Which Exams Do I Need to Take to Study in the USA?

Apart from the visa application procedure and looking for your student housing in Austin, New York, and other such places in the United States, there are a few things to consider when planning to study there. You must take various examinations as proof of language and academic assessments to get admitted to US universities. These include educational evaluations for both undergraduate and graduate admissions to US universities.

IELTS/TOEFL (English language assessments), SAT/ACT (academic assessment at the undergraduate level), GRE/GMAT/LSAT/MCAT (educational evaluation at the graduate level), and others are among these examinations.

These standardised assessments are used to compare students from all around the world with different educational backgrounds.

For an overseas applicant, choosing between two types of assessments to study in the United States can be challenging. Let’s see what examinations you’ll have to take and how you’ll choose amongst them if you’re given the option.

A list of exams to study in the USA:

  • LSAT
  • SAT
  • ACT
  • GMAT
  • GRE
  • DAT
  • MCAT

In case English is not necessarily your first language, you’ll need to provide English language competence scores or documentation to pursue higher education in the United States. For the same, you can submit scores from tests like the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.


TOEFL is one of the most commonly taken language competence assessments. The TOEFL scores necessary might range from 70 to 85 on the internet-based test, depending on the course and university you choose. However, to get admitted to a PhD programme in the United States, you must have higher marks.

Although the TOEFL does not play a significant part in admissions, several universities, such as New York University, provide English language courses to candidates who do not pass or score poorly on the TOEFL. You can also choose to take IELTS instead of TOEFL; but, before taking either of these English language tests, check with the university to see which one is accepted.


The Pearson Test of English is gaining popularity in the United States. Around 800 universities and colleges in the United States recognise it. In the United States, a PTE score of 70 is required. However, it varies depending on the courses and university to which one is applying.


In the United States, around 3400 universities and colleges use an applicant’s IELTS score to determine their English language proficiency. In the country, the minimum IELTS score required varies between 6.5 and 9 depending on the subject and university to which one is applying.

Even though many top schools and colleges in the United States still do not accept IELTS scores, IELTS is growing increasingly popular among students since the application fee for IELTS is less than that of TOEFL. However, students shall check with their chosen university to see if IELTS results are accepted.

Exams for studying UG Courses in the USA

You will be required to take either the SAT or ACTs for all undergraduate courses. These test results show students’ intellectual and aptitude abilities in high school and junior high. Depending on your strengths and university preferences, one exam may be preferable to the other.

American College Test (ACT)

The ACT Exam is crucial when applying to undergraduate programmes in the United States since it assesses an applicant’s aptitude and critical thinking ability. In the United States, the minimum ACT score is 22, but this might vary depending on the courses and universities chosen. Many elite institutions require students to take the ACT in writing to be considered for admission.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

One of the most important exams to take when applying to college schools in the United States is the SAT. SAT scores are accepted by almost all universities in the United States. In the United States, the minimum SAT score is 1300, but this can be subject to change depending on the courses and universities.

Top-tier universities in the United States may require applicants to submit scores on SAT reasoning and subject tests.

Exams for studying PG Courses in the USA

There are many academic evaluation assessments for graduate programmes depending on the field you choose to study. Exams such as the MCAT, LSAT, and GMAT are only for medical, law, and management/business students in the United States. The GRE, on the other hand, is accepted for MS and engineering programmes in the United States.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is essential for admission to graduate schools in the United States, notably business management degrees. There are seven subject-specific tests available in addition to the general GRE test. In the United States, a GRE score of 160 is required. Because the GRE is required for numerous graduate schools in the United States, different scores can be sought for various graduate programmes in the United States.

These scores can be helpful when looking for post-degree possibilities in the United States.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Students who are applying to medical schools in the United States must take the MCAT exam. In the USA, the average MCAT score is 510. However, the best medical schools in the United States may expect more. The higher the score, the better the odds of winning.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The LSAT exam is required for admission to law schools in the United States. The average LSAT score necessary for access to a law school in the United States is 150, although the top 25 schools require more than 160. LSAT scores are given a 70 percent weighting in the selection process at many US law schools.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

GMAT is an essential examination to get admission to a B-School in the United States. The average GMAT score for B-School admissions in the United States is 700. In the United States, good GMAT scores and a high GPA are particularly crucial in the admissions process. If you want to study MBA in the United States, you’ll need GMAT scores.

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