What Exams are Required to Study in USA?

Do you want to pursue your bachelor’s or master’s degree at a top US university but have poor academic scores and an average student profile? Don’t worry. Many universities in the USA accept entrance exams to offer admission to international students. Some tests are compulsory, whereas others are optional or course-specific. Adding these tests with outstanding scores in the student profile will give you an edge over the other applications. But which exams are required for which courses and programs? And What are the best scores for admission?

This blog will give you information about the exams required to study in the US and the scores accepted at top US universities for international students.

Entrance Exams For Undergraduate Courses in USA

To get admission into undergraduate courses in the USA, you must submit test scores like SAT and ACT. Although these tests are not mandatory, adding it will strengthen your profile. Let’s understand each one below:

  • SAT

SAT, or the Scholastic aptitude test, is one of the popular tests to study for a bachelors in USA. The average scores required for SAT range between 900 to 1300. However, it will vary with the universities. The cost to apply for the SAT is 101 to 117 USD.

  • ACT

ACT scores for top universities in USA range somewhere between 23 to 30. This test evaluates the aptitude and critical thinking skills of students willing to get into bachelor in USA universities. The application fee for the ACT is 46 USD to 63 USD.

Entrance Exams For Postgraduate Courses In USA

Postgraduate programs such as MS, MA or MBA are the highly chosen degrees in USA. Let’s understand each test score required for graduate courses in USA:

  • GRE

GRE or Graduate Record Examinations are essential for engineering courses in USA and other relevant ones. The ETS agency conducts the test and provides students with opportunities to take it on seven specific subjects. The average competitive score for GRE is between 290 to 340. 

  • GMAT

Top Business Schools like Wharton and MIT Sloan preferred to submit GMAT scores for their MBA programs. GMAT exams test the applicant’s quantitative reasoning for admission to top management courses. Anywhere between 650 to 725 in GMAT can get you into the top MS universities in USA.

  • MCAT

Medical College Admission Tests is a multiple choice test required to get admission to medical courses in the USA. This test measures your biological, physical science and reasoning skills. To get into the best medical institutions in the US, you need to score more than 510 on the MCAT.

  • LSAT

LSAT for students who are seeking admission to law schools in USA. The average LSAT for law courses is around 130; however, to get into the top 25 law schools, a score of more than 160 is competitive. 

English Language Proficiency Tests

The language tests are taken by all international students who are from non-native countries. The two most popular tests are IELTS and TOEFL in the USA. It is mandatory to have anyone ELP qualification to study in the USA.


More than 4,000 universities and colleges in the USA accept IELTS scores for admission. The test scores can be somewhere between 6 to 7.5 for getting into top universities.


TOEFL is the most acceptable proficiency test in US universities. The average test scores range between 75 to 95 in US. However, for top-ranked universities, a score of more than 100 and above is competitive for you.

So these are the major entrance tests accepted for admission to universities in USA. Securing an outstanding score in any of the mentioned tests will help you to get some advantages in admission. However, if you want an extra hand to build a strong student profile for top US universities or require any assistance to study abroad, connect with the best overseas educational consultant.

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