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Standardised uni application tests: What you need to know for studying in the USA

September 22, 2016 
Yasemin Gumushan

Ever dreamed of taking your university studies to the United States of America?

The statue of Liberty and Manhattan, New York City


With the USA the most popular destination in the world for international students, you’re in good company.


As part of the admission process, it’s highly likely that the US college or university that you want to study at will require all its undergraduate and graduate students take one or more standardised tests. Many require your best score only.


If you’re planning on making the trip stateside for university, then, the pressure is on.


So, what are the important things to know about these tests?


Used to measure and compare the abilities of students from different educational backgrounds and previous institutions, the results from the tests will become part of your admissions pack. Along with your scores, essays, grades, references and evidence of personal work experience, the test results will be taken into consideration by university admissions tutors.


Remember: these tests are usually taken 18 months before you plan to start your stateside studies, so planning ahead is important – and there are also websites, tutors and books to help you revise for them.


With this in mind, the American College Testing (ACT) test can be really useful in applying to study in at your dream US university. ACT measures students’ capability and skills in the form of multiple choice tests in four areas: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. ACT is a curriculum-based multiple-choice test that measures knowledge on these subjects, whilst other standardised tests will measure critical writing, reading and mathematical abilities. ACT lasts for almost three hours, and also offers the opportunity to add an additional 40-minute essay to show the admission team your skills.


Amongst all standardised university application tests, sufficient English skills to complete the academic programme are assessed to ensure ‘college readiness’. It’s also important to remember you as a student don’t have to necessarily score high across all four subjects, as admissions for an economics degree will not be too worried about your scientific photosynthesis knowledge. Although, there are industry specific tests which might be necessary, depending on your degree choice.


Being the leading US college admissions testing company, more than 1.8 million graduates each year take ACT. Reaching over 50 states in more than 130 countries, students are guided onto their new learning adventure for educational success by taking the test.


If you are interested in studying in the US, it’s important to check with the college/university to see if there’s a compulsory standardised test to complete and be sure to book your place as soon as possible.

For more information visit the American College Testing (ACT) site here.



  1. newedgecs - October 5, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Good information studying in USA..Thanks for sharing

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