Different programs require different standardized admissions tests. Each should be clearly indicated on the schools’ websites. Time frames can be tight and not all tests will be offered frequently in your area, so find out how long scores will be valid for the particular tests you need. Also ask whether you can report results from previous tests. You might decide to take standardized tests now, even if you won’t be applying to graduate schools for a while.
If you want to prepare on your own, most local bookstores sell study guides that provide sample questions and tips for preparation and test taking. If you prefer a formal program, there are several well-known companies from which to choose.
In deciding, consider your level of confidence, academic preparedness, ability to study on your own, finances, and the competitiveness of the schools on your list. Speak with people who have taken the exams or have experience with test preparation services.
Above all, make sure to plan your study schedule according to application deadlines.
Information will be available on the respective test websites for dates, locations, registration procedures, and fees. Familiarize yourself with the process for the particular tests you’ll need to take, and, again, leave yourself plenty of time.
GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
The GRE includes a quantitative section, a verbal section, and an analytical section. These tests are offered year-round and computer-based testing is available at test centers worldwide.
GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test)
GMATs are held in October, January, March, and June.
LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
LSATs are offered in June, October, December, and February.
MAT (Miller Analogies Test)
A standardized test of verbal abilities can be submitted in place of the GRE for certain schools.
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