Top 5 things to know if you are going to study in USA



Updated On 28 June 2022


Read Time 8 minutes


Universities in the USA rank highly in international charts. That’s why the US has always been the torch bearer in the field of education. Being able to Study in the USA is an opportunity to be a part of an entrepreneurial community. The United States of America has contributed to the world in every industry, be it tech, finance, or medicine. Brands like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Nike, and even Google, where you are reading this blog, are American born! The education system in the USA gives you a chance to learn at one of the most prestigious universities in the world and benefits from cutting-edge technology, a deeply immersive environment, and a highly engaging and collaborative learning experience. The US has the best ranked, world-wide recognised, 1000+ universities, and many of them have Nobel Prize laureates as professors. The United States of America holds one of the most technologically advanced economies, institutions, and industries in the world while being geographically and ethnically diverse. Choosing the US for your studies can be a game-changer for your career.

Education System in USA

The education system in the United States The education system in the USA is a very well thought out system, designed with the utmost expertise and flexibility. The education system in the USA is considered the superior system in the world because it offers overseas students a diverse range of options. Quality, variety, student-centeredness, and well-roundedness are four characteristics of the American educational system. In the United States, there are around 4,500 authorised higher educational institutions that offer three categories of degrees, or you can consider that as programme types in the USA are as follows:

  • Undergraduate Degrees in the USA: It takes four years to complete the degree.

  • An Associate Degree in the USA: An associate degree is a two-year college diploma. It is comparable to a diploma and is offered by community colleges in the United States. It has a two-year duration.

  • A Graduate Degree in the USA: In most universities in the United States, a graduate or master's degree takes two to three years to complete.

  • In the United States, a doctorate degree takes 5 to 8 years to complete.

Intakes in USA

Below mentioned is the list of intakes and their duration in the USA:

  1. Fall term: from August to December

  2. Spring term: from January to April

  3. Summer term: from May to August

Courses in USA

USA offers a variety of courses in every field. There are courses that are STEM courses and NON-STEM courses. STEM is defined as a science, technology, engineering and math in under graduation. For 4 year courses in undergraduate, students have one year stay back and for postgraduate students, the two-year courses which are stem related have three years stay back. NON-STEM courses at all levels have only one year stay back.

English Language Exams in USA


The International English Language Testing System is the globally accepted language proficiency exam. It is graded on a scale of 1 to 9. This tests your proficiency in the English language on four parameters, i.e., speaking, listening, reading, and writing. It usually helps students to get enrollment in their desired universities abroad in countries such as the USA, Australia, Canada, and the UK. One's ability to listen, read, write, and speak in English is assessed during the test. IELTS is graded on a scale of 1-9, and candidates should have a score of overall 6 bands and no less than 6 in any band if they wish to use IELTS for immigration purposes. IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English. Students can give IELTS in two different modes, which are:

  1. IELTS Pen and Paper Delivered
  2. Computer-Delivered IELTS

Check out some universities in the US that are accepting 5.5 IELTS Band Scores.



The Test of English as a Foreign Language is a well-regarded standard exam that guarantees admission to prestigious universities worldwide.More than 35 million people worldwide have chosen the TOEFL test to demonstrate their English-language proficiency. And in some modules, it is quite similar to other language proficiency exams. is graded from 1 to 120. The candidate can appear for any number of times for the exam in a calendar year, but a good preparation period of 3-6 months is preferred. The test score is valid for 2 years.



The Duolingo English test is a modern language proficiency tool designed for today’s international students and institutions. Duolingo is graded on the basis of a scale from 1 to 160. The DUOLINGO test is accepted by many institutions worldwide. Most of the students who are planning overseas education have found the duolingo test quite easy as compared to other language proficiency tests such as IELTS and TOEFL, whereas the duolingo test is not accepted by top-ranked universities and immigration officers also give less importance to it. But yes, this test is really helpful for students who have scored borderline marks on other tests. Nowadays, many students use the Duolingo English Test as an alternative to other standardised proficiency tests. The scores are highly correlated to those of the TOEFL and IELTS, and results are available within 48 hours and are valid for 2 years.



The Pearson Test of English is conducted by its governing body, Pearson PLC group. There are two types: PTE General and PTE Academic. PTE Academic is the one that is used to test your proficiency in the English language while planning to work or study abroad. It is appropriate for applying to study in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.The PTE Academic exam takes two hours to complete.The distinguishing factor of the PTE Academic exam is its quick result declaration policy. PTE Academic exam results are typically released electronically within two business days.This exam is conducted round-the-year and consists of four sections: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Its score is valid for a period of 2 years.

The newly launched 'PTE at Home' is similar to 'PTE Academic' with the added comfort of being at home while taking the test. The PTE Home is an English test that is accepted by the UK Home Office for family and work visas. This particular test is broadly classified into PTE Home A1, PTE Home A2, and PTE Home B1 English tests.

Entrance Exams in USA

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

The GRE exam is taken up by prospective applicants from around the globe who are interested in pursuing a master's, a specialised master's in business, an MBA, a JD or a doctoral degree. This is required for technical and a few management courses. The GRE General Test is accepted at thousands of graduate, business, and law schools. It is graded on the basis of scores, where 340 is the maximum mark and 260 is the minimum mark. You can take the GRE General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days).


Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The GMAT exam is available both at a test centre and online, enabling students to plan their testing strategy as per their convenience. This is required for MBA and masters in management courses in the USA. In the grading system of the GMAT, 200 is considered as the minimum score and 800 is considered the maximum score. The GMAT exam is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council.


Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)

The SAT is the Scholastic Assessment Test, which was formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The SAT has been developed to evaluate the verbal, written, and mathematical skills of the candidates. In general, there are no eligibility requirements for the SAT exam. As a result, almost anyone can take the SAT exam.10th and 12th class students appear for the SAT exam to get admission to their desired programme and institution for under graduation. The college board administers it five times a year in India: in March, May, August, October, and December. This is graded on the basis of points where the minimum point is 400 and the maximum point is 1600. The syllabus of the SAT is differentiated into three parts: reading, writing, and mathematics.


American College Training (ACT)

ACT stands for American College Testing. It is a standardised test that is required to be taken by students looking for enrolment in undergraduate schools based in the USA. The ACT exam has been developed to evaluate the mathematical, verbal, written, and scientific skills of the candidates. This is graded on the basis of scores, where 36 is the maximum and perfect score, and 1 is the minimum score. This test helps international students with immigration also.


For further information on studying in the US and complete guidance on the admission process, visa application process you can call us on our toll free number 1800-1230-00011 or mail us your query at application06@meridean.orgYou can also visit our site to book a free video counselling session with our study abroad counsellors.

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