Graduate School Testing

Posted by in Looking Ahead

Congratulations! You are about to receive your bachelor’s degree! This is a huge accomplishment and milestone in your life. But now the question is: What’s next? Most graduates tend to explore careers that are within the field of their major. However, there are other options if you feel that you are not ready to jump straight into a career. One very popular, and sometimes necessary, next step is graduate school.

The GRE, also known as the Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for a lot of graduate programs. Depending on what type of graduate program you are interested in, examples of possible other standardized test options could be the: GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, or MCAT. These tests, including the GRE, have three sections, testing your knowledge in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. It is usually suggested that students interested in pursuing a master’s degree take one of these tests a semester before graduating with an undergrad degree.

Now let’s talk in more depth about the most common of these standardized tests, the GRE. What are the right steps to prepare for it? Some websites and undergraduate academic advisors suggest students pick up a GRE prep book. These are sold at any major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble. GRE apps are also available for apple products. Some these are just like the GRE prep book, but they have the benefit of tracking your progress.

Another helpful tip when preparing for the GRE, or any of the other standardized tests, would be to take a prep course. Students can find classes in their local area by doing web searches on the internet. When meeting with your college advisor, you should ask if your university offers any free tutorials or prep classes. Private courses can cost anywhere from $75-$150 per session. So it is worth looking to see if your university offers free sessions and taking advantage of them.

Ideally undergrads should explore their options for life after college. If graduate school is an option you can see yourself pursuing, then preparing early to take the necessary test for your target school is never a bad idea. Decide which graduate program you are interested in and then begin doing research about the tests that school will accept as a part of their application package.  You can then choose the test that best suits you. After that, start preparing yourself by signing up for prep classes and/or buying a test prep book. Then study, study, study!