Entrance Exams to Study In Ireland


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Mar 09, 2023 10:35 AM IST

Ireland is quickly becoming a new favourite study abroad destination for international students across the globe. Just like studying in any other country requires standardised tests and English proficiency scores, similarly, top Irish universities mandate these exam requirements. Have a look at all the entrance exams required to study in Ireland and top universities in Ireland.

Entrance Exams to Study In Ireland

International applicants planning to study in Ireland need to be aware of the countrys education system to get an idea about the eligibility to study in top Irish universities. For instance, most Irish universities do not consider a three-year bachelors degree as a qualifying criterion for graduate programmes. This is especially important for Indian applicants.

Similarly, international applicants should be aware of the course-specific criteria and language proficiency requirements as well. In general, international students applying to undergraduate programmes may not fret much about sitting for any other exam other than English tests. Undergraduate programmes in Irish universities do not require standardised exam scores as a mandate. On the other hand, a few graduate programmes in top Irish universities may require a standardised exam score. However, even in such cases, applicants must always check the university and course requirements as these vary from one university to another.

Even though Irish Gaelic is the official first language, English is still widely spoken in Ireland and it is the medium of instruction for the majority of the programmes. Thus, candidates need to prove that they are proficient in the English language. English proficiency tests are designed in a way that checks a student's ability to read, write, comprehend, and speak English. So, these test scores are beneficial for both study and visa purposes.

Standardised Entrance Exams to Study Bachelors in Ireland

There are no specific entrance exams required to study bachelors in Ireland. Applicants who already have ACT or SAT scores can submit them but is it not a mandatory requirement for the application process. Undergraduate admissions in Ireland are majorly done on the basis of academic scores and scholastic or extracurricular achievements.

The basic eligibility requirement for admission to top universities in Ireland is the completion of Class 12 with at least a 60%-80% average. While there are no specific standardised exams required for undergraduate applications, international students still need to fulfil the English language proficiency requirements. Minimum score requirements vary as per universities, however, the following English test scores are accepted by most Irish universities:



  • Cambridge English

  • PTE Academic

  • OET (for professional courses)

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Standardised Entrance Exams to Study Masters in Ireland

Professions like Healthcare, Nursing, midwifery, etc. are very popular among the students who wish to study in Ireland. Other than that, other masters programmes and business programmes like MBA or Management degrees are also gaining quite the popularity. Including a few masters programmes, a majority of professional programmes require the testing aptitude of applicants. This is where standardised exams become a requirement for universities in Ireland. Top Irish universities have made a few of these tests mandatory while others are still test-optional. However, it is advised to submit a test score to increase admission chances as competition is quite tough.


The Health Professions Admission Test or HPAT Ireland is similar to the one that is conducted in the United Kingdom and is used as an admissions criteria for the medicine courses. It is conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).It is a 2.5-hour test, except at the University of Limerick, where students applying to the MSc Occupational Therapy and the MSc Speech and Language Therapy are required to sit a 1-hour Written English component. The test costs INR 13,718.


GAMSAT or Graduate Medical School Admission Test is another test conducted by ACER. It is also required for graduate courses in medicine and veterinary medicine in the following Irish universities:

GAMSAT appears to be more holistic than HPAT. It evaluates a student in three sections - Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences, Written Communication, and Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences. However, the test is quite expensive, costing INR 30,630.


Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is for students pursuing masters-level studies in the management or business field. This exam consists of four sections: Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning. Students are scored on an overall range of 200 - 800, which is actually calculated from the last two sections alone. GMAT is a mandatory requirement for MBA admissions in Ireland. At present, the GMAT exam costs INR18,300.

English Proficiency Requirements to Study in Ireland

Be it for a successful admission or visa application process, it is important for international candidates to prove their level of command of the English language. We have listed below the English proficiency tests students can take to study in Ireland:


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is widely accepted by various Irish universities. The test has four sections - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. In each of the sections, the candidate is required to score on a band of 1-9. The overall average score required by Irish universities is 6.5 bands. The test costs INR 14,000 and the score validity is two years.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is yet another English proficiency test that can be taken to study in Ireland. Candidates often prefer to take the TOEFL iBT over the TOEFL PBT, due to its level of simplicity. TOEFL also comes with four sections - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. However, the score measured here is out of a total of 120. The test costs INR 13,617 and its validity is two years.


The Pearson Language Test (PTE) Academic exam is also one of the widely accepted exams like IELTS and TOEFL. However, it is a lot more convenient than the other two exams as it is strictly computer-based and results are available within 24 hours of taking the exam. The test is divided into three sections: Speaking & Writing, Reading, and Listening. It costs around INR 13,300 and the score validity is for two years.


Students applying to courses in healthcare are required to take the Occupational English Test or OET. This exam is specially designed for health professionals to test their English communication skills for the healthcare industry. It is particularly required for the following fields of medicine:

  • Dentistry

  • Dietetics

  • Medicine

  • Nursing

The exam costs INR 32,716 at present. The exam is even considered proof of proficiency for visas and employment purposes in the future.

Cambridge English

The University of Cambridge has its own English tests - CAE or C1 Advanced, and CPE or C2 Proficiency, which are two accepted proofs of English language skills in universities.

CAE consists of five papers that examine different areas of language and real-life communication ability. CPE is the highest-level qualification of the four Cambridge English qualifications. It is proof that the candidate is a highly competent speaker of English. The best part is that these tests never expire.

English Proficiency Requirements for Top Irish Universities

To study in Ireland, international candidates in Ireland must meet certain standards set by universities in Ireland, particularly the language skills. Top universities in Ireland select English as the medium of teaching, therefore one has to pass one of the known assessments of English skills.




PTE Academic

Trinity College Dublin

6.5, with no band below 6.0

90, with 21 in the Writing section

63, with no section below 59

University College Dublin

6.5, with no band below 6.0

90, with 21 in the writing section

63, with no section below 59

National University of Ireland

6.5, with no band below 6.0

88 overall

61, with no section below 48

University College Cork

6.5, with no band below 6.0

90, with 20 in each section

63, with no section below 59

Maynooth University

6.0 overall

80-92 overall

55-59 overall

The aforementioned table shows the average score required by universities in Ireland. Courses like Medicine and Engineering often have higher cutoffs.

International students aspiring to study in Ireland should make sure that they have valid test scores. Before filing the application form, it is important to double-check. Also, there are certain universities that do not accept language proficiency tests. So, it's better to remain self-assured.

Confused about what universities or courses best suit you? Contact our study abroad experts for the proper guidance and advice. You can also write to us at abroad@collegedekho.com.

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