Graduate School and Pre Professional Examination Information

The GRE, LSAT, GMAT, and MCAT® exams have daunting reputations. This should not discourage you; rather it should motivate you to take these college entrance exams seriously and study for them assiduously. The GRE, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT® and SAT exams are not easy--nor is the material at this site. If, however, you study hard and master the techniques presented here, your test scores will improve--significantly.

The GMAT - Graduate Management Admissions Test
The GMAT is an aptitude test. Like all aptitude tests, it must choose a medium in which to measure intellectual ability. The GMAT has chosen math, English, and logic. The question is--does it measure aptitude for business school? The GMAT's ability to predict performance in school is as poor as the SAT's. This is to be expected since the tests are written by the same company (ETS) and the problems are quite similar (though the formats are different). However, the GMAT also includes two types of questions--Arguments and Data Sufficiency--that the SAT does not. Many students struggle with these questions because they are unlike any material they have studied in school. However, the argument and data sufficiency questions are not inherently hard, and with sufficient study you can raise your performance on these questions significantly.

The GRE - Graduate Record Examination
The GRE is an aptitude test. Like all aptitude tests, it must choose a medium in which to measure intellectual ability. The GRE has chosen math and English. The question is--does it measure aptitude for graduate school? The GRE's ability to predict performance in school is as poor as the SAT's. This is to be expected since the tests are written by the same company (ETS) and are similar. The GRE's verbal section, however, is significantly harder (more big words), and, surprisingly, the GRE's math section is slightly easier. The GRE also includes a writing section that the SAT does not.

The GRE is administered by Education Testing Services (ETS) and is primarily a multiple-choice test that graduate schools use for admission of students into their graduate programs. ETS administers GRE programs on behalf of the Graduate Record Examination Board and the Council of Graduate Schools. The GRE Programs also assist students in their transition to graduate education through a variety of services and publications.

The Revised GRE - Graduate Record Examination, Effective August 1, 2011

The following information was adapted from the Educational Testing Services (ETS). For complete information go to, www.ets.org/gre/

About the GRE revised general test

 Just like the GRE® General Test, the GRE® revised General Test measures the verbal and quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills you'll need for success in graduate and business school. It's been changed to make it a friendlier, more flexible test, and to more closely reflect the kind of thinking you'll do in graduate or business school.

The result? A better test experience for you and an even more reliable way to show schools you have the skills and readiness for graduate-level work.

A new test-taker friendly design for the computer-based test that lets you edit or change your answers, skip questions and more, all within a section — giving you the freedom to use more of your own test-taking strategies. Another new feature: an on-screen calculator.*

 New types of questions in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, many featuring real-life scenarios that reflect the kind of thinking you'll do in today's demanding graduate and business school programs.

Special savings of 50% when you take the GRE revised General Test between August 1 and September 30, 2011. The 50% discount means big savings for you — and another big advantage to taking the GRE revised General Test.

Important score reporting information you need to know: If you take the GRE revised General Test during our special discount period of August – September 2011, your scores will be sent by mid-November. However, if you need your scores before November, take the current test before August.

The LSAT- Law School Admissions Test
The LSAT is an aptitude test. Like all aptitude tests, it must choose a medium in which to measure intellectual ability. The LSAT has chosen logic. Other tests, such as the SAT, use mathematics and English.

The question is--does it measure aptitude for law school? Now if you think analytically and like to fiddle with crossword or logic puzzles, then you will probably warm up to the LSAT. On the other hand, if you think intuitively and synthetically, then you will probably find the medium (Logic) less palatable.

Whether the ability to determine the possible arrangements of people around a circular table is an important skill for a lawyer is debatable. Nonetheless, the Law School Admission Council has chosen this type of question to test your aptitude for law school, so you must master their solution.

The MCAT – Medical College Admissions Test
The MCAT® is a 6+ hour test, consisting of 4 sections: Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Writing Sample. How do you prepare for such a thing?

The short answer is: by thinking and doing physics, chemistry, and biology.

Although these are knowledge based subjects, you need only a working knowledge of the basic concepts of these subjects. In your studies, you should concentrate on the ideas underlying the knowledge. Also, you will not need a battery of specialized equations; however, you should remember enough equations to understand the ideas. The purpose of the MCAT® is measure how well you reason, not how much knowledge you have.

In addition to measuring your reasoning ability, the MCAT® is testing your problem solving skills. Your goal in your studies is to learn how to approach new problems by studying the solutions to problems. Then you can solve future MCAT® problems by thinking in the same way as when you solved previous problems.

It is especially important that you keep an open mind and visualize what you read in the science sections. In biology one can actually see organelles with an electron microscope. Understanding the operation of enzymes requires a bit more imagination.

In physics, you must rely on imagination even more, but it is not too different from imagining the working of enzymes. If you view science as a mere collection of facts and equations to memorize, you will find it frustrating. Alternatively, if you approach science looking for new concepts, themes and a new worldview, then your efforts will be better rewarded.

Note
No test can measure all aspects of intelligence. Thus any admission test, no matter how well written, is inherently inadequate. Nevertheless, some form of admission testing is necessary. It would be unfair to base acceptance to business school solely on grades; they can be misleading. For instance, would it be fair to admit a student with an A average earned in easy classes over a student with a B average earned in difficult classes? A school's reputation is too broad a measure to use as admission criteria: many students seek out easy classes and generous instructors, in hopes of inflating their GPA. Furthermore, a system that would monitor the academic standards of every class would be cost prohibitive and stifling. So until a better system is proposed, the admission test is here to stay.


Useful Resource Links:

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Information on GRE test dates, locations, preparatory courses, etc

Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Links to AP Information; CLEP (College Level Examination Program); GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) Information; GRE Information; Praxis (Professional Assessment for Beginning Teachers) Information; The School Leadership Series Exam Information (For Principals, Superintendents, etc)

Princeton Review
Information on Preparatory Courses, Test Locations, Helpful Tips, Links to Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), GRE, etc

Thompson Peterson’s Testing Information
Education Information on Exams, Colleges/Universities, etc

Kaplan– Test Prep and Admissions Information
1099K North Country Road (631) 941.2630
Free Examination Preparation Information

Scholarstuff.com
Free Examination Preparation Information

Number2.com
Free Examination Preparation Information

Graduate School Information
GradSchools.com offers helpful information for potential or current graduate students on how to apply, how to get in, how to write your first graduate essay, and much more.

Stony Brook University – Pre-Health and Pre-Law Information
www.stonybrook.edu/healthed 
www.stonybrook.edu/prelaw 

There are many more informative sites than those listed above. In addition, preparatory materials can be purchased in any bookstore.

The descriptions listed above have been taken from www.majon.com/testprep/ 
Revised 2.29.09