrate to foreign countries for jobs.

Our point of focus however is the former. The test scores are of the form 0-9 band (non-user to expert-user) and the fee is 135 USD. Held in over 130 countries the test is taken by over 2 million people worldwide.


GRE (Graduate Record Examination): Conducted by the same non-profit organization that holds TOEFL (Educational testing service or ETS) the GRE Examination is an online one that tests your reasoning skills in the verbal qualitative and analytical section as well as an experimental section that does not affect scores but is hidden so that the test taker will never know.

This test is accepted in most graduate schools in the U.S. as well as a few other countries. Students aspiring to do their post graduation in business and any other subject can take this test. The test costs 195 USD and can be taken all round the year in any test centre near you.


GMAT: The Graduate Management Admission Test is majorly an MBA entrance test unlike GRE focusing not on intelligence or knowledge but on problem solving, logical reasoning, analytical thinking and data processing. Scores here range from 200-800. More than 2100 graduate schools in the U.S. hold this test valid for admission. It costs 250 USD.


Coming to the guidelines on how to get a decent score on the tests the following should help:

In India, developing English language skills from an early age is not a very difficult thing to do. In fact, if you have grown up in one of those convent schools where they would punish you for speaking in any language other than English, chances are you already have a firm grip over the speaking portion at least.

My point is, the earlier you start the better and if you are a parent conscious about your kid’s future keep helping your child build English language skills regardless of whether he’d require it later or not.

Time management is of essence as solving the questions will not be as big a task as finishing it on time. For this download resource kits and test papers available in the website.

For example, sign up for the IELTS Masterclass, download the Essentials pack for IELTS and the TOEFL Practice Online practice test series. In fact all the tests have online resources.

The best part about these tests is that the website itself will give you all the information and material you need. Utilize this.

When aiming for a degree from a foreign university it is better to have a well defined plan on how to get there. This requires at least a year of research for finalizing the university, finding out their criteria, the test scores they accept, the stay there, etc. thus planning is of essence.

If possible, keep the tests Institute based and not the other way around. This can be done by short listing universities in the process of your research.

Keep the number of university applications in single digits for in addition to your test that will take about Rs. 30,000, sending the applications will cost a lot of money as well.

When you plan your entire journey, your focus will be clearer and outlook more confident. This will win half the battle for you.

It is very important to remember that the tests aren’t evaluating your knowledge and thus mere studying will not help. Awareness is key and the earlier you realize that the test is merely a game of qualitative reaction in very limited time, the better chances you will have of scoring high.

To end with, a little bit of guidance always helps.

The most effective would be those given by the foreign countries themselves. For example, the USIEF (United States India-Education Foundation) provides a one year membership for Rs. 6000 to guide you through all the entire process, from taking tests to finance to application to visa and everything related. The U.K. also has a similar organization. Such organizations are usually the most authentic source of information and guidance.

Pratyasha Ghosh, a freelance writer with

Read details at:

SAT Preparation & the complete guide to SAT Exam

Computer based TOEFL Test & FAQs

Pearson Test of English: Understanding the system

IELTS Exam Proficiency Test