What Graduate Exams Are: The Top Standardized Tests

Graduate admissions exams are standardized tests taken by students who have completed their undergraduate degrees and are looking to continue their education in graduate school.

These tests help determine whether or not a student is prepared for the rigors of graduate-level coursework. There are four main types of standardized graduate exams: the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

In this article, we will discuss each of these exams in detail.

What are graduate admissions exams?

A college graduate might wish to continue his education by pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree. A student may be required to take a standardized graduate admissions test in order to be accepted into graduate school.

These tests are used to assess a student’s readiness for the demands of postgraduate study. You may need to submit your scores from one or more graduate admissions tests.

There are four main types of graduate admissions exams: the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is a test used by most graduate schools in the United States to assess a student’s readiness for graduate-level coursework. It is offered year-round, both in computer and paper-based formats. You can take the GRE once every 21 days, up to five times per year. The GRE is divided into three sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.

3 GRE Sections:

1. The verbal reasoning section tests your ability to understand and analyze written material. It is mostly multiple-choice, but there is also a section that requires you to write an essay.

2. The quantitative reasoning section measures your ability to solve mathematical problems.

3. The analytical writing section assesses your ability to think critically and write clearly and effectively. Two essays are required in this section.

How is it scored?

The GRE is scored on a scale of 130-170, in increments of one point. The average score for test-takers is 150.

Cost?

The cost to take the GRE is $205 in the US. and is valid for 5 years.

Exam Time:

The length of the examination for the GRE takes three hours and 45 minutes.

Who should take it?

The GRE is recommended for students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in any field.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The GMAT is a test used by business schools to assess a student’s readiness for graduate-level coursework in business and management. It is offered year-round, both in computer and paper-based formats. You can take the GMAT once every 31 days, up to five times per year. The GMAT is divided into four sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing.

How is it scored?

The GMAT is scored on a scale of 200-800, in increments of ten points. The average score for test-takers is 550.

Cost?

The cost to take the GMAT is $250 in the US. and is valid for five years.

Exam Time:

The examination for the GMAT takes four hours.

Who should take it?

The GMAT is recommended for students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in business and management.

Is the GMAT hard to pass?

It can be difficult to achieve a score above 700, which is what most people try to aim for. The GMAT is a difficult exam and should be given ample preparation time. Get the official GMAT material and take practice exams.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The LSAT is a test used by law schools to assess a student’s readiness for graduate-level coursework in law. It is offered six times per year, both in computer and paper-based formats. You can take the LSAT once every 60 days, up to three times per year. The LSAT is divided into five sections: reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, writing sample, and experimental section (used to develop new test questions).

How is it scored?

The LSAT is scored on a scale of 120-180, in increments of two points. The average score for test-takers is 150.

Cost?

The cost to take the LSAT is $190 in the US. and is valid for five years.

Exam Time:

The examination for the LSAT takes three hours and 30 minutes.

Who should take it?

The LSAT is recommended for students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in law.

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The MCAT is a test used by medical schools to assess a student’s readiness for graduate-level coursework in medicine. It is offered 25 times per year, both in computer and paper-based formats. You can take the MCAT once every 31 days, up to three times per year. The MCAT is divided into four sections: biological sciences, critical analysis and reasoning skills, chemical and physical sciences, and social sciences.

How is it scored?

The MCAT is scored on a scale of 472-528, in increments of ten points. The average score for test-takers is 500.

Cost?

The cost to take the MCAT is $315 in the US.

Exam Time:

The examination for the MCAT takes seven hours and 30 minutes (including breaks).

Who should take it?

The MCAT is recommended for students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in medicine.

Which Test Is Right For You Infographic

How to apply for graduate exams:

To apply for these graduate exams, you will need to create an account on the respective website. Be sure to have your personal information, such as your name, address, and social security number handy. You will also need to submit a copy of your ID and/or passport.

In addition, most exams require that you send in your college transcripts. Transcripts must be official and sent directly from your college to the testing organization.

For the GMAT, GRE, and MCAT, you will also need to take a test prep course or purchase official study material in order to prepare for the exam.

The LSAT does not require any formal preparation. However, it is recommended that you practice reading comprehension and logical reasoning skills using authentic legal texts. Purchase an LSAT prep book or take a prep course and prepare to study for a few months prior to the examination.

Which test is right for you?

It depends on what field you want to study.

If you are unsure, it is best to take the GRE. The GRE is offered more times throughout the year and is accepted by more graduate schools than the other three standardized tests.

The GMAT is recommended for students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in business and management.

The LSAT is recommended for students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in law.

The MCAT is recommended for students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in medicine.

Also read: Kaplan Test Prep: Worth It? Pros and Cons

Graduate exams – Summary

If you’re looking to pursue your graduate degree, it’s important that you know what types of exams are required. We hope this article has given you some clarity on the different standardized tests for Graduate School and their purpose.

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