Recent years have witnessed a rapid growth in the flow of Indian students for higher education abroad especially to USA, Canada, UK, Australia and other parts of Europe. One of the positive factors that influence this trend is the economic liberalization and the presence of multinationals in India and South Asia, resulting in swift industrial, professional and socio-economic developments. Added to this is the opening up of global employment opportunities. An additional factor that has encouraged this tendency is the relatively high competition and the difficulties experienced in India. Also, intakes in colleges are restricted and the number of recognized institutions offering courses of one's choice limited.
At the same time, educational institutions abroad have excellent infrastructure with capable faculty handing undergraduate and graduates studies. The courses are more flexible in terms of the range of subjects and the reach to students. It has now become common to see advertisements by institutions of various countries in magazines and newspapers inviting Indian students to join various regular and short-term courses run by them.
A typical good quality institution abroad is equipped to enroll students not only from its country but also from the rest of the world. This openness makes these institutions, perhaps the most sought after educational grounds for Indian students. This has inspired more and more Indian and other-students from South Asia to take the 'foreign-education' plunge. The last couple of years have seen approximately 150,000 Indian students go abroad for higher studies and this makes India one of the best feeder markets for foreign institutions. For Indian students there are many reasons for seeking international qualifications. These include international recognition, systemized admission process, availability of a large variety of courses, flexibility in the education system, many avenues for financial assistance and the post-study opportunities for employment. As per UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2012) the number of Indian students studying abroad has almost tripled from 51,000 in 1999 to over 153,000 in 2007 and stood at over 200,000 in 2010; making India the second nation after China among the world's largest sending countries for tertiary students. In 2010 around 51% of the Indian students abroad pursued education in USA, with around 19% in United Kingdom and around 10% in Australia. And not to forget, these numbers has been increased tremendously since 2010.
PTE Academic is a computer-based academic English language test designed to measure the listening, reading, speaking and writing skills of test takers who are non-native speakers of English.
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) assesses the language ability of people who need to study or work where English is the language of communication. It is an internationally recognised qualification and entry requirement for universities in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It is also widely used by governments as a language proficiency guide when issuing work visas and is accepted by various professional organizations. It consists of four modules as listening ,Reading ,Writing and Speaking.,and it is available in two test formats as Academic or General Training. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking modules but different Reading and Writing modules. All candidates must complete four Modules - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking - to obtain a band score, which is shown on the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF). Listening, Reading and Writing must be completed in one day. Depending on candidate's test centre, the Speaking test may be offered on the same day or up to a week before or after the other parts. IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. Overall Band Scores are reported to the nearest half band.The following rounding convention applies: if the average across the four skills ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band.
The listening module comprises four sections. Each section begins with a short introduction telling the candidates about the situation and the speakers. Then they have some time to look through the questions. The first three sections have a break in the middle allowing candidates to look at the remaining questions. Each section is heard only once.
In the academic module the reading test comprises three sections, with 3 texts normally followed by 13 or 14 questions for a total of 40 questions overall. The General test also has 3 sections. However the texts are shorter, so there can be up to 5 texts to read.
In the Academic module, there are two tasks: in Task 1 candidates describe a diagram, graph, process or chart, and in Task 2 they respond to an argument. In the General Training module, there are also two tasks: in Task 1 candidates write a letter or explain a situation, and in Task 2 they write an essay.
The speaking test contains three sections. The first section takes the form of an interview during which candidates may be asked about their hobbies, interests, reasons for taking IELTS exam as well as other general topics such as clothing, free time, computers and the internet or family. In the second section candidates are given a topic card and then have one minute to prepare after which they must speak about the given topic. The third section involves a discussion between the examiner and the candidate, generally on questions relating to the theme which they have already spoken about in part 2.
The total test duration is around 2 hours and 45 minutes