Posts Tagged ‘applying to grad school. apply to graduate school’

GRE ScoreSelect: What the New Policy Means for Test Takers

If you’re not familiar with the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the GRE is a standardized test often required for graduate school acceptance. Like the SAT, it has verbal, math, and written sections. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, a new policy regarding the GRE has been introduced.

The new policy, ScoreSelect, allows for students to be able to choose what test scores they want sent to colleges. Previously, a student could take the GRE three times, and all three scores for all sections would automatically be sent to potential colleges. With the new policy, a student could take the GRE three times, and then choose the highest score for each of the sections to be sent to colleges. ScoreSelect will be available for test takers starting in July of 2012. According to ETS (Educational Testing Service), this will allow students to take the test more confidently.

There are mixed feelings regarding ScoreSelect. While some believe this will reduce stress for test-takers, others believe that if students can choose to submit only their highest scores after taking the test multiple times, colleges will just hike up the minimum GRE score for acceptance, making acceptance into graduate school even harder.

While ScoreSelect will be made available for those who wish to use it, students may also continue to use the old system that sends all test scores to all colleges, or just the most recent test scores to all colleges.

What does this new policy mean for test takers? The following is a list of pros and cons for ScoreSelect:


  • Students will likely be less stressed on test day, which may allow them to perform better.
  • Taking the test multiple times will increase your familiarity with the test’s structure.
  • Students may feel more in control of their graduate application by having the ability to choose what scores are being sent.
  • Students may feel the higher scores are the more accurate readings of their abilities.


  • Students will likely be less stressed on test day, which for some students, may allow them to perform poorly.
  • Students may be less inclined to spend time studying for the GREs if they assume they can have do-overs.
  • With the ability to pick only the highest scores, students are more likely to take the test more often, which means more money is being spent on it.
  • College admissions boards will no longer have a gray area in which they could argue a lower-than-average score was due to a bad test day. Potential colleges will view GRE scores as your highest ability.

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6 Things You Should Know Before Applying to Grad School

Categories: Admissions Advice

It’s your senior year of college, and you’ve decided you’d like to apply to grad school! Perhaps you need a masters degree for your desired career, or perhaps you would like to further your education in a particular area. Before you send out those giant manila envelopes, here’s a list of six things you should know:

1. How you plan to use a masters degree to advance your career.  If you’re getting your masters because you need it for your future job, this part isn’t so bad. It’s obvious why you need a masters. But those of us who don’t need another degree, but choose to get one anyway, will find that they’ll need to persuade an admissions board why this degree matters and how they’ll plan to use it. If you don’t know how you’re going to use a masters degree, don’t apply to graduate school yet.

2. How you plan to use their program to advance your career. Once you know why you need/want a masters degree, you have to be able to explain why the programs you’re applying to are best for you. Unlike your undergraduate application, the college’s social environment is not usually a reason to apply to that institution. You’ll be expected to discuss the program itself, which leads to the #3 thing you should know.

3. Know the program inside and out. When you apply to a graduate program, they’ll expect that you did your research and that it’s made evident in your statement of purpose (SOP). You’ll be expected to know what courses are offered, what will be required of you, and often times, who teaches the courses. Most colleges have their course catalogs and syllabi online. Go through the class descriptions and syllabi for the courses you’ll be taking. Read the resumes and accomplishments of the professors who teach the courses. The more you know about the program, the better you’ll be able to discuss your reasons for choosing it.

4. Know who you want to study under and why. The relationships you have with your graduate professors are often different than the ones you had with your undergraduate professors. In graduate school, you are a professional relating to another–far more experienced–professional. You’re there to learn from them and often times, collaborate. For that reason, it’s expected that you know a thing or two about the members of your program’s department.

5. Know your application’s expectations and meet them. Your grad school application is not the time to forget you need three letters of recommendation as opposed to two. It’s not the time to submit a 500 word essay and hope it’s good enough when they asked for 600 words. Know exactly what you need to submit, and give them exactly that.

6. Understand that it’s a competitive world: If you don’t get accepted to the graduate school you wanted or to graduate school at all, it doesn’t mean you failed at life. Graduate programs take in very few people, and it’s very competitive. Reassess your goals, and try again next semester!

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10 Colleges Most Likely to Lead to Grad School

mortarSome students have the foresight to see past their undergraduate college searches and onto their graduate school careers. Does going to a certain undergraduate college give you a better opportunity of going to graduate school?

That correlation is tough to tell, but U.S. News recently surveyed 1,756 undergraduate programs to find out what percentages of their undergraduate classes were heading on to grad school. The study found that an average of 25.5% of students attended graduate school within a year of graduating college. There were some schools, however, that seemed like outliers…

Here are the 10 colleges with the highest percentage of students who go on to graduate school:

1. Yeshiva University
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees:

2. SUNY College–Old Westbury
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 78%

3. Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology (NY)
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees:

4. Hawaii Pacific University
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 75%

5. SUNY College of Technology –Delhi
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 75%

6. Waldorf College (IA)
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 75%

7. South Carolina State University
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 70%

8. Southern Connecticut State University
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 70%

9. Missouri Western State University
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 66%

10. Georgetown College (KY)
Graduates pursuing advanced degrees: 65%

Are you thinking about grad school during your college search? When’s a good time to start? Leave a comment below!