What are admissions tests?
The university admissions process (both for undergraduate and graduate programs) differs by country, by institution, and by program. There are, however, certain components which are fairly standard: an application form, essays or personal statements, transcripts from previous education, and letters of recommendation are all common themes in any application. Because these elements can be very difficult to compare, admissions tests are often used to provide universities with an additional way of evaluating and differentiating applicants.
The principle behind admissions tests is to assess the critical thinking skills appropriate to the course being applied for. Admissions tests generally do not test specific subject knowledge, but are designed to provide a measure of ability.
A poor score on an admissions test can reflect badly on an otherwise good quality application; likewise a high score can make all the difference to the weaker applicant.
Standardized admission tests (GMAT, SAT, GRE, TOEFL and others) were originally introduced in the United States. These tests are now used worldwide as applications become more competitive. These standardized tests are normally multiple-choice aptitude tests that are administered in the same testing conditions at special testing centers worldwide.
Can test preparation help?
Admissions tests are standardized, and so it follows that there are standard ways to prepare for them – via content review, proven methods and strategies with which to approach and tackle the questions, time management skills, and that most important component of test preparation – practice.
Kaplan is the world leader in test preparation – in the past 70 years we have helped over 3 million students prepare for admissions test and ultimately gain admission to the program of their choice. With a global presence and the expertise of hundreds of teachers, tutors, curriculum specialists and student advisors, we are the smart choice for test prep.