The weight given to standardized admissions exams varies from program to program, and discipline to discipline. While it is just one of the variables in the application process, in some fields such as law and medicine, the LSAT and MCAT have an enormous effect on acceptance. The MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, and LAST are required examinations for the fields of medicine, law, business, and education, respectively.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
The GRE is required by most graduate school programs. (The GRE is usually not required for graduate programs in education and social work, particularly in the New York City area. Check with the programs to which you are applying.) You may be required to take the General Test, and/or the Subject Test. The scores are used as one indicator for success in graduate school. The General Test measures verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing skills. The analytical writing section focuses on your critical thinking and analytical writing skills. The score range is from 200-800 for the verbal and quantitative of segments; the analytical writing range is 0-6. These separate scores allow graduate programs to look at your ability in specific areas.
The analytical writing assessment section focuses on your ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively and support ideas with relevant reasons and examples. The score range is from 0 to 6 in increments of 0.5.
The verbal reasoning section measures complex reasoning skills including your ability to analyze and draw conclusions from discourse, reason from incomplete data, identify author’s assumptions, and understand multiple levels of meaning.
The quantitative reasoning section measures your ability to interpret and analyze quantitative information, apply basic mathematical skills and elementary mathematical concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics and to interpret data and apply to real-life scenarios.
The scoring for verbal and quantitative reasoning is measured on a 130-170 score scale with one point increments.
Improving Your Knowledge & Skills
There are courses you can take at Hunter that may prove helpful in improving your knowledge and skills in taking the General GRE:
- Classics 110 for the Verbal Reasoning
- Math 125 for the Quantitative Reasoning
- Philosophy 103 for the Analytical Writing
Preparing for the GRE
It is important to familiarize yourself with format of the test as a whole so that you quickly recognize the types of questions you have to answer. Students can prepare themselves by using the GRE website, the GRE review books such as Practicing to take the GRE General Test available through the Educational Testing Service (ETS) or by taking one of the preparation courses. The ETS supplies free test preparation material for GRE test registrants. GRE POWERPREP for the General Test and a practice test for the Subject Test can be downloaded from the GRE web site. A useful site for practice materials is www.number2.com.
Other publications which may prove helpful are: for vocabulary improvement, Vocabulary for Dummies, L.E. Rozakis; for math review, Conquering GRE/GMAT Math, R.E. Moyer and for writing, The Elements of Style, W, Strunk and E. B. White.
Some of the better-known test preparation centers are: Kaplan (www.kaplan.com), Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com—Hunter College students receive a 10% discount from Princeton Review), and NYC-based PrimePrep (www.primeprep.com). Hunter College’s Continuing Education program (http://ce.hunter.cuny.edu) offers discounted preparation courses for the GRE and LSAT. Check with the other test preparation centers to find out about any scholarships/discounts that they may offer to students based on academic merit or financial need.
General GRE Information
The GRE General Test is available only as a computer-based test. The test is offered many days a month and the results can be available to the graduate schools within fifteen days. Be sure you read the GRE Information and Registration Bulletin. You can schedule an appointment and pay by credit card on-line or by phone (800-GRE-CALL). The Subject Test will continue to be offered in the paper-based format.
The GRE Search Service helps match students interested in graduate study with graduate schools seeking appropriate applicants. This is a free service open to anyone considering graduate education. Applications can be found in the GRE bulletin, or online at www.gre.org. A good time to take advantage of this resource is early in your junior year.
Further information or inquiries regarding the GRE should be addressed to:
Graduate Record Examination
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, N.J. 08541-6000
As of this writing, the fees were $160.00 for the General Test and $140.00 for the Subject Test, but please check the ETS Web site for current fees.
NOTE: Students who receive financial aid may be eligible for a GRE Fee Reduction Certificate. Read about it at the GRE web site, and then check with the Financial Aid Office.
Other Admission Exams
MCATs, LSATs, GMATs and LASTs are required examinations for the fields of medicine, law, business and education, respectively. (MCAT and LSAT bulletins are available in the Pre-Professional Office, Room 812 East.)
Some of the better-known test preparation centers are:
- Kaplan (www.kaplan.com)
- Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com), (Hunter College students receive a 10% discount from Princeton Review, (212) 925-6447. Attach a photocopy of your Hunter College I.D.to your application.)
- PrimePrep (www.primeprep.com).
- Hunter College’s Continuing Education program (http://ce.hunter.cuny.edu) located in the Welcome Center, Room 100 North, offers discounted preparation courses for the GRE and LSAT.
Check with the other test preparation centers to find out about any scholarships/discounts that they may offer to students based on academic merit or financial need.