Understanding graduate school exams

In order to gain entry into graduate school, prospective students must take one or more entry tests.

These tests include the LSAT, GRE, GMAT and MAT. Some colleges don’t require any testing, however, most do, so when students apply it is advised to contact the college about which tests are required and the minimum score needed. 

Graduation admissions counselor Mistie Maskil said the tests are divided based on which area of study the student wishes to pursue. The LSAT is for law and politics. The GMAT is for business study. The MAT is for liberal arts. 

The GRE is the standard graduate level test, and is typically required at UTA. 

“It covers the basics, I guess you could say,” Miskal said. “Kind of like what the SAT or the ACT would do, but at the graduate level.”

Sebastian Fuentes, graduate and international recruitment associate director, said in an email that the GRE is required for most graduate programs. He said it is composed of three different sections: analytical writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. 

Fuentes said in order to prepare for the test, it’s best to plan well in advance.

“Develop a timeline to help you prepare,” Fuentes said. “Identify test dates and work backwards to develop a calendar for how much time you think you might need to study.”

Maskil said there are several materials available to help students prepare for the test. These include the Princeton guide, Barron’s and Kaplan’s test prep. Maskil said for the best results, it’s crucial for students to understand their learning style.

“Know your learning style, because that is going to determine whether or not you can get a test prep book and just follow it yourself or if you actually need to sign up for a test prep class,” Maskil said.

Gajendran Palaniyandi, mechanical engineering masters student, said he studied three months before taking the GRE. He said that in order to prepare himself, he signed up at a tutoring center. In addition, he looked up previous exams.

“I went through the previous year’s questions and papers, and then I solved all of them so that if I get to go through a new problem, I’ll see the answer for it,” Palaniyandi said.

It is also recommended to know what additional materials are needed to enter the graduate program, such as letter of recommendation, statement of purpose and fees. 



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