Whether you are pursuing a career that requires a graduate degree or just want to continue learning, you may find yourself considering graduate school upon your graduation from Western. Some students transition directly from undergraduate to graduate work, while others take a year (or several!) off to gain work experience and to refine their academic or professional interests.
No matter your situation, graduate school is a big commitment. The process of researching and applying to graduate schools can take months and cost hundreds of dollars, and that is all before committing to years of further study and tuition payments.
- Why do I want to go to graduate school?
- What kind of degree is required in order to get the job I want?
- What type of degree am I looking to earn?
- What is my ultimate career goal, and how does this degree help me to achieve that goal?
- How much time, effort, and money am I willing to commit to my graduate school search?
- Am I prepared academically and emotionally for graduate school?
- What motivates me, and how will I sustain that motivation for one, two, four or eight more years of study?
Graduate Programs at Western
Western offers several master's degrees in a diverse range of disciplines. Consider one of the graduate programs at Western!
Common Entrance Exams
Many graduate and professional schools require applicants to submit scores from one or more standardized tests. Information on the most common are provided below, followed by tips for acing your exam!
General Admissions Exams
- GRE General Test - Graduate Record Examination (General)
- GRE Subject Tests - Graduate Record Examination (Subject)
- MAT - Miller Analogies Test (required by some grad schools in place of the GRE General Test)
Professional School Admissions Exams
- GMAT - Graduate Management Admission Test
- LSAT - Law School Admission Test
- MCAT - Medical College Admission Test
- PCAT - Pharmacy College Admission Test
- DAT - Dental Admission Test
- OAT - Optometry Admission Test
Language Proficiency Exams for Non-Native English Speakers
- Praxis - Core, Subject Assessments and Content Knowledge for Teaching Assessments (CKT)
Preparing for Your Graduate Admissions Exam
Do Your Research
Not all graduate programs require the same entrance exam. Most MBA programs require the GMAT, but some may require the GRE instead. Many master's programs require the GRE, but a growing number will accept the MAT in its place, or may have eliminated exam requirements altogether. And some law schools now accept the GRE in place of the LSAT. Know what your top schools require so you can focus your efforts in the right place.
Brush Up on Your Math
If you aren't studying a mathematics-related field in college, then you may be a little out of practice when it comes to the fundamentals of algebra, geometry, and quantitative reasoning. Tests like the GRE (General), MAT, and MCAT only test math up until an early high school level (no trig or calculus!) Other tests, like the LSAT, emphasize logical and analytical reasoning but do not require you to solve actual equations.
Use Your Words
Most of these exams are heavy on verbal skills, language and conceptual reasoning. While the math sections tend to be fairly basic, the verbal and written sections often are much more advanced. Thankfully, you can prepare! Read daily, whether it is your favorite genre of book, the news or required texts for class. Subscribe to a free word-of-the-day service, like those from Merriam-Webster or Dictionary.com, and make a point to use your new word each day. Generally speaking, you do not need to memorize specific words; words on these tests are chosen intentionally because you probably will not be familiar with them. Instead, focus on understanding prefixes, suffixes, and the history (or "etymology") of the word.
Take an Upper-Division Writing Course
The GRE, LSAT and GMAT all have one or two required essay sections. Although tests like the MCAT, DAT, OAT and MAT do not including writing sections, your graduate school application is likely to require an essay. Your ability to write a well-crafted, analytical essay could make the difference in getting admitted to your top program!
Practice, Practice, Practice
You can practice test content through a variety of means, but getting comfortable with the test format can be more challenging. Some test providers offer free practice versions online, while others require an additional fee. Third-party sites like The Princeton Review offer free practice tests as well as additional prep materials, books and tutoring at a cost.