This article will provide you with an overview of the four most important entrance examinations you are likely to need if you choose to apply for a master’s degree abroad. While the GMAT and GRE are both exams that test your aptitude and are more general in nature, the IELTS and TOEFL examinations are focused on assessing your English proficiency for any higher education course you may want to pursue abroad.

Read this five-minutes guide: TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, GRE GRE — to know all the key points about these exams. 


GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test. This computer-adaptive test has  four sections — Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative Aptitude (QA), & Verbal Reasoning (VR). Moreover, the duration of the GMAT test is 3.5 hours and each section has a definite time within which it has to be attempted. The scores obtained on taking the test is used as a criteria for securing admission to various top B-schools across the world.

Who conducts the GMAT?

Graduate Management Admission Council or GMAC is responsible for conducting the GMAT in more than 100 countries across the globe. The council is a non-profit organisation with its headquarters located in Reston, Virginia. In India, they have a regional office in Gurugram.


The GMAT test score is widely accepted by more than 1200 B-schools as an eligibility criterion for the pursuing business and management courses like MBA, leadership programs and many others. Beside, the advantage of the GMAT score is that it is valid for five years. 

What is the minimum and maximum GMAT score?

The maximum GMAT score that can be achieved by a candidate is 800. The score is an average of the scores obtained in the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning sections out of 800. The Analytical Writing Assessment essay score is measured on a scale of 0-6 and the Integrated Reasoning score is mentioned separately on the mark-sheet. To be on the safer side, it is advisable to obtain a score of more than 650 to have a chance of gaining admission in top B-schools.

How to apply for GMAT?

To apply for the GMAT exam, you have to create a GMAT account on the official website and register. There is a registration fee of about USD 250. In addition to the test itself, this also provides access to some official preparation material from Moreover, you can take the exam up to five times a year with a minimum of 16 days between each attempt, and the registration process is available all round the year. Keep in mind that you can attempt the GMAT only 8 times in a lifetime. 


The Graduate Record Exam or GRE is a standardised college admission test for getting enrolled in advanced technical, managerial or techno-managerial degree courses. The test comes in two formats, viz: computer-adaptive and paper-based. The GRE test contains mainly four sections — Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The time duration of the GRE is 3 hours, and each section has a specific time period within which you will have to attempt the exam.

Who conducts the GRE?

Educational Testing Service (ETS), a private non-profit organization, administers the GRE General and Subject exam, among many other tests. It is headquartered in Lawrence Township, New Jersey.

Who should take the GRE?

The GRE test score is one of the most widely accepted as an eligibility criterion for graduate school admissions worldwide, especially in Canada and the USA. Anybody can choose to take the test, as the test score is a gateway if you want to pursue your higher studies abroad.

What is the minimum and maximum GRE score?

The highest possible GRE score is 340, which comprises 170 marks in Verbal Reasoning and another 170 marks for the Quantitative Reasoning section. The minimum score one can obtain in each section is 130, and the final score will be the average score of quant and verbal sections. The AWA score is mentioned separately on the mark sheet.

How do you apply for the GRE?

To apply for the test, you have to create a GRE account on its official website. The test comes free from the rush of last date registration, as it is available 365*12 round the year (except national holidays).

What is the cost of the GRE test?

The cost of the GRE test fee is USD 205.


TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. The main aim of the test is to evaluate English language proficiency. Moreover, the test score meets up the requirements for the following:

  • Immigration departments use them to issue residential and work visas
  • Medical and licensing agencies use them for professional certification purposes
  • To measure your competency in the English language
Who conducts the TOEFL?

Educational Testing Service (ETS) is responsible for conducting and organising TOEFL tests. The organisation is non-profit and located in Lawrence Township, New Jersey.


TOEFL is widely popular among students and working professionals as a certification of proficiency in the English language. TOEFL score is accepted by more than 10,000 colleges, universities and agencies in over 130 countries. It simultaneously fulfills the visa requirements for immigration departments at English states to grant residential or work visas to non-native English speakers.

How to apply for TOEFL?

To enroll for TOEFL,  you have to follow certain steps that are mentioned on the official TOEFL website once you register.

What is the cost of the TOEFL test?

In India the TOEFL fee ranges from USD 160 to USD 250 i.e. INR 10000-INR 17000.


IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. Besides, there are two versions of the test — IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. You are tested on four sections — Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing within 2 hours 30 minutes.


It is a standardized test that is sometimes a requirement if you are looking to secure admission to English language programs at international colleges. It is also used as one of the measures for granting admissions to candidates to various Master’s programs in countries like Australia, UK, Canada etc.

Who conducts IELTS?

IELTS is conducted in association with British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL).

How to apply for IELTS?

You will have to follow an online admission process to apply for IELTS. You have to choose test centers according to the IELTS exam date assigned. There is also an online option available. To know more details about the registration process you can check the official British Council Website for the IELTS exam.

What is the Cost of IELTS?

In India, the IELTS exam costs Rs.8000.
We hope that this quick overview of the four key exams for masters applications abroad — GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and IELTS — was helpful. Good luck for your masters application journey!


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