Graduate School Admission Tests

Taking Test

Just as with undergraduate admissions, graduate school applications usually require standardized test scores. The test(s) you'll take depend on what type of graduate degree you're seeking. Check with the school(s) to which you plan to apply for information about required exams. These tests can be paid for either by DANTES (for active-duty personnel), or by the GI Bill for veterans and their dependents (if receiving transferred benefits).

Graduate entrance exams include the following:

The Graduate Record Examinations® (GRE)

Accepted by thousands of graduate and business schools worldwide, the GRE® General Test is the only graduate-level admissions test that lets you skip questions and go back, change your answers and have control to tackle the questions you want to answer first.

Plus, the test provides the option to take the GRE test now or again in the future, and only send schools your best set of scores. Best of all, you have five years to decide how to use any of your scores. Just knowing you have that option will help you feel more confident on test day.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker's score. The unscored section typically is used to pretest new test questions or to preequate new test forms. The placement of this section will vary. Identification of the unscored section is not available until you receive your score report.

A 35-minute, unscored writing sample is administered at the end of the test. Copies of your writing sample are sent to all law schools to which you apply.

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT®)

The Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess your problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine.

Scores are reported in four sections:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Almost all U.S. medical schools and many Canadian schools require you to submit MCAT exam scores. Many schools do not accept MCAT exam scores that are more than three years old.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT®)

The GMAT is taken by students planning to apply to graduate management programs (such as an MBA program). The four-section test measures skills -- verbal, quantitative, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing -- rather than knowledge. Actual testing takes 3 ½ hours; additionally, short breaks are offered between sections. The test is given at centers across the country; each center has its own schedule.

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