Graduate Record Examination- GRE
Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which is mandatory for getting admission to Graduate programmes in United States, UK and Canada, will witness exciting changes from August 2011 onwards. GRE are of two types i.e. Generalized and Specialized tests. Generalized GRE was revised from August 2011 onwards. Specialized GRE is other wise called Subject GRE which is required for certain specific subjects like Biochemistry, Cell and molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, English Literature, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.
Generalized GRE comprises of three tests like Analytical Writing that measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically the test taker's ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively. Verbal reasoning measures reading comprehension skills, verbal and analogical reasoning skills, focusing on the test taker's ability to analyze and evaluate written material. Quantitative reasoning measures problem solving ability, focusing on basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.
Revised test is a student friendly design for the computer based GRE test that helps to edit or change answers, skip questions and more, all within a section giving freedom to use more of students' own test-taking strategies. An on-screen calculator is one of the new features. The new types of questions in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative reasoning sections, mostly feature real-life scenarios that reflect the kind of thinking required for graduate and business school programs. GRE revised General Test features a new score scale that can make it easier for schools to compare scores with that of other candidates.
Recent decision taken by Educational Testing Service (ETS) to accept GRE scores for admission to Business schools will be beneficial to Indian students who opt for Management programme abroad. Previously if a student intends to do post graduation in their respective field say MS programme, he has to complete GRE with better scores. If he is interested to join for MBA programme abroad he has to complete GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test). Recently ETS has developed a comparative tool, which can predict GMAT scores from GRE general test scores. It has been developed in response to the requests received from students and educational institutions. Both GRE and GMAT will give equal importance to verbal and quantitative reasoning skills of the students. So the recent decision is really a boom for Asian students who are more interested to pursue MBA from abroad. Moreover they can save the money for writing GMAT. This paves the way for applying a student for either MS or MBA programme. More than 150 business schools in USA, UK and Canada are ready to accept GRE scores for the admission process. It is mandatory for the student to complete English proficiency examinations like IELTS / TOEFL for study abroad programme.
Fee for GRE generalized test will be 190 US dollars. For re-scheduling and changing test centre 50 dollars are required.
GRE Exam Registration procedures:
1. ETS ( Educational Testing Service) conducts GRE Exam
2. Use ETS GRE website as main source of information
3. Get complete understanding of what is required to register for the GRE Test.
4. Make sure you have all the required documents even before registering the GRE Exam.
5. While booking make sure you give the name as given in your passport.
6. Don't register for GRE if you don't have Surname (or last name) in the passport.
7. Add last name in your passport, then register for GRE Exam.
8. Find out payment options available and use the option (Credit / Debit Cards, Check, Money Order, Western Union,) that is convenient to you.
9. Plan well in advance, so you don't make any mistakes.
10. You can talk to Regional Registration Center in your country for additional information on GRE Exam process.
GRE – Model Questions
Write the most nearly opposites.
? BESTIR - (empathize, dull, remove, pacify, restore)
? VANTAGE - (inferiority, dupe, favor, disparity, perusal)
Quantitative - ? Blood cell has a diameter of 0.008 mm and Muscle cell has 0.07mm.then how many times the muscle cell is bigger than blood cell - (0.1, 0.8, 1.14. 5.6, 8.75)
Analytical - Analysis of an issue –
? Statement - financial gain should be the most important factor in choosing the career - start from Yes/No
English Proficiency Tests
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
International applicants whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate their reading, writing and understanding of English language by taking the TOEFL before they are considered for admission in most of the universities / institutes worldwide. The test uses a multiple choice format to measure one's ability to understand English. It consists of the following four sections:
Listening - In this section, the examinee listens, using headphones, to the conversations and talks with images of the speakers on the computer screen. After the listening task, he is to answer approximately 30-50 questions, based on the just concluded conversation. Total time allotted to complete the entire section is 45-60 minutes while to answer the questions; a candidate is given 15-25 minutes. Your ability to understand English as spoken in North America is measured in this part.
Structure - The candidate's proficiency to recognise the language that is appropriate for standard written English is put to test. A total of 20-25 questions are asked in this section.
Reading - You have to undergo a test on the Reading part to demonstrate your ability to understand non technical reading matter. Usually, short passages almost similar in topic are given for reading purposes. The total number of questions in this section is 45-55.
Writing - Writing section judges your ability to write in English as you are made to write an assigned Essay which would require generation of ideas with arguments supporting your stand. A period of 30 minutes is allotted for the purpose.
Detailed information about the Test can be had from : http://www.ets.org
Moreover TOEFL measures ability to use and understand the English Language as it is read, written, heard and spoken in the University classroom. Scores will be posted online within two weeks after the test date. Scores will be mailed to the Universities or institutions you selected.
ETS offers several test preparation resources to help the students. They include the best selling Test prep book, official guide to TOEFL test and TOEFL Practice Online
Pearson Test of English Academic
Pearson Test of English Academic (PET Academic) is a computer based test that delivers real life measures of test takers' language abilities. It provides an accurate and authentic measure of language ability of non native English speakers who want to study in an institution where English is the language of instruction. Test takers can schedule a test on a day and a centre convenient to them. PTE Academic is currently recognized by 1500 educational programmes worldwide and is the preferred test of Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC).
For more details, visit : www.pearsonpte.com/testme
TWE (Test of Written English)
The TWE is given with the TOEFL on certain dates only. The purpose of this half-an-hour essay test is to demonstrate one's ability to write and express one's English i.e. ability to generate and organize ideas, to support those ideas with examples or evidence and to compose in standard written English in response to an assigned topic. If an institution or university wants an international student to take the TWE, it has to be taken with the TOEFL. One cannot register to take the TWE separately. It is not added to the TOEFL score.
TSE (Test of Spoken English)
The Test of Spoken English is conducted to gauge the ability of the non-native speakers of English to communicate orally in English. The test is required mainly at graduate level, especially for applicants seeking financial aid. It requires examinees to answer orally a variety of questions presented in printed and recorded form. Your spoken answers are recorded on tape. This test judges how effectively you can communicate in English. TSE is not administered as a part of TOFEL test. Although it is administered on a few TOFEL testing dates, it is administered separately. However, if you plan to take TOFEL and TSE on the same date, check the test centre list in your TOFEL bulletin to make sure that both tests are being administered at the same centre on the date you want. TSE is conducted 12 times a year throughout the world.
TSE-A is for applicants applying for teaching and research assistantship who have been asked to take the TSE test by admissions office or department of any US universities / institutions.
TSE-P is for individuals such as those who are taking the TSE test to obtain certification in a professional or occupational field.
IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication.
IELTS is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia. IELTS conforms to the highest international standards of language assessment. It covers four language skills listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and USA, recognize IELTS. Professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies also recognize IELTS and it is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16.
IELTS tests are administered at centers throughout the world there are more than 300 centres, in over 100 countries. For full list of centres visit : www.ielts.org
Most centres conduct a testing session at least once in a month and more often at peak times. Please contact the relevant centre for exact test dates. Results will be produced 13 days after the test. At some centres candidates may collect their results on the 13th day, at others results are mailed on the 13th day.
The candidate will receive only one copy of their test result and replacement copies will not be provided. Additional copies can be sent directly to receiving organizations and institutions by test centres. There are no restrictions on candidates re-taking the test.
Academic and General Training
IELTS is available in two formats - Academic and General Training.
The Academic Modules assess whether a candidate is ready to study or train in the medium of English at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses should be based on the results of these modules.
The General Training Modules emphasize basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context. General Training is suitable for candidates who are going to English speaking countries to complete their secondary education, to undertake work experience or training programmes not at degree level, or for immigration purposes to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The General Training modules are not offered at all test administrations.
Candidates are tested in listening, reading, writing and speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules. There is a choice of Reading and Writing Modules whether Academic or General Training. It is the responsibility of the candidate to tell the Administrator which version, Academic or General Training, they need to take. The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user.
The first three modules - Listening, Reading and Writing - must be completed in one day. No break is given between the three modules. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, seven days before or after the other three modules.
Preparing for the test
It is not necessary to attend a preparation course but to prepare thoroughly for the test. Official preparation materials called Specimen Materials are available from test centres, or directly from Cambridge ESOL or IDP: IELTS Australia. This includes a full practice test with an answer key, a CD of the listening test and three sample speaking tests so that candidates can get some idea of their level and familiarize themselves with the format of the test. There is also a wide range of published preparation materials.
IELTS Test Results
Results will be announced 13 days after the test. At some centres, candidates may collect their results on the 13th day, at others results are mailed on the 13th day. Test centers are not permitted to give results over the phone or by fax or email. Replacement test report forms are not provided in case of loss.
A score is reported for each module of the test. The individual module scores are then calculated to produce an Overall Band Score. Overall Band Scores and Listening and Reading scores are reported in whole and half Bands; Writing and Speaking Band Scores are reported in whole Bands only.
The IELTS modules have been designed to reflect accurately the candidate's abilities to deal with the English language. The design of the test makes it statistically unlikely that there will be great variation in the module scores. In order to ensure that a candidate's IELTS results genuinely reflect that candidate's English language abilities, where there are exceptionally unusual patterns of module scores, the modules will be marked again, and the IELTS partners may ask the candidate to re-take some or, all of the modules. The candidate will not be charged for any such re-takes and the candidate will not be issued with his / her result until after the re-take.
Test Report Form
The Test report form includes a large number of security features, and the authenticity of any Test report form can be verified through the online verification service. Cambridge ESOL, British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia reserves the right to cancel any IELTS test report form in the event of any attempt to tamper with or mist the information it contains.
Each candidate takes four IELTS test modules, one in each of the four skills, listening, reading, writing and speaking.
The Listening module takes around 30 minutes. There are four sections and includes 40 questions. The Listening Module is recorded on CD and is played only once. During the test, time is given for candidates to read the questions and write down and then check their answers. Answers are written on the Question Paper as candidates listen. When the recording ends ten minutes are allowed for candidates to transfer their answers to an answer Sheet. The first two sections are concerned with social needs. There is a conversation between two speakers and then a monologue. The final two sections are concerned with situations related more closely to educational or training contexts.
The Reading Module takes 60 minutes. There are 40 questions, based on three reading passages with a total of 2,000 to 2,750 words. Both the Academic Reading and General Training Reading Modules have the same format. All answers must be entered in the Answer Sheet during the 60minute tests. No extra time is allowed for transferring answers.
Texts are taken from magazines, journals, books, and newspapers. Texts have been written for a non-specialist audience. At least one text contains a detailed logical argument. Texts may contain non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations. If texts contain technical terms then a simple glossary is provided.
General Training Reading:
The first section, 'social survival', contains texts relevant to basic linguistic survival in English with tasks mainly about retrieving and providing general factual information. 'Training survival', the second section, focuses on the training context, for example on the training programme itself or on welfare needs. This section involves a text or texts of more complex language with some precise or elaborated expression. The third section, 'general reading', involves reading more extended prose with a more complex structure but with the emphasis on descriptive and instructive rather than argumentative texts, in a general context relevant to the wide range of candidates involved.
The Writing Module takes 60 minutes. There are two tasks to complete. It is suggested that about 20 minutes is spent on Task 1, which requires candidates to write at least 150 words. Task 2 requires at least 250 words and should take about 40 minutes. Answers must be given on the Answer Sheet and must be written in full. Notes or bullet points in whole or in part are not acceptable as answers.
In Task 1, candidates are asked to describe some information (graph / table / chart / diagram), and to present the description in their own words. They may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describes an object or event.
In Task 2, candidates are presented with a point of view or argument or problem.
Candidates need to demonstrate their ability to respond appropriately in terms of content, vocabulary and the organisation of ideas. Appropriate responses are descriptions / summaries (Task 1) and short essays (Task 2) and these should be formal in style.
General Training Writing
In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a given problem with a letter requesting information or explaining a situation.
In Task 2, candidates are presented with a point of view or argument or problem.
Candidates need to demonstrate their ability to respond appropriately in terms of content, vocabulary and the organisation of ideas. Appropriate responses are personal, semi-formal or formal correspondence (Task 1) and short essays (Task 2). In General Training Writing Task 2 slightly more personal response is acceptable than in Academic Writing Task 2.
The Speaking Module takes between 11 and 14 minutes and consists of an oral interview between the candidate and the examiner. All interviews are recorded.
In Part 1, candidate will have to answer general questions about themselves, their homes/families, their jobs/studies, their interests, and a range of familiar topic areas. This part lasts between four to five minutes. In Part 2, the candidate is given a verbal prompt on a card and is asked to talk on a particular topic.
Business Language Testing System (BULATS)
BULATS is an on-demand, computer based assessment that saves hours of time by providing with reliable information on employees’ language ability. The BULATS Computer Test is designed to meet the needs of international business and delivers a host of invaluable benefits.
• Candidates can be tested at any time, resulting in minimal disruption to work.
• The test results are immediate, allowing instant management decision making.
• The BULATS Computer Test is an independent testing method linked only to internationally established levels of achievement and not to any specific language course or school.
• Technical support is provided by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, one of the world’s largest testing and assessment organizations.
• The test is available in English, French, German and Spanish.
For details, visit : www.bulats.org
Business English Certificate (BEC)
BEC is a suite of three exams - BEC Preliminary, BEC Vantage and BEC Higher, designed to test English language ability in typical work situations.
At all three BEC levels, the ‘business’ aspect of the exam affects the vocabulary, the types of texts selected and the situations presented in the tasks. BEC assesses all four language skills - listening, speaking, reading and writing. Other skills, such as understanding the gist of a text or guessing unfamiliar words in a listening situation are also tested.
British council will help to recruit BEC certified employees through the link with educational institutions offering BEC. In India, over 130 companies and 120 colleges offer BEC. For further details, visit www.CambridgeESOL.org/BEC
British council library has over 3,00,000 books, magazines and CDs on a wide range of subjects, across their network in India. British Council has online library facilities also (www.britishcouncilonline.org).
Understanding corporate needs, British council has designed two unique membership options. An access 10 membership gets the company 10 cards and 10 online logins. An access 20 membership obviously gets more. More cards, more logins and more resources are available per card. Free English language teaching workshops, DVDs for home viewing, networking of events etc will be made available for the card members.
CGFNS - Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools is an internationally recognized agency involved in assessing the education, registration and licensing of nurses and doctors. CGFNS is regularly conducting CGFNS qualifying examination for recruiting nurses abroad. It will assess the nursing knowledge and English proficiency in three stages. In the first stage, CGFNS will assess whether the General nursing course is accredited or not? In the second stage nursing knowledge will be assessed through two nursing proficiency tests. (Part I & part II). In the third phase English proficiency will be assessed either through TOEFL/ IELTS.
Nursing proficiency test will cover the topics like Behaviour, integumentary system, biochemistry, circulation, diabetes, gastro intestinal system, anatomy, nutrition, pharmacology, lymphatic system, nervous system, reproduction, respiration, syndromes and urinary system. BSc nursing graduates has to write only CGFNS English proficiency test.
Minimum requirement- IELTS-6.5 band / TOEFL / CBT-207 / Paper based test-540.
For details, visit: www.cgfns.org ; www.testpreview.com/cgfns
International Center on Nurse Migration (ICN) is an agency that assists nurses’ recruitment. For more details visit, www.intlnursemigration.org
The various exams and the Score Validity Period are:
* TOEFL: Two years
* GRE : Five years
* GMAT : Five years
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
After Glasgow incident, Britain has introduced a new security-wetting scheme for all non-European Union students including Indian students. Students who are interested in doing PhD in the areas like Mathematics, Biochemistry and Nuclear Physics and will come under this scheme. The scheme is as part of Britain’s wider security efforts to ensure that knowledge in UK universities should not be misused for nuclear proliferation and terrorism. The scheme called Academic Technology Approval Scheme-ATAS came into effect from November 1st onwards. The ‘proliferation-risk’ subject areas that will be closely monitored for PhD students will include Mathematics, Biochemistry, Electrical Engineering, Nuclear physics, Microbiology, Chemical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering and Material Sciences.
Scholastic Aptitude Test-SAT
SAT is mandatory for amission to Undergraduate programmes in UK, USA and Canada. Plus two students can write SAT and join for under-graduate programmes abroad.
SAT-1 & SAT-2
• SAT-1-Verbal, general, quantitative reasoning, essay- 3 hrs
• Fee-70 US$
• SAT-2- subjects, Score-400-1000
• Tests conducted in India by-Council of American education,
New Delhi & Princeton review, Mumbai-1
• Website : www.sat.org
- Dr.T P Sethumadhavan