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Getting to Know the Graduate Record Exam

Categories: Tips and Tricks |

If you’re considering furthering your education by attending graduate school, you will more than likely be required to take the Graduate Record Exam, better known as the GRE. It is the most widely accepted exam for master’s degree programs and is taken by hundreds of people every year. A basic understanding of the test will help you prepare for the test to help you stand out and get into the program of your dreams. Here are the 5 W’s of the GRE:

What is it?

The GRE is a comprehensive exam usually taken on a computer. There is a paper-based option for those in areas that don’t offer the computer-based test. The computer-based exam actually allows for a test tailored to your level of knowledge and understanding. As you go through the questions, each one will be harder or slightly easier based on whether you got the previous answer correct.

Made up of three basic sections, the GRE is designed to test your ability to handle an accelerated degree program. These sections include verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning (math) and an analytical writing portion. The verbal section measures a test-taker’s grammatical skills and reading comprehension. The quantitative reasoning portion determines your basic understanding of basic arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Finally, the writing portion is simply that, the essay portion of the GRE which will identify your writing abilities. You’ll have to write to essays in response to two given arguments and the purpose is not just to determine your writing abilities but also your logical and analytical abilities.

Who takes it?

Anyone looking to get into a graduate school and some business schools. Master’s and MBA programs around the world use the GRE as the primary exam option for acceptance purposes. So if you’re considering a higher education, this test is probably for you.

When is it taken?

The GRE is conveniently offered year round although the paper-based test is narrowed down to three times a year, October, November and February. But for most people around the world who will be taking the computer-based exam, a simple search of the testing centers and their schedules will help you find the right date for you.

Where is it taken?

There are more than 1,000 testing centers around the world in more than 160 countries.

Why take it?

The obvious answer to why is because it is a requirement to pursue your master’s or business degree. In order to even be considered for admission, you must get that check in the box.

As to why these programs require the test, it is simply because it provides a baseline score for schools to see where applicants rank out. Although they look at a wide range of materials including test scores, transcripts, resumes, letters of recommendations and more, the GRE scores are fair across the board since everyone takes the same test and allows the programs to determine who would be able to better handle the tough curriculum.

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