Graduate Admissions Test
There are several examinations used in graduate/professional school admissions. The most common are the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
For academic graduate study, the examination required is usually the GRE. The GRE consists of a General Test and Subject Tests in specific disciplines. The GRE General test can only be taken in the Computer-Based Testing (CBT) version. The General Test is composed of three sections: verbal (60 minutes), quantitative (70 minutes), and analytical (60 minutes). Each section produces a score. There may be an unidentified experimental section that does not count towards your score. The scores are based on the number of correct answers without penalty for wrong answers. Some graduate programs will require the Subject Test in a specific discipline in addition to the general GRE, if prior knowledge of the field is essential to graduate study. The Subject Test covers basic terminology and concepts, and it uses a traditional, paper-and-pencil administration; currently there are no computerized Subject tests.
If you are receiving substantial financial aid, visit the Office of Financial Aid (203 Day Hall) to find out if you are eligible for a GRE fee waiver.
The LSAT is administered numerous times throughout the year. Scores, which range from 120 to 180, are used by law schools as a common measurement of potential for success in law school. The test is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States, Canada, and a growing number of other countries. It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants.
In response to challenges presented by COVID-19, LSAC has temporarily modified the test format and is administering the LSAT-Flex rather than the LSAT. In 2020, the October and November tests will use the LSAT-Flex format. LSAC will announce whether future tests will be administered in the Flex format as each test date approaches.
The exam is intended to measure verbal, mathematical and integrated reasoning, as well as analytical writing skills that the examinee has developed over a long period of time in his or her education and work. Test takers answer questions in each of these three areas in general and the test takes just under 3 1/2 hours to complete, including two optional breaks. Scores are valid for five years (at most institutions) from the date the test taker sits the exam until the date of matriculation.
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) assesses students’ skills in the following areas: problem solving and critical thinking; knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science; and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. The standardized, multiple-choice examination is required of almost all U.S. medical school applicants. In addition, most medical schools do not accept MCAT scores that are more than three years old.
The MCAT reports both an overall score and percentile ranking, as well as scores and percentile rankings in each of the four sections: biological and biochemical foundations of living systems; chemical and physical foundations of biological systems; psychological, social, and biological foundations of behavior; and critical analysis and reasoning skills.
The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is occasionally required for psychology and education programs. The MAT is a sixty minute exam consisting of 120 verbal-analogy questions. All questions are multiple choice. 100 of the 120 questions are scored; the remaining 20 are not scored. The test designers incorporated unscored questions in order to gauge their difficulty level and their statistical validity. Disclosure packets are usually available from the test publisher. If your score on a test was low and you are considering retaking the test, be sure to obtain the disclosure packet so that you can see your weak areas and improve your test performance.