Tests and Test Prep

Tests are a part of the graduate school application process. You will need to prepare by studying on your own with one of the many series of books on graduate school test preparation or through an online or face-to-face class. There are numerous options but you will definitely want to do some kind of review as most programs expect a level of competency on these qualifying tests. The tests you need to take will depend on the degree programs to which you are applying, but for most PhD and Master’s programs you will need to take the GRE in its entirety or a portion of the test. As well, you may be required to take a GRE subject test. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has a website where you can find all the information you need on how and where to take the GRE, pay for the test, get a fee waiver for the test and apply for accommodations. The website also has a number of test tools such as sample questions, books and test taking tips. Paper testing is still available but most applicants opt to go to a testing center where the test is administered electronically. 

Depending on where you live, a testing center can be quite a distance away and appointments for testing can become scarce when it gets close to major application deadlines. It’s best to have a plan as to when you are going to take the test and reserve ahead of time.

There are many test preparation companies and they all provide various options including online courses, face-to-face courses, week-end crash courses and tutoring. If you are still in school, you may also find tutoring available on your campus. Check with peers and also graduate students to see if they have recommendations on how best to prepare for the GRE and any other required tests. Knowing your schedule and how you learn will help you determine what is the best study strategy to employ.

Links to the major test prep companies and their websites are provided below. The Portals section has more information on the required tests for medical, dental and law school. 

Test prep services: The Princeton ReviewKaplan Test Prep, Testmasters, and Magoosh.

Links to practice tests:

Princeton Review GRE practice tests

Princeton Review MCAT practice tests

Law School Admission Council prep tools

Princeton Review GMAT practice tests

Princeton Review DAT practice tests

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing CSET multiple subjects practice test

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