Essential Entrance Exams to Study Masters in the USA For Indian Students

Essential Entrance Exams to Study Masters in the USA For Indian Students

Why opt for an MS degree in the USA?

A Master of Science course is an excellent option for students who want to prepare for industry roles. Students studying an MS in the USA take several technical courses and thesis writing courses, varying on their degree goals. There is also an MS (research) program which is taken up by students who are interested in exploring the deep research problems in their fields. Students who show excellence in their academic performance and research potential also have the option to convert to the PhD program. For the MS degree, the USA is the most preferred option for Indian students as it is undoubtedly one of the highly developed countries and a job-providing centre for so many students willing to settle in the dynamic region as well.

The USA is one of the most popular destinations for higher studies for international students. The USA is the home to some of the world’s finest university systems with outstanding science programs. The facilities and lifestyle the United States of America has to offer are what a student looks forward to while selecting a career plan. In fact, the universities in the USA are proud that they are at the forefront of technology and research. They make sure that the best possible tools and resources are made available to their students. Studying MS in the USA will help you broaden not only educational opportunities but the cultural experiences as well.

Entrance Exams which Indian students need to take to be eligible for an MS degree in the USA

Each university has varied criteria for admission in MS in the USA. Nevertheless, the basic necessities are as follows:

  1.  16 years of basic primary education (So qualification of 10+2+ four year degree programs; 10+3 year diploma + 3-year degree; 10+2+ three year degree (Indian B.Sc) + 2-year masters (M.Sc) are eligible)
  2.  Transcripts
  3.  Standardized tests score (like GRE)English Language Proficiency Score (like IELTS/TOEFL/PTE)

Test Scores


The International English Language Testing System, i.e. IELTS, is the world’s most well known English language test. It is the test that opens your ways to a world of academic and professional opportunity in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, the USA and a lot of other places throughout the world where English is the primary language used in classrooms and workplaces.


TOEFL, i.e. Test of English as a foreign language, as the name tells, is a popular exam which tests your English proficiency. All students who wish to get a masters degree abroad may go for this exam. This exam is accepted widely in all North American Universities; this tests whether the students’ ability to speak, write and understand the language as the native speakers. TOEFL is conducted by the ETS (Educational Testing Service). Nations where English is the official/national language, TOEFL exemption is granted automatically.

The mandatory TOEFL requirement is waived to International students belonging to some of the Commonwealth nations. So, in short, the test is meant for non-native English speakers who want to study in the USA/Canada. TOEFL is conducted more than 50 times annually.

Every test has a gap of at least 12 days. This provision gives students the option to take the test as many times as required. TOEFL was started in 1964 and is now applicable in around 130 countries. Almost ten thousand agencies, institutions, and colleges of these countries accept TOEFL. It’s available in both iBT and PBT format.You will need your test scores to be sent to the colleges. There is no base score or cut -off or a passing score set by the ETS, and in any case, colleges will have their own base English capability requirements. For many colleges, the base TOEFL score is 79 or IELTS 6.5 band. Higher ranking colleges will need a TOEFL score of 100+.

TOEFL or IELTS any one test can be taken. All colleges acknowledge TOEFL; however, a couple of colleges in the US don’t consider IELTS. So check the site of your graduate school before you book your test. Barely any colleges waive TOEFL prerequisites for Indian undergrads. So make sure you are well aware of these facts when applying to graduate school. With these things in your mind, you are allowed to apply to any masters programs in any college in the US Likewise, take note that you can also apply to PhD programs with this language qualification.


The standard fixed fee for these exams is Rs 12,100 for IELTS, Rs 13,140 (the US $180) for the TOEFL exam and Rs 13,300 for the PTE exam.

Time to apply

If you are targeting the Fall (September) intake, you should take these exams by November such that you can apply in time, before the first deadline. The universities you will be applying to will specify which exam results they will accept. But if you are given an option to go for either of these, then the choice depends on you. The time needed to prepare for IELTS/TOEFL/PTE depends on the existing relevant English language proficiency. You will require 2 to 4 months of preparation before the exam date.

    4. You would also have to give one of the following exams to qualify for an MS’s course

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)/Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). There are more specific standardized exams for legal and medical spheres.


The Graduate Record Examination, i.e. GRE, is a standardized examination conducted by the Educational Testing Services (ETS), based in the US. The GRE General Test measures your aptitude for admission to thousands of graduates and business schools around the world. Universities abroad ask for these test results for the purpose of admission to their general masters or specialized masters in business or doctoral degrees. The ETS representative in India is the one responsible for holding and conducting the examinations. GRE scores happen to be one of several parameters graduate schools or universities use for assessing an applicant’s qualification for study in many streams.

A high GRE score alone cannot guarantee admission to any graduate school or university abroad. Still, the test needs to be treated a vital hurdle to be cleared in the admission process to many colleges abroad. The GRE scores have been considered (along with the candidate’s undergraduate grades & other qualifications) for 60+ years by the admission panels of thousands of graduate/ business schools globally for admission into their graduate programs. The GRE is administered by ETS worldwide in two separate tests. Only the computer-based test format is available in India.

GRE tests you on three kinds of basic skills. The skills that are mainly tested in this exam are analytical, verbal, and writing. One should also possess mathematical skills, as they are also important. Students willing to pursue a Masters degree like an MSc can apply to any engineering school through this the exam. For enrollment in MS programs, the GRE exam is mandatory. Scholarships are also decided on the basis of the GRE score. For example, the Tata Scholarships for Masters in Engineering. However, there are also fellowship programs which can be accessed through GRE. However, GRE is mainly focused around checking the proficiency skills in the language. Therefore, preparation of GRE also aids the students to have command over the English language.

GRE test does not have any age limits. Also, it also does not have any prerequisite criteria for the examination. However, aspirants need their original passport as their identity proof at the examination centre.

GRE General Test

GRE General Test consists of 3 sections – Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Reasoning. It is a standardized test accepted at many schools. It is the only test where a candidate can edit the given responses that have been entered. All the three sections are analyzed to test the skills. It is accepted by many countries also.

GRE Subject Test

GRE Subject test highlights your knowledge on a particular subject. It emphasizes on the importance of your skills of the concerned discipline. The test is intended for students who have a background in Biology, Chemistry, and Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. Other stream students can’t give this test. It also requires your English skills to put to the test.

Sixteen Years of education

Most of the American universities require 16 years of formal basic education to be eligible for an MS’s degree. Since a graduation degree in countries like India is a three-year program (B.Sc, B.Com, B.A etc.), that makes it 15 years (including ten years of schooling plus two years’ junior college). Here’s some good news, though. Recently, most American universities, including some prominent business schools, have started to accept 15 years of formal education, if the overall of your application package is especially extraordinary.

Practical Experience

Many of MS’s programs, especially in the fields of medicine, education, and technology, demand practical experience and internships. So, apart from group discussions, writing a thesis and, of course, attending lectures, students may be required to have actual professional experience.

Other Basic Checks

The set of alternative parameters a US college will select you on the basis of are your academic records; the school/college you visited; your proposals; research work and distributed work; additional exercises and work capability. The importance of Extra-curricular activities. You will have to present a Statement of Purpose (SOP) too, which is among the most imperative parts of your MS’s application. At last, it is basic that you make up a waitlist of colleges that augment your odds of getting an admission to a decent school. It’s an intricate and sensitive yet logical process.

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