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Entrance Exams To Study In USA

A Curated List Of Top Entrance Exams To Study In USA

Many students from India aspire to pursue their higher education abroad. They can choose between a few specialized examinations to do so. In this blog, we will cover the most renowned and attempted exams to study in USA.

Students aspiring for foreign education can take tests for a certification in a Foreign Language. A student wanting to specialize in Medicine, Management or Law can prepare for targeted exams which test their competency.

Here is a curated list of the entrance exams to study in USA along with what students have to fulfill:

Also read, How to Get Hired in The USA Successfully as An Indian Degree Holder

MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

Examination fees: $320 (27855 INR)

Medical entrance exams are extremely complex and long. MCAT is the longest-running examination of the list spanning almost 7 hours and 30 minutes to complete.

The exam opens up with the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) section. This tests the critical thinking and reason-writing abilities of candidates. The obligatory sections include Biology, Physical Science, Psychology, and Biological and Social behavioral foundations. The maximum marks a candidate can score in mandatory sections is 472 to 528.

LSAT (Law School Admission Test)

Examination fees:  $200 (17000 INR)

If the candidate aspires to pursue law in the USA, they can opt for the LSAT examination with a score satisfying their institutional aspiration. The run span of the examination is almost 2 hours and 30 minutes (including the 10-minute intermission before the fourth section).

The exam has four sections: Logical Reasoning section, Logic Games section, Reading Comprehension section, and one “experimental” section which remains unscored. A score between 150 to 160 could get you admitted into any renowned institution but, if you are looking forward to an Ivy League institution like Yale or Harvard, you need at least 170 to make it.

Must read, Overcoming Common Challenges in Meeting the IELTS Requirements for USA Study Visa

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

Examination fees: $250 (25029 INR)

If you are a graduate in business application (BBA) from India aspiring to pursue your MBA abroad, the GMAT is one of the best exams to study in USA. The examination spans a total time of 3 hours and 23 minutes, including two 8-minute intermissions.

The examination tests students under four sections: Integrated Reasoning, Verbal reasoning, Quantitative reasoning and Writing. A score of more than 700 is considered a reliable score to get into the top B-schools in the USA. However, if you aspire to get admitted into an Ivy, your targeted score should surpass 750. 

GRE (Graduation Record Examination)

Examination fees: $213 (17770 INR)

If a candidate wants to apply for post-graduate studies in any stream of their choice (Including law and management as well), the GRE is the test to enroll for. The General paper, which is common irrespective of the applied subject, runs for 3 hours and 45 minutes while the main subject paper takes another 2 hours and 50 minutes.

A candidate writes three sections in the general paper: Analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. The total obtainable marks are 340 (including selected subjects). If a candidate scores more than 200, it opens up many premium institutes for them. However, the subject they choose also plays an important role in determining the cut-off.

Recommended read, The Ultimate Guide To Rescheduling Your USA Tourist Visa Appointment

SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)

Examination fees: $213 (17770 INR)

If the candidate has completed High School and is looking for fruitful Undergraduate exams to study in USA, the SAT is one of the wisest choices. It is one of the exams where the government helps top scorers get admitted with a scholarship. The examination has a runtime of 3 hours and 50 minutes.

There are three sections in the SAT exam: Reading, Writing and Mathematics. The perfect SAT score (also the full marks) is 1600. Anything above 1090 is considered a decent score and can get you into many top institutions.  

ACT (American College Test)

Examination fees: $46 (3837 INR) (Non-Writing); $62.50 (5214 INR) (Writing)

ACT serves the purpose of SAT but, directly from an American standpoint. While the SAT is acceptable in many countries (including America), the ACT is acceptable ONLY in America. The candidates can choose whether they want to opt for the writing test or not. Its runtime is 3 hours and 35 minutes including the writing test.

There are four subjects of utmost importance dealing with four major subject areas: Math, English, Reading and Science. There is an optional writing paper (which as Indians, we suggest you opt for) for Native English Speakers and pre-certified English speakers. Each section is scored out of 36 and the final result is a composite (mixed) score marked out of 36. Any composite score over 22 is decent. However, top institutes consider scores over 30.

Bonus read, The Ultimate Job Search Strategy on How to Get a Job in the USA as an International Professional

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

Examination fees: $245 (20440 INR)

IELTS is one of the first exams to study in USA students think of appearing for. It is accepted at top institutes in America and its certificate serves as a Foreign Language Proficiency proof. The run time of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The exam has 4 sections of focus which all language proficiency tests have: Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening. Each section of focus is marked out of 9. The overall score reflects the performance in the numerical grading system. Candidates with a score of more than 6.0 can find an ideal institute with ease. But, if they are eyeing an Ivy, they need to keep their score above 7.8.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Examination fees: $185 (15434 INR)

Like IELTS, TOEFL allows a candidate to obtain their English Proficiency certification. It is internationally accepted and most top universities prefer either of the two foreign language certifications. The test runs for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

There are four key areas of focus: Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening. Each section holds 30 marks. So, any score over 65 is decent. However, if you are looking forward to applying to an Ivy League institute, a target of more than 100.

Bonus read, Is the United States a Safe Destination for Indian Immigrant Students? Let’s know more


These examinations are the top picks of students who want to appear for exams to study in USA. Ambition and dreams need proper backing to come true. Keep yourself prepared for all the challenges mentally and intellectually. Do not indulge yourself in Visa related challenges as we are there to help you out. Prepare for your dream institution and examination in the USA and contact our Student Visa Consultants at Visa24 to take care of the procedures as well as outputs.


1. How effective are the Duolingo Language exams to study in USA?

Duolingo Examination is comparatively new. It is effective in many institutions but usability in premium institutes is unknown.

2. Which examination should I take to study engineering in the USA?

SAT, GRE and ACT are the three exams to choose from for Engineering in the USA.

3. Is a language certificate necessary for studying in the USA?

Language proficiency certificates are not a compulsion but most institutes ask for one and it adds to the student’s credibility.

4. Which language certificate is better: IELTS or TOEFL?

Both are equally accepted. However, TOEFL is tougher than IELTS but, IELTS is more widely accepted.

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