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Entrance exams for studying in the UK

Know which exams to give if you’re applying to the UK universities

With 18 of its universities ranking in the global top 100 by the QS World University Rankings 2021, the UK is a popular choice for international studies by most students across the world. While the country offers a great cultural experience, international exposure and world-class degrees, you may need to take some standardised tests to fulfil your university application. 

English language proficiency tests 

Given you are aiming to study in a country where English is a primary language, the first step is to score high in an English language proficiency test such as IELTS (International English Language Testing System).  Being the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test, IELTS is recognised by more than 10,000 organisations globally, including educational institutions, professional associations, employers, and governments of more than 140 countries. 

For a successful application, you’ll require a minimum band of 6, while the top UK universities may ask for a band over 6.5, with no band less than 6 in all four modules. This requirement is subjective to the institution of your choice, so do check it properly beforehand. 

Know more about IELTS 

Academic exams required to study in the UK

1. For graduate business programs and other post-graduate courses:

  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test): GMAT is accepted in most UK universities as it helps gauge the general knowledge of a student in respect to the subjects such as Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, Grammar, etc. It is a mandatory test for all graduate business programs

  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination): It’s a standardised test taken by applicants applying for a graduate degree program in the UK Universities 

However, some specific courses may require you to take some specific tests, such as:

2. For law aspirants

  • Cambridge Law Test: It’s a paper-based test that judges your critical thinking abilities as a law aspirant

  • The National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT): It is the test that judges your overall skills including reasoning, interpretation of information, analysing and coming to conclusions relating to any situation. However, it does not require you to have prior knowledge of law as a subject 

3. If you are a Mathematics student

  • Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT): It’s a graded paper-based mathematics test conducted together by two of the most reputed British universities – Oxford and Cambridge. You may have to take this test if you are aiming to apply for an undergraduate degree course in Mathematics or Computer Science

  • Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP):  This STEP test is for the University of Cambridge and the University of Warwick. As a test taker, it tests your knowledge of standard undergraduate mathematics subjects 

4. For medical aspirants 

  • Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT): If you aim to apply for a course in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Dentistry 

  • The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT): This test is developed by the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) and the Consortium of Graduate Medical Schools to select elite candidates. You’ll take this if you aim to apply for a medical graduate course in the UK

  • Health Professions Admission Test (HPAT): It’s required if you want to study and become a healthcare professional

  • UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT): There are universities in the UK that require you to appear for test if you want to enrol for medical or dental degree programs

Some UK universities ask for these tests as a part of their application process. Though most course-related admission tests are conducted between August and November for UK universities, do check their deadlines as it varies with the course. We suggest you connect with your IDP counsellor who can guide you step-by-step and help you understand how to move forward with the application process.

Note: Given the current COVID-19 situation, there might be some changes in the 2020/21 intakes. Don’t worry, our international education experts are here to guide you with the latest updates to help you apply to your desired course and institution. Feel free to connect with our experts for a free counselling session and keep posted about the latest COVID- 19 updates.

Updated on November 20, 2020

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UK University Guide 2021

This university guide can help you find your perfect university based on all the significant parameters rather than just rankings. Know more!

Russell Group Universities

The Russell Group comprises of 24 leading British universities, which are committed to offer world-class research, excellent teaching and learning experience and has strong industry connections.


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