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MCAT, GMAT, LSAT, GRE—Oh My!

You thought you were done with standardized tests—but not if you’re applying to grad school!

Most graduate programs, whether for a master’s or doctorate degree, require applicants to take one of four standardized tests: the MCT, GMAT, LSAT, or GRE. The exceptions are certain MFA programs, where a portfolio of work may be required instead. In general, each of these exams are designed for specific programs and professions. If you’re considering grad school, read on to learn more about each test.

MCAT – Medical College Admission Test

Not surprisingly, the MCAT is required for admission to most medical schools. It’s computer-based and covers physical and biological sciences, verbal reasoning, and writing skills.guy struggling to study

Registration is conducted online by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), who also offers a Fee Assistance Program for those who cannot afford the test fee.

Like with the SAT and ACT, you can take prep courses and practice tests and get study books for the MCAT from groups like The Princeton Review, Kaplan, and the AAMC. An MCAT score is valid for three years, although some schools will only accept scores taken within two years of application date.

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GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test

The GMAT is required for admission to many business schools. A select number of business schools will accept the GRE instead. Like the MCAT, the GMAT is administered on a computer. Sections focus on math, verbal, integrated reasoning, and writing skills.

The GMAT is offered by appointment and registration is taken over the phone at 800–717–GMAT or online at mba.com.

The Princeton Review and the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) offer study materials and prep courses. GMAT scores are valid for five years.

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LSAT – Law School Admission Test

If having “JD” after your name is your goal, then you’ll need to ace the LSAT to get into law school.

Registration deadlines for the LSAT are one month before the test date. You can register online for the test wat lsac.org. The exams are taken on computers, these days.

The Princeton Review, Kaplan, and The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) all offer study prep guides and practice tests. LSAT scores remain valid and on record for five years.

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GRE – Graduate Record Examination

The GRE applies to the widest variety of graduate programs and is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Some programs look at the whole General Test as part of an application, while others may only consider the scores from certain sections.

The GRE has an online registration at ets.org. Tests are administered at select test centers around the U.S. and are computer adaptive.

The Princeton Review, Kaplan, and ETS all provide study materials for the exam. GRE scores are also valid for five years.

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