Academic Entrance Examinations

International students usually have to take two kinds of exams in order to apply at a university in the United States. It is important to spend a significant amount of time preparing for each of these exams.

A variety of classes are available to help prepare students for these standardized tests by teaching test-taking strategies, test management skills, and familiarizing the student with the format of each test.

All of these tactics help to get the best score possible. Several well respected test preparation courses are offered by Kaplan and the Princeton Review.

The first exam that international students have to take is the Test of English as a Foreign Language, also known as the TOEFL (pronounced “toe-FULL”).

Unless you are a native English speaker, all colleges and universities will require your scores from this test. Additional information about the TOEFL can be found in our English as a Second Language section.

Most schools also require a second test which measures academic ability. This can either be the SAT (pronounced “es-AY-te”) or the ACT (pronounced “AY-see-tee”). 

Both tests are multiple-choice and written in English. To do well on these tests you must be proficient in English, otherwise you will likely perform poorly regardless of your academic abilities. However, students often use several test-taking strategies to improve their scores on the SAT and the ACT.