GRE/ GMAT/ SAT/ ACT/ IELTS – How to Prepare for these Exams during COVID

CoViD-19: Worldwide Response

CoViD-19 or the coronavirus disease has been officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11. The pandemic has forced governments across continents to implement nationwide lockdown; strict quarantine regulations and protocols; local, regional, national, and international restrictions on movements and travel bans to fight the disease. This has expectedly produced a wide and far-reaching effect on different aspects of people’s lives, including education.

Fall-out on Study-Abroad Aspirants

The pandemic has affected study abroad aspirants in diverse ways:

  • Testing Suspended: Many standardised test administering authorities have either suspended or deferred upcoming tests such as SAT®, TOEFL®, ACT, IELTS™, GMAT™, and GRE®
  • Schools Closed: Universities and colleges worldwide gear up in response to the disease by either closing their campus or moving into online delivery and virtual classrooms
  • Travel Banned: International students who have been accepted into programs in different universities find their academic plan circumscribed by the travel ban as per instruction from the destination countries
  • Visa Processing Postponed: Governments have suspended all work related to the processing of visas, throwing students who are waiting to travel abroad in limbo.

Planning to Take a Test?

As a study-abroad aspirant from India, you might have either booked a date for taking a standardised test or has been preparing and planning to take one. So it is good to have some clarity on what you might expect regarding different upcoming tests in India.


  • ETS, the test administrator of TOEFL® and GRE®, has postponed the tests in some locations
  • If your TOEFL®/GRE® General test appointment has been postponed, ETS will notify you by e-mail and will reschedule your test
  • ETS has waived all rescheduling fee at this time
  • If ETS has not postponed your TOEFL®/GRE® General test appointment, but you would like to reschedule your test, you should contact TOEFL®/GRE® services directly.
  • TOEFL®and GRE® Test centres are still open in many areas and tests can be taken within the next 5-6 months. You should check out available test dates on the TOEFL® registration website and GRE® Test registration website respectively
  • GRE® Subject Test scheduled on April 4 has been cancelled worldwide
  • If you have scheduled an appointment to take the test on April 4, ETS will notify you by e-mail and will fully refund you your registration fees
  • GRE® Subject Test administration date for 2020-21 will be notified in April 2020. The registration for the same will open on July 1


  • GMAC, the test administrator of the GMAT™ test, has suspended the test in many testing centres worldwide. Pan-India, the test has been adjourned in many testing centres, starting from March through April 6 and June 1.
  • You can find an available test centre by visiting mba.com/find-a-seat/
  • In mid-April, GMAC will introduce an online proctored alternative to the GMAT™ exam in the impacted countries outside mainland China which will be comparable to the tests administered in the testing centre


  • IELTS™ Test has been suspended in many countries worldwide
  • In India, IELTS™ tests have been suspended in some locations.
  • IELTS™ partners are giving “free support materials” to impacted test takers to aid their preparation. Details can be had from IELTS™.org/prepare


  • College Board, the test Administrator for SAT®, has cancelled the May 5 SAT® and SAT® Subject test
  • They have also cancelled the make-up exam of March 14 (scheduled for March 28)
  • If you are registered for the March or May exam, you will receive a refund
  • The SAT® and SAT® Subject test for June 06 has not been cancelled yet and is subject to review according to the evolving situation
  • Regularly visit the College Board page for an update on the evolving situation or follow College Board on social media


  • The international ACT® test date for April 3 and April 4 has been rescheduled on June 12 and June 13 respectively
  • If you have registered for a test on either of these two dates, ACT will shortly communicate with you on e-mail of this postponement and instructions on how to change your registration date to June or a later date
  • To get up-to-date information as the situation evolves, please visit http://global.act.org/ or follow the ACT on social media

To sum up, you should stay calm and safe, practise recommended social hygiene, and make the best use of this time to fortify your preparation for the test during this difficult time. Together we can beat this crisis.

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