Academic Admission Tests

Standardised academic admission tests and ability tests are widely used in some countries, particularly the USA. Applicants must complete these tests in advance and submit the results together with the remaining application documents. The university then uses the test results as one of several criteria for deciding on admission.

Academic admission tests for the Bachelor’s programme

Academic admission tests play a particularly important role in the application process for bachelor’s degrees at US universities and colleges. This is partly due to the fact that the study system in the USA is very heterogeneous.

There are strong fluctuations in quality between the individual high schools and school districts and, at the same time, there are no centrally prescribed national final examinations in the USA.

For this reason, it is difficult to compare the school-leaving certificates obtained, so standardised academic admission tests such as SAT and ACT are intended to assume this function. They are therefore an important selection criterion for US universities.

Academic admission tests for the Master’s programme

The U. S. universities often also require aptitude or admission test for the application of further study programs such as the Master’s degree. In addition to the interdisciplinary GRE, there are several other subject-specific academic admission tests that regulate access to a Master’s programme in certain subject areas:

  • GMAT for subjects in economics
  • LSAT for Jura
  • MCAT for medicine

The purpose of these academic admission tests is also to be able to better assess and compare the applicants‘ abilities and their suitability for the respective studies. Study programmes such as the MBA, the LLM or studies at the Medical School are open to applicants with very different academic backgrounds. The academic admission tests set the standards by which universities can assess applicants.

Most of these tests require almost exclusively American universities. Only the GMAT has established itself as the central academic admission test for MBA programs at business schools and universities around the world. On the following pages you will find detailed information on the individual important study ability and admission tests.