What do those all test acronyms stand for?

By Rob Taylor

Most students in Canada do not have to worry about taking a test as part of their university or admissions application process if they are applying to schools in Canada. However, those students who are applying to specialized programs or to schools outside of Canada, especially to schools located in the United States, may have run across admissions tests, many of them in the form of an acronym.

The thing I noticed the most was that it was harder than I thought it would be to figure out what the acronyms stood for and what exactly the test were testing.

So, I’ve complied a listing of test acronyms here and given you their definitions and what the tests are used for. ITYFIU! (I Think You’ll Find It Useful!)

ACT - ACT used to stand for "American College Testing", an organization that offers testing services in the United States, including admissions tests. They changed their name to the acronym in 1984.

ETS - ETS stands for Education Testing Service. ETS is a non-profit organization that develops and administers the SATs. They are sometimes confused with College Board, a client of ETS that sponsors the SATs and decides how they will be constructed, administered, and used.

ETSTOPE - This stands for ETS Test of Professional English, which is a test for adults in the international workplace.

GED - The General Educational Development is an international high school equivalency-testing program for adults. If you are an adult, you can take this test instead of obtaining a secondary school diploma to qualify for admission as some post-secondary schools.

GMAT – Graduate Management Admissions Test used by business schools as an admissions test.

GRE – Some schools use The Graduate Record Examinations as an admissions tool.

IELTS - International English Language Testing System.

MCAT - MCAT stands for Medical College Admission Test and is used by many medical schools in the United States and Canada as an admission tool.

OSSLT - The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test is a test that Ontario secondary school students must take to graduate.

LSAT – This stands for Law School Admission Test and is used by many law schools in the United States and Canada as an admission tool.

PRAXISTM - The Praxis Series: Professional Assessments for Beginning Teachers is a test some US states use for determining whether they will license someone to be a teacher or not.

SAT - Actually, this is just what a set of admissions tests in the United States is called: SATs. It used to stand for Scholastic Aptitude Test, although it is almost never referred to as anything other than the SATs.

SATI – Actually, it's Scholastic Aptitude Test One (I). This is multiple-choice test divided up into two sections: a verbal section and a math section.

SATII – This one is Scholastic Aptitude Test Two (II). This multiple-choice post-secondary entrance test evaluates students’ skills in areas such as English, math, social studies, physical sciences, history and foreign languages.

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language sometimes used to see if students from non-English speaking countries have a level of English language skills to be able to study at a English-language school.

TOEIC – The Test of English for International Communication is used to "measure the ability of non-native English-speaking people to use English in everyday work activities."

Modified on April 23, 2009