Graduate Exams

Taking and preparing for major pre-graduate exams

Essentials > Graduate Exams
Graduate Exams
Studying for pre-graduate exams.
Photo courtesy Pexels.com.
John Artenstein, Editor

Graduate exam. Whatever a student's area of study is, if they plan to apply for post-graduate education, they most likely have to pass one of them. Whether it's Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), the Praxis tests, the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), students study like never before to pass and move into their post-graduate programs. To schedule and prepare for these exams, there are a few dates, requirements and strategies to keep in mind.

These exams mix questions of all sorts, from open-ended to multiple-choice, in a comprehensive survey of students' readiness for the challenges ahead - both in terms of their knowledge and their work ethic. Many of these exams are held predominantly from Nov. to Feb. in particular, in anticipation of students' admittance to post-graduate programs for the following fall.

The GRE is a series of comprehensive exams designed to test graduate program candidates in a variety of academic areas to ensure they're prepared for the rigors of the next level of education. Provided by ETS, the GRE General Test and more refined Subject Tests can be scheduled first come, first served, and can be taken, with at least 21 days separating attempts, up to five times per year. To accommodate the challenges of COVID-19, the exams can also be taken remotely, if a student so chooses. The ETS website makes registering for the GRE, taking practice courses and exams easy. A range of other preparation courses and study plans are widely available as well.

The Praxis Tests challenge the knowledge of students planning to join the teaching workforce. Also catered by ETS, the Praxis is a required component of teaching certification by many states in the U.S., challenging prospective teachers' general studies and their knowledge of their teaching focus in particular. Test-takers choose a date for testing for their field and the level of students they intend to teach, and, like the GRE, taking the Praxis remotely has also become possible due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Praxis site features every detail for registration, a variety of study prep, tests and other resources, as well as performance assessments.

The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), which determines prospective law students' preparedness for law schools throughout the country, has also made it possible to take the exam remotely. The schedule of LSAT testing years runs from June 1 to May 31. The exam is provided by the Law School Admission Council, which also provides prep books and other information. Though some law schools may accept alternative testing, the LSAT is uniquely accepted by all schools accredited by the American Bar Association, making it irreplaceable for law school-bound students.

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) offers a similar challenge for students moving forward in a variety of business fields, featuring a combination of written and verbal assessments that show prospective MBA candidates are amply prepared for the challenges of earning the degree. MBA.com, which curates the exam, also provides practice tests, a starter kit and a slew of other resources to prepare. Further, registering for the best location and time to take the exam is easy and detailed throughout the site.

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), designed and managed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), is the standard and universal exam for students who aim to continue their study and join the practice of medicine. It is expectedly scrupulous, and signals to medical school programs the readiness of the test taker. The AAMC website takes students through the process of registering and preparing, and outlines the detailed calendar of testing dates, scoring dates and other deadlines.

Each exam features a series of fees and associated registration details unique to each student's experience. Graduating seniors and others preparing for the GREs, Praxis Tests, LSAT, MCAT or GMAT should visit the above sites and any others for practice tests and strategies, as well as seeking out the advice of mentors and peers in their fields.

Best of luck to all as they endeavor to take the next big step in their careers.


about the author

John Artenstein, Editor
artenstj@kean.edu

John Shepherd is an English major with a concentration in creative writing. He has been a contributing editor for mayhemdotcom, The Odyssey Online, and other publications. John has authored the books Recent Words: A Collection of Poems and Stories and I Hear Your Favorite. He has also penned essays on culture, politics and more than a dozen albums of original alternative music. He is plotting careers in entertainment and publishing as he continues producing works of fiction and non-fiction across a variety of media.