Test yourself before going abroad

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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KATHMANDU: If you wish to pursue your higher studies in countries other than Nepal, you must take care of a number of things. The most important of all is to get entry into the educational institutions in those countries. Only after thorough evaluation are limited students selected among thousands who have applied for a particular programme in a particular college or university. As such different tests are taken to evaluate a student and such tests can be divided into two categories — language proficiency test and aptitude test.
 
Getting admission 
 
Among the two categories, in language proficiency test, tests like International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Pearson Test of English (PTE) and Cambridge Advance English (CAE) are popular and are available Nepal. Meanwhile, in aptitude test, Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are available in Nepal.
 
As per Sanprith Gupta, Head of Department of Academics at Kathmandu Alfa Beta Institute Pvt Ltd, the above-mentioned tests are globally recognised, but the acceptance of these tests may vary as per the college and university. While some colleges may ask for TOEFL, other may ask for IELTS and so on.
 
However, the language proficiency test “is mandatory not only for students who aspire to study abroad but even for those who want to go abroad for work and immigration purposes” as per Gupta.
 
The students who are planning to go abroad and want to get admitted into the undergraduate and graduate courses after their +2 levels need language proficiency test.
 
Meanwhile talking about SAT, GMAT and GRE, Gupta shared, “Aptitude test could also help students get scholarship according to the rules and policy of a particular educational institute abroad.”
 
Romanus Chettri, Administrator at Universal Language and Computer Institute informed, “To have the score sheet of aptitude test is an added advantage for any student because as the colleges receive thousands of application from the world over, these tests help the colleges find out applicants’ level to study in international scenario.”
 
Language proficiency test
 
Language proficiency test determines one’s ability to communicate in the English language. The evaluators learn about ability of the student — whether a student can understand the medium of instruction in English.
 
Gupta further informed, “The test accesses in four areas of English Language skills that are listening, reading, writing and speaking. And the minimum requirement in each band is 6.5 and lesser than that in any of the four areas means lesser chance to get accepted.”
 
He explained, “If one gets lesser marks in listening and higher marks than the minimum requirement in other areas, then it would not help the student as studies abroad are usually research-based. Then it means the student would not be able to understand native English speaking teacher which is definitely going to affect their studies. As such the student would not get selected.”
 
About the validity of the test, Chettri informed, “IELTS and TOEFL have two years’ validity meanwhile CAE has lifetime validity in the UK and two years in other countries.”
 
PTE and CAE have been recently introduced in Nepal. And revealing the advantages of these tests, Gupta stated, “PTE has provision for last minute examination. It means a student can take on demand testing that is usually opened up once a student gives 48 hours prior notice. And the result is also delivered after five business days which is the shortest time duration of result publishing among others. Meanwhile, besides reading, writing, speaking and listening, CAE has one extra section that concentrates on grammar use.”
 
These language proficiency tests are accepted in the US, the UK, Australia and European countries as well as in other nations where the language of instruction is in English. The questionnaire for the language proficiency test is the same globally.
 
Aptitude test
 
Aptitude test on the other hand determines a student’s ability for reasoning and analysing the given situation to draw the right conclusion where Gupta argued, “It is not about testing knowledge, but is about testing how good a student is at reasoning in various situations and grasping information with reasoning.”
 
SAT is taken by +2 and A Level graduates where the test deals with critical thinking skills of the students. The areas under SAT are reading, writing and mathematics and this test has validity for five years and is accepted only in the US as per Gupta.
 
Meanwhile, GMAT centres around topics like verbal, quantitative (mathematics) and analytical writing assessment and GRE focuses on analytical writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. GRE is taken by students who want to pursue Master’s level in Management and Business. However, Gupta shared, “Before 2011 GRE was based only for non-Management students and now it has been accepted for Management educational institutions. And it is mandatory in Germany, the US, European countries and Australia. Whereas countries like India and Nepal do not accept GRE.”
 
He added, “GMAT is valid worldwide and even in India and Nepal.” Both GRE and GMAT have validity of five years. 
 
Both Gupta and Chettri suggested the students to practice, work hard as well as show sincerity, dedication and manage time to get higher scores in language proficiency test and aptitude test.
 
(Source: The Himalayantimes)