Like it, hate it or ignore it, but it is a fact that a foreign degree, especially an MBA from a reputed foreign university, can add immense value to your professional resume. Furthermore, the kind of industry exposure, learning environment, and post-MBA job opportunities that foreign business schools like Wharton or Harvard provide is unparalleled.

However, many MBA aspirants are often unaware of the international exams required to enter these overseas programs and all the related information. Check this post to understand how to proceed with your overseas MBA dreams.

Overview of Entrance Exams for MBA Abroad 

Entrance exams for overseas MBA programs can be broadly divided into the following two categories-

  • Tests to Measure Management Aptitude 
  • GRE
  • GMAT

 

  • Tests to Measure English Language Proficiency
  • TOEFL
  • IELTS

Understanding Each Exam

 

  • GMAT

The US-based non-profit organization GMAC (Graduate Management Admissions Council) conducts GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) multiple times every year. GMAT scores are recognized for admission to business schools in the USA and many other countries like the UK, France, Spain, and Australia. 

Interested candidates can register for GMAT at any time of the year and choose the exam date as well. Furthermore, a candidate can choose to reappear for the exam and his convenience if he is not satisfied with his score. However, a candidate is not allowed to appear in the exam more than five times in a cycle of twelve months.

Exam Format

Sr. No.Test SectionsTime Limit    (in minutes)
1Analytical writing assessment30
2Integrated reasoning30
3Quantitative reasoning62
4Verbal reasoning65

[READ: How to Prepare for GMAT]

 

  • GRE 

Graduate Record Examination or GRE is conducted by Educational Testing Services (ETS), the world’s largest private non-profit educational testing and assessment organization. A candidate can take this test anytime in a year by selecting the exam date at his convenience. Like GMAT, you can re-attempt the test after 21 days. 

Unlike GMAT, which can only be used for MBA admission, GRE scores can be used to take admission in various postgraduate programs like MS, dual degree, and even PhD.

Exam Format

Sr. No.Test SectionsTime Limit    (in minutes)
1Analytical writing 30
2Verbal reasoning30
3Quantitative reasoning35
4UnscoredVaries
5Research

[READ: GRE VS GMAT]

 

  • TOEFL

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a widely used English language proficiency test conducted by ETS. Over 10,000 colleges and universities worldwide, including the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc.,  accept TOEFL scores. 

The test assesses both the written and verbal English proficiency of non-native English speakers. A candidate can take the test a maximum of 12 times a year with a minimum gap of  12 days between two successive tests.

 

  • IELTS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is another popular English language proficiency test used for academic and immigration purposes. IELTS tests are of two types:

 

  • IELTS Academic

This test assesses your ability to continue your education in an English-speaking environment. The test stresses English vocabulary that is expected in an academic environment. It is suitable for those who want to pursue their higher studies in an English-speaking country.

 

  • IELTS General Training

This test is suitable for those who want to move to an English-speaking country for studies below degree level. It is also suitable for those looking to immigrate to an English-speaking country for work and employment opportunities.

Exam Format For TOEFL and IELTS

Sr. No.Test SectionsTime Limit    (in minutes)
TOEFLIELTS
1Reading60-8060
2Listening60-9030
3Speaking2011-14
4Writing5060

Other Important Information

Sr. No.Name of the ExamValidityLower Age LimitUpper Age LimitMaximum Number of Attempts Allowed for an Applicant in a LifetimeApproximate Fees in India

 (in $)

1.GMAT5 years18 YearsNo Restrictions8 times275.00
2.GRE5 yearsNo Restrictions213.00
3.TOEFL2 years190.00
4.IELTS2 years245.00

[Source: Official websites]

Tips to Ace Your Exams

Each of the exams mentioned above requires extensive preparation as the competition is high, and the tests have certain standards that they have maintained since inception. Besides, one can’t afford to take these tests frequently due to the high registration charges.

Therefore, you should aim to crack these exams in as few attempts as possible. Following are some common tips that you can keep in mind while preparing for these exams.

 

  • Select Your Target Exams

There is no point in appearing at every exam that comes your way expecting to get lucky. Instead, you should narrow down your target exams as per your goal and start preparing accordingly. For instance, you can select between GMAT or GRE depending upon your goal to pursue an MBA or an MS. 

Similarly, you don’t need to appear for both TOEFL and IELTS as they can often serve the same purpose. You should first find out which one is acceptable at the university of your choice. 

For example, the TOEFL score is widely accepted in US institutions, whereas most UK universities accept IELTS. Many universities accept either of the two scores. 

 

  • Identify Your Strengths

Carefully understand each section of an exam and identify your scoring areas. For example, you can be very good in either quantitative or verbal reasoning, or both. Therefore, you should target such sections for maximum scoring. 

Similarly, you can concentrate on scoring on the Reading or Writing sections of your language proficiency test if you think of them as your strength areas.

 

  • Work Upon Your Weaknesses

Your strength areas can help elevate your score, but you can’t solely bank upon them to get the desired scorecard. Therefore, it is equally important to work upon the sections you consider tougher to crack. Extensively study with the help of various online and print materials available on the topic. 

Furthermore, you can consider taking the help of professional guidance from experts who are experienced in helping applicants crack such exams.

[READ: Improve Your GMAT by 100 Points in 11 Days]

 

  • Mock Tests and Practice Papers

Solving practice papers and your scores in them can help you track your progress. In this way, you become mentally prepared for your standard and what to expect in the real exam. Furthermore, your exam time management significantly improves as you can better manage your time between various sections.

 

  • Don’t Brood Over Misses

Naturally, you might come across certain questions in the exam that you find challenging to answer despite extensive preparations. However, you have limited time to complete the entire exam. Therefore, it is essential to quickly move on to the next level and not think much about the unanswered questions.

Believe in Yourself

Many applicants believe that overseas MBA entrance tests are a tough nut to crack, which is far from true. You need to understand that overseas universities want you to pursue higher studies on their campuses. These institutions proudly display their multicultural campuses that comprise students like you. 

Therefore, you need to believe in your abilities and know that you can crack such tests with proper planning and guidance. Try to think of these tests as exclusive invitation cards rather than barriers.