Take Graduate and Professional Exams

Considering grad school? Familiarize yourself with the common graduate entrance exams.


If you continue your education after earning your undergraduate degree, you'll probably have to take at least one more exam.

The following are the most common exams used for graduate school admissions:

  • GRE (Graduate Records Examination) — The General GRE Test is a test of verbal, quantitative, and analytical abilities intended for applicants to graduate schools. In addition to the General Test, the GRE includes subject area tests in 16 different fields. The General Test is available only as a computer adaptive test available by appointment at test centers; the subject tests are traditional paper tests administered only on specific test dates. For more information, contact the college you are interested in attending, call the GRE General Information line at (609) 771-7670, visit the GRE website, or send an email message to gre-info@ets.org.
  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) — The GMAT is a standardized test that is required for admission to most business schools in the United States. It includes multiple choice questions and a writing section. The GMAT results in four scores: verbal, quantitative, total, and analytical writing. The test is available in a computer-adaptive format.

    For more information, contact the business college you would like to attend, call GMAT Customer Service at (609) 771-7330, or visit the Graduate Management Admission Council's website.

  • LSAT (Law School Admission Test) — The LSAT is a half-day, multiple-choice test used for admission into law schools. The test is administered four times a year. For more information, contact the law school you are interested in attending or visit the LSAT website.
  • MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) — The MCAT is a standardized test given in April and August of each year. The test includes four sections: verbal reasoning, physical sciences, writing sample, and biological sciences. For more information, contact the medical school you are interested in attending, call the MCAT general information line at (319) 337-1357, or visit the MCAT website.

When should I take a graduate school entrance exam?

If you're considering postponing graduate school, or if you haven't decided whether it's right for you, contact the school you want to attend to see whether you should take your graduate exam now or wait until you're ready to enroll. Some schools accept only scores for tests taken within a certain period before enrollment. However, if that isn't an issue, it might be a good idea to take the test while everything you learned is still fresh.

How can I prepare?

If you're looking for help in preparing for your graduate or professional exam, be sure to check out all the sample tests that are available. The test manufacturers offer study guides and practice tests to help test-takers prepare. Online samples and practice questions are also available. If it's been a while since you finished your undergraduate work, consider taking some refresher courses before taking your graduate or professional exam.

See also