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Exams

The process of studying abroad can be intimidating. You look to family, friends, and teachers for guidance and for help in selecting the right English-language test. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL®) are the two most widely used English proficiency tests for college admissions. When deciding which to take, review each test’s website and the admissions requirements of the schools you will apply to in order to see which is the most appropriate. Because TOEFL® is the most commonly used English proficiency test for the U.S., we offer here some information about that test.

TOEFL: About the Exam

What is the exam used for? TOEFL iBT® stands for Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language.
The test is used to measure your ability to use and understand the English language in an academic environment. TOEFL scores are often used by universities and colleges as an admission requirement.

Where can students take the exam? The TOEFL iBT® test is administered via the Internet and is offered at more than 4,500 authorized test centers throughout the world. Learn more about the test centers and dates.

How much does it cost to take the exam? Fees to take the TOEFL range from $160 to $240 and vary depending on your country.

How do you register for the exam? You can register online, by phone, by mail or in person at a TOEL iBT Resource centre. Learn more about test registration.

What does the exam assess? The TOEFL iBT® test assesses students’ proficiency in English and their reading, speaking, listening and writing skills.

When should you take the exam? Each Institution has specific deadlines for submission of test scores. You should therefore get in contact with the institution you are interested in and allow appropriate time for the receipt of scores by the Admissions Office.

Can you take the exam multiple times? Yes, you can retake the test as many times as you wish, but you cannot take it more than once in a 12-day period. If you already have a test appointment, you cannot register for another test date that is within 12 days of your existing appointment.

How does the scoring work? There is no passing or failing test score: higher education institutions set their own TOEFL requirements. You will receive four section scores and a total score:

  • Reading Section (Score of: 0–30)
  • Listening Section (Score of: 0–30)
  • Speaking Section (Score of: 0–30)
  • Writing Section (Score of: 0–30)
  • Total Score (0–120)

What is the length of the exam? The entire TOEFL iBT test session (including check-in) is approximately four and one-half hours. The test itself is four hours. Check-in time is 30 minutes.

What is the breakdown of test sections? The TOEFL test consists of the following 4 sections which take approximately 4.5 hours to complete: 

  • Reading, 60 - 80 minutes: Read three passages from academic texts and answer questions
  • Listening, 60 - 90 minutes: Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations and answer questions
  • Speaking, 20 minutes: Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks
  • Writing, 50 minutes: Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing

 

For undergraduate study in the U.S., there are several standardized exams that universities may request during the admissions process. The most common are the ACT and SAT.

ACT: About the Exam

What is the exam used for? An increasing number of students applying to U.S. Universities are now opting for the ACT rather than the SAT. The ACT is a curriculum and standards-based educational and career planning tool that assesses students' academic readiness for college. Taking the test often results in increased college enrolment, especially for underrepresented students.

Where can students take the exam? The ACT can be taken in countries all over the world. Find your local ACT test center.

How much does it cost to take the exam? 
    International Testing (Outside the U.S. or Canada) - $33.00
    ACT (No Writing) - $36.50
    ACT Plus Writing - $52.50

How do you register for the exam? You can register online.

What does the exam assess? The ACT motivates students to perform to their best ability. Test scores reflect what students have learned throughout high school and provides colleges and universities with excellent information for recruiting, advising, placement and retention.

When should you take the exam? Most students take the ACT during their junior or senior year in high school.

Can you take the exam multiple times? Yes. At least half of all students take the ACT twice — in the spring of their junior year and in the fall of their senior year. Most students also improve their score the second time around.

How does the scoring work? Five scores of 1-36 per subject area with a Composite Score: 1-36

What is the length of the exam? 3 hours and 25 minutes

What is the breakdown of test sections? Five sections – English, Math, Reading, Science and an Optional Writing Test. The Optional Writing Test measures writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses.

Free ACT Resources! You can access the free ACT QuizBank and create your own ACT quizzes! You can customize by difficulty, length, subject area and delivery mode.


SAT: About the Exam

What is the exam used for? The SAT is a globally recognized, standardized test for admission to U.S. Universities and Colleges. It is administered six times each year internationally and seven in the U.S. It is designed to assess your academic readiness for college and provides a path to opportunities, financial support and scholarships, in a way that's objective to all students. SAT scores are just one of many factors that colleges consider when making their admission decisions - high school grades and extra-curricular activities are also very important.

Where can students take the exam? The SAT can be taken in countries all over the world. Find your local SAT test center.

How much does it cost to take the exam? $51 + Non-U.S Regional Fee

How do you register for the exam? You can register online.

What does the exam assess? The SAT measures your ability to analyze and solve problems in math, critical reading and writing.

When should you take the exam? Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year in high school. The College Board offers the SAT seven times in a year: October, November, December, January, March, May and June.

For the SAT Subject Tests™, most students take them toward the end of their junior year or at the beginning of their senior year. In general, you should take tests such as World History, Biology E/M, Chemistry or Physics as soon as possible after completing the course in the subject. Students tend to do better on other tests like languages after at least two years of study.

Can you take the exam multiple times? Yes. At least half of all students take the SAT twice — in the spring of their junior year and in the fall of their senior year. Most students also improve their score the second time around.

How does the scoring work? Three scores of 200-800 per section, making a total out of 2400. The essay makes up 1/4 of the total Writing score and is scored from 0-12.

What is the length of the exam? 3 hours and 45 minutes

What is the breakdown of test sections? Ten sections - three Math, three Critical Reading, three Writing and one Experimental section which does not count towards the score.
• The math section includes questions on arithmetic operations, algebra, geometry, statistics and probability
• The critical reading section includes reading passages and sentence completions
• The writing section includes a short essay and multiple-choice questions on identifying errors and improving grammar and usage

Free SAT Resources! Kaplan offers a variety of free resources online to give you an insight into the SAT exam and what it consists of.

SAT Practice Questions: Download a range of SAT Math and Writing questions with answers and explanations to see how well you are understanding and approaching the questions. This is a great way to see if you would like to sign up for the free SAT Online Practice Test & Score Review

SAT Turbo Test: Want to see how you would score on the SAT without having to sit through the actual 4 hour exam? Why not take the SAT Turbo Test – an adaptive test that's only 30 minutes long and gives you a predictive score at the end!

Free SAT Online Practice Test & Score Review: You can take an online practice test with score review by signing up for a free live online event! Join participants from around the world to gain essential SAT strategies and tips to gain a higher score.

GMAT: About the Exam

What is the exam used for? The GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) exam is a standardized exam used by admissions officers for MBA programs and taken by students who are seeking MBA degrees. Considered to be a primary indicator of the ability to perform and compete at graduate level, the GMAT is often the defining element of an MBA candidate’s application. The benefit of a high GMAT score includes consideration for scholarships and fellowships and can also make you stand out for other school-specific awards.

Where can students take the exam? The GMAT can be taken in countries all over the world at any given time of the year. Find your local GMAT testing center.

How much does it cost to take the exam? $250 (worldwide)

How do you register for the exam? You can register online.

What does the exam assess? The GMAT assesses a test taker’s ability to properly analyze different types of questions and theories in the areas of Math, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Essay writing.

When should you take the exam? The GMAT is available year round. Most students take the GMAT in the Fall or Spring prior to the start of their MBA program (with most programs starting in September each year).

Can you take the exam multiple times? Yes. In fact, most GMAT students take the exam at least twice, but often three times depending on how long they have before submitting applications. Scores last for 5 years once they are completed.

How does the scoring work? GMAT score totals range from 200 to 800. A test taker’s Verbal and Quantitative scores range from 0 to 60 and are calculated on a fixed scale. As scores are calculated based on the number of questions answered per section, there is a penalty for leaving questions unanswered or skipping questions. The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section is based on one essay and is scored on a range of 0 to 6 in half-point intervals. All essays are scored independently twice (one human and one automated) and the final score is an average of these two totals.

What is the length of the exam? 3 Hours, 30 Minutes in total

What is the breakdown of test sections? 

  • Quantitative Section - 75 minutes in Total, 37 Questions
  • Verbal Section - 75 minutes in Total, 41 Questions
  • Analysis of An Argument Essay - 30 minutes in Total
  • Integrated Reasoning Section - 30 minutes in total, 12 Questions

Free GMAT Resources! Kaplan provides a variety of free resources online to give students insight on the GMAT.

GMAT Practice Test: Download a free full-length GMAT practice exam which includes a realistic interface just as you would see on test day. Following completion, you’ll receive a detailed score analysis and feedback showing your areas of strength and weaknesses for each section.

GMAT Preview Class - Anywhere Event: Interested in learning more about Kaplan’s GMAT courses? Sign up for our Free GMAT Preview Class event to gain better insight on how our courses run and understand the ‘Kaplan Method’ which will help you get a higher score on test day! This course is hosted live online and taught by one of our GMAT experts.

GMAT Mastering the GMAT - Anywhere Event: Targeted at students who are interested in scoring 700+ on the exam, this Free online event offers students the chance gain insight on how to tackle the GMAT’s most difficult questions. Led by one of Kaplan’s expert instructors, Mastering the GMAT events often fill up quickly.

GRE: About the Exam

What is the exam used for? The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a standardized test used by graduate schools to determine the likeliness of success of candidates interested in postgraduate, non-MBA programs. The exam focuses on quantitative, verbal and analytical writing skills and is required for most U.S.-based graduate schools and a select few in other regions of the world.

For students who require entry to specific and specialized programs in science, there are also a range of GRE Subject Tests which can be taken.

Where can students take the exam? The GRE is available globally and takes places several times each year. Based on your location, your exam may be paper based or computer based. Learn more and enroll.

How much does it cost to take the exam? Registration for the GRE is $150. Those who register late (based on their test date) are charged an additional fee of $25.

How do you register for the exam? You can register for the GRE online.

What does the exam assess? The GRE assesses question types which students are most likely to see during their courses in graduate school. These include:

  • Verbal Reasoning – Measures the ability to analyze and evaluate written materials and relationships between words and concepts
  • Quantitative Reasoning – Measures the ability to problem solve with a focus on basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis concepts
  • Analytical Writing – Measures critical thinking and analytical writing concepts

When should you take the exam? It is recommended that you take the GRE as early as possible in correlation to your graduate school application deadlines. Many Graduate programs request that applicants submit their application by May for September entry, so you will want to consider sitting your exam towards the end of the year prior to when you are seeking entry or in the first few months of the year.

Can you take the exam multiple times? Yes, however you may only take the GRE once per calendar month and no more than five times per calendar year.

How does the scoring work? You will receive scores based on a range for all sections of your GRE exam. Your Verbal and Quantitative sections are scored on a scale from 130 to 180 points, based on increments of 1 point. Your Analytical writing score ranges from 0 to 6 in half incremental points.

What is the length of the exam? The length of your exam will depend on the type of exam you are taking as timing varies for computer-based versus paper-based GRE exams. For either type of exam, the Analytical Writing section will always appear first with the other sections following in any order. The computer-based section also includes two additional sections which are unscored and used only for research purposes.

Computer-Based GRE: The Computer-based version of the GRE takes 3 hour and 45 minutes to compete and includes four sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing and an unscored research section.

Paper-Based GRE: The paper-based GRE takes 3 hours and 30 minutes and consists of only three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing.

What is the breakdown of test sections? 

Computer-Based Version

  • Verbal Reasoning – Consists of two 30-minute sections, each containing 20 questions
  • Quantitative Reasoning – Consists of two 35-minute sections, each containing 20 questions
  • Analytical Writing – 30 minutes per section, two essays: ‘Analyze an Issue’ and 'Analyze an Argument’

Paper-Based Version

  • Verbal Reasoning – Consists of two 35 minute sections, each containing 25 questions
  • Quantitative Reasoning – Consists of two 40 minute sections, each containing 25 questions
  • Analytical Writing – 30 minutes per section, two essays: ‘Analyze an Issue’ and 'Analyze an Argument’

Free GRE Resources! Kaplan offers a wide range of free online resources which will provide you with insight into the GRE exam and what it consists of.

GRE Online Practice Test: Complete a GRE practice test at your convenience to get an idea of your current score level. Featuring all sections of the exam, this is a great way to familiarize yourself with the test and aim towards a higher score.

GRE Test Drive Seminar: Hosted live online, this 4-hour practice session offers you the chance to try out real exam questions under test-like conditions alongside other students. You’ll get immediate answers and analysis from our expert GRE instructors in a ‘rapid-fire’ forum.

LSAT: About the Exam

What is the exam used for? The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day, standardized test administered four times each year. The test is an integral part of the law school admission process to assess applicants in the United States, Canada, and a growing number of other countries.

Where can students take the exam? The LSAT can be taken in countries all over the world. Find your local LSAT test center.

How much does it cost to take the exam? Registration for the LSAT is $120. Those who register late will be charged an additional late fee of $60.

How do you register for the exam? You can register online.

What does the exam assess? The LSAT is designed to test the critical reading and analytical thinking skills deemed important for success in the first year of U.S. law school. You will have acquired these skills to some extent over your academic career and the next step is to put these forward to gain maximized performance in the LSAT. You will not be required to regurgitate memorized facts or apply learned formulas to specific problems. You will, however, be required to think thoroughly, quickly and strategically as this is a ‘skills-based test’.

When should you take the exam? You should take the LSAT as early as possible before law school application deadlines. Many law schools request that applicants take the test by December for admission in the following fall's entering class. If you think you might need to repeat the test after getting your initial score, plan to take the LSAT first in either June or October. This will give you enough time to access your score and then register for the test again in December.

Can you take the exam multiple times? Yes, however you may not take the LSAT more than three times in any two-year period. This policy applies even if you cancel your score or it is not otherwise reported.

How does the scoring work? You do not receive a pass or fail on the LSAT; instead you receive a “score band” which is an overall score. You also receive a percentile rank which compares you to other test takers.
Your LSAT score report will not provide separate scores for the individual multiple choice sections. Instead you will receive an overall score which ranges from 120 to 180.

What is the length of the exam? The five, 35-minute multiple choice sections are a total of 175 minutes long and the writing sample is 30 minutes long. Add to that some administrative work and a break and the whole LSAT test day "experience" will take you about 4 to 5 hours.

What is the breakdown of test sections? Four of the five sections will contribute to your score. These sections include one reading comprehension section, one analytical reasoning section and two logical reasoning sections. A 35-minute writing sample is administered at the end of the test. This is not scored by LSAC, but instead copies are sent to all law schools to which you apply.

Free LSAT Resources: Kaplan offers a variety of free resources online to give you an insight into the LSAT exam and what it consists of. This can range from attending a live online practice test event or taking a free practice test in your own time!

LSAT Online Practice Test: Take an LSAT practice test at your convenience to get an idea of your current score level. Featuring all sections of the exam, this is a great way to familiarize yourself with the test and aim towards a higher score.

The LSAT Challenge: Hosted live online, this 1-hour practice session offers you the chance to try out real exam questions under test-like conditions alongside other students. You’ll get immediate answers and analysis from our expert LSAT instructors in a ‘rapid-fire’ forum.

LSAT Practice Test Event: This live online event offers you the chance to sit a full-length practice test under real test conditions. You will receive a detailed score report, including a breakdown of your performance by section and question type, highlighting your strengths and weaknesses.

MCAT: About the Exam

What is the exam used for? The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is a computer-based exam used by U.S. medical schools to predict the probable success of students interested in entering the medical field.

Where can students take the exam? The MCAT can be taken globally. Find your local MCAT test center.

How much does it cost to take the exam? U.S. Based Exams range from $275 -$325. The International Testing fee for the MCAT is $90.

How do you register for the exam? You can register online.

What does the exam assess? The MCAT assesses a student’s ability to excel in various medical subject areas through problem solving, critical thinking and extensive knowledge of science concepts which will be applied later in one’s medical career. Scores are reported in the areas of Verbal Reasoning, Biological Sciences and Physical Science.

When should you take the exam? Most undergraduate students in the U.S. complete the MCAT the summer before their junior year of college.

Can you take the exam multiple times? Yes. Students are allowed to take the MCAT as many times as they wish as long as they leave a 24 hour gap in between testing times. They can not register at more than one testing center at a time.

How does the scoring work? The MCAT is scored on a range of 1 to 15 per section. The writing section of the exam is scored on range of 1 to 6. The raw score from the writing section is then converted into an alphabetic scale where ‘J’ is the lowest score and ‘T’ is the highest score.

What is the length of the exam? The entire exam takes 5 hours, 30 minutes to complete, with provided set breaks.

What is the breakdown of test sections? The MCAT has four sections:

  • Physical Sciences – 52 Questions, 70 minutes
  • Verbal Reasoning – 40 Questions, 60 minutes
  • Biological Science – 52 Questions, 70 minutes
  • Trial Section (Voluntary) 32 Questions, 45 minutes

Free MCAT Resources!

MCAT Practice Test: Interested to know how you would do on the exam? Kaplan offers a full-length downloadable practice exam which students may take as often as they choose.

MCAT Live Online Events: Kaplan provides students with the opportunity to explore the exam through many different lenses. Whether you are interested in learning more about Kaplan’s courses specifically or want a preview on the upcoming changes to the exam which are set for 2015, all of our Free Events are led by expert instructors who can answer all your questions!

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