Most of the graduates’ schools are very competitive when it comes to admitting students to their program. They go above and beyond vetting the applicants to their graduate school program.
In rare cases, a graduate school might give you admission without the Graduate school entrance exam.
What Is The Graduate School Entrance Exam
LSAT (Law School Admissions Test)
Required for: Law school
Cost: $175, early registration; $265 late registration
When: 4 times a year: February, June, October and December
Test duration: Half a day
Test structure: The test is split into five multiple-choice sections and a writing sample. Only four of the multiple-choice sections count toward your final score:
- Analytical Reasoning: Logic games
- Logical Reasoning I: Consists of solving arguments
- Logical Reasoning II: Consists of solving arguments
- Reading Comprehension: Assesses ability to understand and interpret a sample reading passage.
Each section lasts 35 minutes and contains 23-27 multiple-choice questions. A fifth section typically is used to pretest new test items and pre-equate new test forms.
There is also a writing sample consisting of one essay that lasts 30 minutes. The essay is not included in your final score, but copies are sent to the law schools you apply to.
Scoring: Based on a 120-180 scale, the average score is about 150. For more information or to register online, check out the official LSAT Web site.
MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
Required for: Medical school
Cost: $305 regular registration; $355 late registration
When: Between January and September
Test duration: About 7 1/2 hours, including check-in time.
Test structure: The test is comprised of four sections:
Verbal Reasoning: Assesses ability to understand, evaluate and apply text information
- Physical Sciences: Tests reasoning in chemistry and physics
- Biological Sciences: Assesses reasoning in biology and organic chemistry
- Writing Sample: Tests your ability to state and develop a central idea
All sections are multiple-choice, except for the writing sample, which is in essay form.
Scoring: Each section is scored from a low of 118 to a high of 132. The total score is the sum of the four individual section scores and will range from 472 to 528. For more information or to register online, visit the official MCAT Web site
GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)
Required for: Business school
When: Year-round. The test is computer-based and must be taken at certified testing sites. You can take the GMAT once every 16 days but no more than a total of five times per year.
Test duration: About 4 hours, including check-in time.
Test structure: The test is split into three sections:
- Analytical Writing Assessment: Two essay questions. Analyze one argument and one issue. The essay questions are selected at random by the computer.
- Integrated Reasoning: Multiple-choice questions in which several answers can be selected at the same time. No partial credit is given for getting part of the answer correct; rather, the entire answer must be selected for full credit. These questions test the ability to evaluate information presented in multiple formats from multiple sources – skills needed to succeed in our technologically advanced, data-driven world.
- Quantitative Section: Multiple-choice questions in the areas of Data Sufficiency or Problem Solving. Data Sufficiency questions measure the ability to analyze and solve a quantitative problem. Problem Solving questions test basic math skills and concepts, as well as reasoning ability.
- Verbal Section: Multiple-choice questions in Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction
Scoring: Based on a 200-800 scale, two-thirds of test-takers score 400 – 600. Top business school students have average GMAT scores that top 714. For more information or to register online, visit the official GMAT Web site
GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
There are two versions of the GRE — General Test and Subject Test. The type of graduate program determines the test you take. Check with your prospective graduate school to find out which GRE it requires.
Required for: Most other graduate degree programs, ranging from psychology to art history
Cost: $205 for the General Test; $150 for the Subject Test
When: The General Test is administered year-round. It must be taken at certified testing centers. The Subject Test is administered three times a year – April, September and October. Both tests offer computer-based testing.
Test duration: General Test: 4 hours,
Subject Test: 3 hours
Test structure: General test There are three sections:
- Verbal: Tests reading comprehension and relationships between words and concepts
- Quantitative: Tests math concepts and problem-solving
- Analytical Writing: Tests the ability to articulate and support complex ideas in a clear, concise way.
More on the analytical writing section: The section consists of two analytical writing tasks. One presents an opinion on an issue of general interest and requires the test-taker to discuss the issue from a perspective of their choosing, providing relevant reasons and examples to explain and support their views.
The other essay requires test-takers to critique an argument by discussing the logic behind it. The verbal and quantitative sections are multiple-choice. The analytical writing section is in essay format.
Subject Test: The subjects currently offered are:
- Cell and Molecular Biology,
- Biology, Chemistry,
- Literature in English,
Each subject has its own specific sections on which you can be tested.
Scoring: The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the General Test are scores on a scale of 200-800. The Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale of 0-6. The Subject Test is scored on a scale of 200-990 per section.
For more information or to set up an appointment to take the GRE, you can visit the official GRE Web site