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Admissions Tests

The most commonly used test for graduate school admission is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The GRE General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytic writing skills, acquired over a long period of time and not related to any specific field of study. Some schools also require one of the eight GRE Subject Tests, which examine knowledge in a specific field of study. Know well in advance what tests you will need to take, so you have time to prepare. Find out more and register for the GRE at www.gre.org.

Other tests include the GMAT for anyone applying for a master’s in business administration (mba.com), the MCAT for those applying to medical school (aamc.org/students/mcat), and the LSAT for law school (lsac.org). Other tests are sometimes required for a particular program, such as the MAT, Miller Analogies Test (milleranalogies.com), which is accepted at a more limited number of schools.

Test Preparation

There is no one right way to study for these tests, but it is imperative that you have worked with the test in the way it will be administered, that you are familiar with the format and strategies, and that you have studied enough to know that you are as prepared as possible. 

Preparation possibilities include:

  • Take a prep course with a company such as Kaplan (kaptest.com) or the Princeton Review (princetonreview.com).
  • Gather together a study group with your peers.
  • Hire a tutor for one or more subject areas.
  • Use practice tests found in many test prep publications and on the websites.


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