Tests are not the Problem

Tests are not the Problem

If you have never had the little fear and feeling of disinterest whenever you hear about admissions into universities outside of Nigeria, like in the US, UK, Canada, etc, Then we can outrightly assume that you have never really thought about traveling out of Nigeria to school in those countries. Even more, you have probably never taken steps to check up the “admission requirements” of any foreign school. Well, it’s not as if these schools generally don’t like to take Nigerians, no, of cause we have many Nigerians in many of those foreign schools. So what is that factor that usually tends to give the first bump along the way? You might say CGPA, but that won’t be so inclusive because we have students who graduate with 3.9/4 0, 4,9/5.0, 7.0/7.0, so that probably won’t just cut it.

Have you ever heard of GRE, IELTS, TOEFL? I think o can hear many inner sounds of agreement now. If you guessed these two right from the beginning, then I can say you have done some assignments. Kudos! To think about GRE and the likes isn’t just to think about the tests, these tests are not free! They all cost well over 65k each and if you must do two of them, say GRE and IELTS before you can be accepted into a foreign school, then you are thinking of about 130k – 145k. To add to this, there are academies that tutor students for these tests and those are equally not free! Isn’t it funny?, spending so much on these tests with no assurance of admission! Obviously, no school will accept you simply because you aced your GRE and TOEFL/IELTS! Maybe these factors are part of what make the process so tedious and builds disinterest in some of many people, and maybe not but I believe it is. GRE isn’t difficult and neither is IELTS, technically, but that’s not the issue. The issue rallies around the expenses, the time and the fact that these tests don’t even automatically guarantee you an admission. Imagine spending about 150k on GRE and then about 75k on IELTS, then about 30k for application fee and you are not assured of admission? Maybe this is also why some give up after the first unsuccessful trial. It takes a whole lot of motivation to go through the process but it sure adds to what boosts your application in a way.

So now calm down, you don’t have to take the GRE, IELTS or TOEFL again! These tests aren’t as compulsory as they were before, universities have raised their standards: there are better and more effective ways to evaluate candidates. Schools graduate schools are looking to admit a well rounded class and not a well rounded student. They are looking to admit students with motivation and not necessarily only students with high test scores. It might shock you that many of the too schools in the world do not consider the GRE anymore, some still do while some don’t mind if you don’t write it. It depends on which school you are applying to. Do your research!

On the TOEFL and IELTS, what is the official language of Nigeria? What language is used to teach in our Universities? What language is your certificate and transcript written in? Well, in case you have not heard? Nigeria’s first and official language is English and this alone qualifies you as a Nigerian for test of English proficiency waiver in many countries. There are so many schools in the UK, the US, Canada and the likes that clearly states that as a Nigerian, you don’t have to write any English test. Some site it on their website that if your country’s official language is English or your undergraduate degree was taught in English all through, then you don’t have to write any English test again. There is that exception.

So there are always exceptions. Getting into schools outside of Nigeria might be difficult but that won’t be because of any set of tests and also not because those schools just don’t like Nigerians. It could just be because you really do not know what it means to have a top notch application. To have this kind of application, you have to do your assignment. Do your research on schools and their requirements. Get in touch with people (students and faculties) in those schools (a simple email would do just fine). Sometimes it could just be a missing piece that disqualifies you because there are thousands of other applicants who didn’t miss that piece. You dig?

Finally, application is another word for branding. Your application is your first and best chance to brand yourself to the school. There are times when branding looks like an exaggeration but it’s called branding, right? Sometimes we Nigerians tend to downplay many things and we keep forgetting that Nigerians and the whites don’t think the same way. What we don’t place value on, they cherish so much. So, bring yourself.

GRE and other tests are no big issues any more, thus, allowing for a very good chance to brand yourself more. The upgraded admission process now allows for much branding. Do it well!

This article is meant to motivate you to do your assignment and make findings, not for you to sleep on.

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