Exams to Study in USA

6 minute read

USA is one of the most preferred study destinations for international students. Those who wish to study in USA must take some tests to fulfil the admission requirements of the respective universities. International students must take standardized exams as proof of their English language proficiency and academic eligibility. This helps the university to measure and compare students from various educational backgrounds. Here are the different tests that might be suggested by the universities in USA that you wish to apply for.

Exams required to study in USA

In order to study in USA, you would have to fulfill the eligibility criteria. Hence, you must take the following exams and get good scores to get admission into the best universities in USA.

English Proficiency Test

Like every other study destination, it is mandatory for international students to submit English proficiency test scores.  Be it an undergraduate degree, postgraduate degree, or a PhD. you are required to show proof that you are proficient in English.

These are the English language tests accepted by US Universities. The most widely accepted tests among them are TOEFL and IELTS. The table below mentions the minimum score requirements for each test:

English Eligibility Tests Minimum Marks Required Out of
IELTS 6.5 10
TOEFL 90 120
DUOLINGO 115 160
PTE 58 90


IELTS full form is International English Language Testing System. The IELTS exam is one of the most accepted language exams around the world. The test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes and contains 4 sections- Reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You can take the IELTS exam if you wish to enroll in the best universities in the USA for Indian students.  The IELTS exam fees in India- are 14,700 INR.


TOEFL full form is the Test of English as a foreign language. TOEFL is based more on U.S English and the test is in an MCQ format. The test duration is for 2 hours and 30 minutes. It contains speaking, reading, writing, and listening sections. TOEFL fees are INR 13,832.


Duolingo test is an online exam that a student can take from their personal computers. The test duration is about 1 hour. The exam tests the candidate on their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. You can take this test anytime, and anywhere. Duolingo test fees in India are INR 3678.


PTE full form is Pearson Test for English. What makes PTE different from IELTS and TOEFL is that PTE results are quick. You will get it within 5 working days. The exam is conducted online and the candidate is tested on their listening writing, speaking, and reading skills.  The PTE exam fee 2022 is INR 14,700.

Undergraduate Entrance Test 

As an International student you are required to take an ACT or SAT exam to confirm your eligibility for an undergraduate course. The scores of the ACT or SAT exam can provide a common measure for the universities to compare the abilities of the students.

Criteria SAT ACT
Sections Reading, Writing, and Mathematics Analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning
Exam duration 3 hours and 35 minutes 3 hours and 50 minutes 
Exam fees INR 7,892 with writing, andINR 6,997 without writing For general INR 15,165For Subject- INR 10,989
Qualifying score 400- 1600 160


ACT exam full form is an American college test. It is an MCQ test that evaluates the critical thinking, and analytical skills of students.  The official test score can vary from university to university. The minimum acceptable score is 22. There are four sections that you are evaluated on. That is Math, English, Reading, Writing, and Science. High school graduates with good mathematics abilities can ace this exam.


SAT full form is Scholastic Assessment Test. It is an MCQ that evaluates a student’s writing, reading, and mathematics skills. This exam also helps a student to receive a grant from the government. Popular universities such as Harvard University in the United States accept SAT scores. The exam duration is for 3 hours and 35 minutes and the SAT exam fees are INR 12, 358.

Postgraduate Entrance Test

Similar to undergraduate degree requirements, postgraduate studies also require you to take an entrance test i.e. GRE and GMAT. These tests also are mandatory for those who want to pursue an MA or an MSc program in USA.

Criteria GRE GMAT
Sections Analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning Integrated Reasoning, Verbal reasoning quantitative reasoning, writing
Exam duration General- 3 hours, 45 minutes Subject- 2 hours, 50 minutes 3 hours, 07 minutes 
Exam fees General- INR 15,165Subject- INR 10,989 INR 18,620
Qualifying score 160 650-700


GRE full form is Graduate Record Examination. It is an entrance test for those who want to pursue engineering and a master’s in America. You can also take subject-specific tests along with GRE. Business schools also accept GRE scores. The GRE test has 3 main sections in it that test your Analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills. The test is available online and offline and is accepted by more than 1400 universities worldwide.


GMAT full form is a Graduate management admission test. This exam is mostly taken by students who want to pursue MBA (Master’s in Business Administration). To get into top B-schools in the U.S.A  you need to have at least a 700 score. However, GMAT exams are not mandatory for all universities. Although companies ask for the score during interviews.  The exam is held for 3 hours and 7 minutes and GMAT exam fees are INR 18,620. You will judge for your integrated reasoning, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and writing skills. 

Medical Entrance Test 

Sections Biology, Physical Science, Psychology, Biological and social behavioral foundations, and critical analysis and reasoning
Exam duration 7 hours, 30 minutes
Exam fees INR 25,750
Qualifying score 500-650

To get into medical colleges you need to give a medical entrance exam or the MCAT. The full form of MCAT is a medical college admission test. Providing an MCAT score is mandatory in USA. This is a computer-based examination that tests your knowledge of critical analysis and reasoning, biology, physical science, psychology, biology, and behavioral foundations. The exam is conducted for 7 hours  and 30 minutes and the MCAT exam fees in India is INR 25, 750.

Law Admission Test

Sections Analytical reasoning, logical reasoning 1, and 2 Reading comprehension
Exam duration 2 hours, 20 minutes
Exam fees INR 3,800
Qualifying score 150-160

The Law School Admission Council conducts a standardized examination to test the students seeking admissions into law schools in the USA. This examination is called LSAT. The full form of LSAT is the Law school admission test. The examination is conducted for 3 and a half hours and is in MCQ format. The LSAT syllabus includes topics like Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, and Reasoning, and helps you to demonstrate your readiness for law school. The LSAT application form 2022 is INR 14,894.


Is SAT compulsory for USA?

The best universities in USA have waived the SAT/ACT requirements for 2022. This includes the Ivy League as well. This has been done to reduce the burden on International students of appearing in an exam for further studies in the USA.

Can I go to USA without an interview?

Your Visa will not be given if you do not appear for an interview. Hence, you cannot to the USA without an interview.

How much is US visa interview fee?

The US visa fee for an immigrant Visa is INR 18,208. While it is INR 13,242 for a non-immigrant visa.

USA is a prominent destination for international students as it provides top-notch education and ample career opportunities. Hence, it is a great decision to pursue your studies in USA. Need help with study abroad admissions? Call us at 1800 572 000.

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