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Take off with these tests

Here’s the lowdown on tests that take you abroad

education Updated: Sep 15, 2010 09:38 IST
HT Horizons corresponden
HT Horizons corresponden
Hindustan Times

If you intend to study abroad, then countries like the UK, the US and Canada etc will require good scores in the English proficiency tests such as TOEFL and IELTS. SAT is required for US undergraduate programmes.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is accepted by more than 7,500 institutions in 130 countries, including the US, the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. The test score is valid for two years. You can re-attempt the test in seven days, to better your score. Here’s more about the test meant for people whose native language is not English.

Test details: Reading section - 60-100 questions, 60-100 minutes; listening - 34-51 questions, 60-90 minutes; break - 10 minutes; speaking - six tasks, 20 minutes; writing - two tasks, 50 minutes

In India, only the Internet-based TOEFL is available.

Fees: US$160
Rescheduling fee: US$60
Pay by dollar draft in favour of ETS-TOEFL (iBT), payable at US or by international credit card/ debit card

How to apply: You can register online, by phone, via mail or in person at a centre. Apply online at
Register over phone at 0124-4147773/4. Email:

Test schedule is given on Forms are available at the US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF).

More than 6,000 institutions in 135 countries recognise the IELTS score. IELTS comes in two versions, IELTS Academic and the IELTS General Training. The listening and speaking tests are the same in the Academic and the General one. The reading and writing tests are different for the two.

Test details: Listening - 30 minutes; reading - 60 minutes; writing - 60 minutes; speaking - 11-14 minutes

The listening, reading and writing sections are given in one session. You can take the speaking test the same day or up to seven days prior to or post the other tests.

Fees: R7,200, payable through debit/credit card, demand draft or ICICI Bank.
How to apply: Register online, in person at your nearest British Council office, by post or courier. Application form is available on

To do an undergraduate programme in the US, you need to take the SAT. Here’s what you need to know about the test.

Test details: The SAT General Test assesses the candidate’s verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities. It is a three-hour, 45 minute test and has ten sections with 25 minute essay, six 25-minute sections (with maths, critical reading and writing), two 20-miute sections (with maths, critical reading and writing) a 10-minute multiple choice writing section.

The one-hour SAT Subject Test, primarily with multiple-choice questions, measures the student’s knowledge of a particular subject and his/ her ability to apply that knowledge. The English writing test is compulsory. In addition, the candidate can attempt maths level I/II, physics, chemistry and biology.
. An applicant cannot take both SAT general and subject tests on the same day. S/he needs to sit for SAT General Test or for up to three SAT subject tests on
the same day.
. Scores can be forwarded to four universities free of cost.

Fees: US$ 99 (SAT General), US$ 73 (language test) + US$62 (each subject). Payment can be made by dollar draft in favour of “College Board,” payable at US or by international credit card, or money order or cheques.

How to apply: Apply online at
Forms are available at USIEF as well.

First Published: Sep 14, 2010 11:11 IST