Graduate school tests:how to pick the right one


November is the time of the year that seniors are making decisions about their future. Many ask themselves what they want to do with the rest of their lives.
Some will choose to go straight into the real world. Others will study endlessly for the graduate tests and finally go to the Graduate sschool of their choice.
Those that choose the latter course are forced to fill out applications, get recommendations, maintain high GPA’s and pass a graduate exam.
The MCATs, the LSATs, the GMATs, the GRE’s and the Praxis I are all very frightening acronyms for some applying to graduate school.
The Medical College Admission Tests (MCAT) is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess problem solving, critical thinking, and writing skills. They also test a person’s knowledge of science concepts and principles.
Almost all medical schools require applicants to submit MCAT scores and use them in their consideration for admission to the college or university.
MCAT scores are valid for three years.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day standardized test required for admission to all 200 law schools that are members of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
It is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school and provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills.
The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions and a 30 minute writing sample.
The fifth section is a pretest of unlearned material.
The score scale for the LSAT is 120 to 180.
The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) yields four scores – verbal, quantitative, total and analytical writing assessment.
Each of the scores is represented on a fixed scale, ranging from 200 to 800. Two-thirds of test takers score between 400 and 600.
Both scores are on a fixed scale and can be compared across any GMAT administration. The Verbal and Quantitative scores measure different things and cannot be compared to each other.
The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score is an average of the ratings given to the Analysis of an Issue and the Analysis of an Argument sections. Each response is given two independent ratings.
Once both essays have been scored, the scores are averaged to provide an overall score. Scores for the AWA can range from 0 to 6 in half-point intervals.
College and university faculty members trained as readers for the AWA will consider abilities such as organization, development of a topic and ability to support your argument.
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) measures verbal, quantitative and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and are not related to any specific field of study.
The verbal section measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it.
There is a balance of passages across different subject matter areas: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
The quantitative section measures your basic mathematical skills, your understanding of elementary mathematical concepts and your ability to reason quantitatively and solve problems.
There is a balance of questions requiring arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis. These are content areas usually studied in high school.
Both the verbal and the quantitative scores are reported on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increments.
The analytical writing section was introduced in October 2002. It tests your critical thinking and analytical writing skills.
It assesses your ability to articulate and support complex ideas, analyze an argument and sustain a focused and coherent discussion.
The analytical writing score is reported on a 0-6 score scale, in half-point increments.
The Praxis Series, Professional Assessments for Beginning Teachers, is a set of rigorous and carefully validated assessments that provides a standard for use by the state education agencies in making licensing decisions.
Most colleges and universities also use the basic academic skills assessments to qualify individuals for entry into teacher education programs.
Entering a masters program for education requires one to pass the Praxis I, academic skills assessments.
Further on in education, students are also required to pass the Praxis II for subject assessments and Praxis III for classroom performance assessments.
Each state (or other certifying agency) establishes its own requirements regarding the scores.
Quinnipiac University offers many graduate courses in business, communications, health sciences and education. These courses include five-year masters programs.
Admission to the graduate degree programs at Quinnipiac University is competitive and based on academic qualifications and potential.
Among the additional requirements from the tests, the applicant must submit official transcripts from each university attended and two evaluator forms must be filled out.
The GRE test is not required for the Quinnipiac graduate programs. The Praxis I is required for the Master’s of Arts in Teaching program and the GMAT is required for the Master’s in Business Administration program as well as the Master’s in Health Administration program. The minimum score allowed is 400. However, the score is used in combination with a person’s GPA to calculate a total amount of points for eligible entry into QU.
To apply to any of the graduate programs at Quinnipiac costs $45. However, this fee is waived for the current undergraduate student.
In addition to these procedures, applicants from non-English-speaking countries must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
For more information on graduate programs at Quinnipiac, call x8672.