Types of Admissions Exam

Colleges North America

Standardized access tests

Many American universities now require standardized access tests. You have to find out exactly what entry requirements there are before you apply to the university.

These are mostly multiple-choice tests designed to check whether an applicant has certain skills for “undergraduate studies”.
The three most important “undergraduate” entrance tests:

  • SATI
  • SAT Subject Tests
  • American College Testing (ACT) assessment


It is a kind of intelligence test that takes about an hour. American high school graduates must take an aptitude test if they want to go to college. In the first part of this test (SAT I), linguistic and mathematical skills are tested. Then there are some subject-related tests. Depending on the American university, you do not have to do these tests as a German with a general university entrance qualification.

This test is offered worldwide several times a year. Registration is required. There are SAT test centers at the IUB Bremen and at international schools (in Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart). The SAT test costs $ 45; in addition there is the surcharge for subject tests.
Information at: Website: http://www.collegeboard.com.

SAT subjects test

Also a multiple choice test that tests knowledge of selected subjects. Which subjects are either prescribed by the university or you can choose freely. The test takes about an hour.
Information is available at: Website: http://www.collegeboard.com.

The American College Testing Assessment (ACT)

The test is offered five times a year worldwide. Advance registration is necessary. The whole thing is a multiple choice test that tests knowledge of English, math, reading and science. Whether you need this test as a student abroad, you can ask the relevant universities.
Information on this is available at: Website: http://www.act.org.

There are further tests for graduate courses:

  • GRE – Graduate Record Examination
  • GRE Subject Tests
  • GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test

GRE – Graduate Record Examination

Information at: www.gre.org
A general test for the application for Master programs (Graduate Level), consisting of three sections:

  • Analytical writing – 2 essays (comment on a topic and analysis of a specific issue (duration: 75 minutes).
  • Verbal reasoning – language skills (30 questions in 30 minutes)
  • Quantitative reasoning – mathematical-logical thinking (28 questions in 45 minutes) The test takes place several times a week and costs $ 160.

GRE Subject Tests

Information at: www.gre.org
Additional tests in 8 disciplines (Biochemistry / Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology) (are sometimes required for a graduate-oriented graduate course). The test costs $ 150 and takes place on fixed dates at the TU Berlin, International Business School Freiburg, America Center Hamburg, LMU Munich. A pre-registration is necessary.

GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test

Information at: Website: http://www.mba.com/
Requirement for graduate applications in business subjects, especially for the MBA. It is not specialist knowledge that is tested, but rather logical, mathematical and analytical skills. The test costs $ 250, takes about 4 hours and takes place regularly in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.
There are special GMAT preparation courses that are offered in some cities in Germany.

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language

Whether in university or in everyday life, if you want to study across the pond, it is of course very important to master the language. In order to study at an American university, you have to provide proof of language proficiency.

This is usually the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language), with which you can prove that you can write, read and understand English. Language skills in North American English are tested using multiple choice tests and an essay.

The TOEFL test is divided into four sections: listening, structure, reading and writing. Different questions are asked depending on the level. To pass the test, you have to achieve a certain number of points. An internet-based version of the test is now available worldwide and costs around $ 225.