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Graduate School Admissions and the GRE

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The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a very important link from undergraduate to graduate studies, and for some business and graduate-level schools, it is an admissions “must do.” Its purpose is to evaluate an undergrad’s readiness for graduate school based on all areas of mainstream academics. If you are considering moving on to your MBA and haven’t yet put the GRE on your radar, now may be the time.

Graduate Record Exam FAQs

What is the GRE?

The GRE is a computer-adaptive standardized test administered worldwide in approximately 230 countries to assess a graduate school applicant’s aptitude in the following areas: analytical writing, critical thinking, quantitative, verbal reasoning skills, and overall readiness for graduate-level work.

Do I Need to Take the GRE?

Not all graduate schools require the GRE. However, because many applicants come from a diverse educational milieu, schools use GRE scores as a universal implement in determining who is best qualified for acceptance. It is also used to “supplement undergraduate records, recommendation letters, and other qualifications for graduate study.” (ETS) Taking it only helps your chances of getting accepted.

Who Accepts the GRE?

The weight of GRE scores in the admissions process depends on a respective school’s general and departmental requirements.

If you are interested in knowing what your graduate school of interest requires for admissions, check their website or go to GraduateGuide.com for more information.

What is the Difference Between the GRE and the GMAT?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), a more difficult exam, is typically an admissions requirement for most business schools and some graduate finance and economics programs; whereas, the GRE is an academic assessment tool used by general graduate school programs. Business and law school applicants commonly do not take the GRE.

What Are Subject GREs?

GRE Subject Tests assess an applicant’s proficiency in the following subjects: Biochemistry: Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. Subject GREs can determine student strengths and weaknesses in specific areas, which can be practical for guidance and placement purposes. Subject GREs are administered three times a year at written or paper-based testing centers in October, November, and April.

When Should I Take the GRE?

It is best to take the GRE as early as possible while you are still in the testing routine. Waiting too long could jeopardize your ability to do well on the test.

Where Can I Take the GRE?

The GRE is administered year-round in computer-based test centers across the US and Canada. Written or paper-based exam centers are also available to areas without computer resources. To see which is available in your area, click here

For a complete listing of test centers, click here

How Should I Prepare?

Free and priced preparation materials are available to anyone interested taking the test by visiting the Educational Testing Service’s website

How Long is the Test?

The exam is a total of 4 hours long.

What is the Exam Structure?

The GRE consists of four sections: one written and three multiple choice. The multiple choice portions will test on verbal and quantitative skills. The third section is experimental and is not counted in the final reported score. The contents of the experimental portion, which can be either verbal, quantitative or analytical, is disclosed at the time of the test.

How Long is the Effectiveness of My GRE Testing score?

The ETS dissolves testing scores older than 5 years; however, graduate programs may have other guidelines.

What is the Cost of Taking the GRE?

As of February 2010, the cost of the general GRE is $160 in the United States and Canada. The ETS may offer a lower fee or financial aid for anyone who shows economic hardship.

Source: Education Testing Service

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