You may be required to sit for a standardized test as part of your application for graduate school. Information on the following exams and others can be found in the Office of Career Development. It is best to plan ahead with these exams to determine which may be required for your applications and to check when the exams are given so that your test scores may be included in your applications by the due dates. We highly encourage you to check out the comprehensive websites for each of these exams as they contain much more helpful information to assist you in performing at your best level.
DAT: Dental Admissions Test
The DAT consists of four computerized exams covering:
- survey of the natural sciences: biology, chemistry (general and organic), and diversity of life
- perceptual ability
- reading comprehension
- quantitative reasoning
The computerized test is administered most weekdays and occasionally on weekends (depending on the availability of each specific test center), and takes approximately 5 hours, including breaks. The fee for this exam is $320 for 2011/2012 testing, which includes sending your scores to all schools you indicate on your testing form. Each additional score report (to schools not indicated at the time of testing) is $25. If your application to take the DAT is approved, you will receive an email informing you to contact the Prometrics Test Centers (there is one in South Burlington, VT) to schedule a testing appointment. Dr. Donna Bozzone, SMC Biology Department, is familiar with this exam, and can assist with the application and questions.
Please note that the DAT is making major changes to the software system, and between the dates of January 19th and January 30th, 2012, no official score reports, application processing, updates, information retrieval, or requests will be processed. Normal operations will begin on January 31, 2012.
GMAT: Graduate Management Admissions Test
The GMAT consists of three main parts - the Analytical Writing Assessment (2 essays), the Quantitative section, and the Verbal section. You have three and a half hours in which to take the exam, but plan for a total time of approximately four hours.
The GMAT adjusts to your individual ability level, which both shortens the time it takes to complete the exam and establishes a higher level of accuracy than a fixed test. At the start of each multiple-choice section of the exam, you are presented with a question of medium difficulty. As you answer each question, the computer scores your answer and uses it - as well as your responses to any preceding questions - to determine which question to present next. Correct responses typically prompt questions of increased difficulty. Incorrect responses generally result in questions of lesser difficulty.
This process will continue until you complete the section, at which point the computer will have an accurate assessment of your ability level in that subject area. In a computer-adaptive test, only one question at a time is presented. Because the computer scores each question before selecting the next one, you may not skip, return to, or change your responses to previous questions.
The fee to take the GMAT is $250. A US$10 service fee may be charged for phone transactions in addition to the regular fee above. Since this service charge is assessed per call, we recommend that you attempt to make all requests within a single call rather than contacting us more than once. For example, you may schedule an appointment, order GMATPrep, and order the GMAT Information Bulletin during one call for a single US$10 service fee. If you place these orders in separate phone calls, you may be asked for the service fee each time you contact customer service. The fee is not charged if you call us with just a general question about the GMAT test.
With the computer testing, your unofficial scores are available to you immediately. Official score reports will be available online to you and your choices of graduate programs in approximately 20 days. Score reports are kept for 10 years, but most schools will not accept scores older than 5 years. A website is available at mba.com.
GMAT Tutorial and PowerPrep software is available as a free CD when you register or can be downloaded directly from the website.
GRE: Graduate Record Examination
Two parts: Revised General Test and Subject Test
In August 2011, the GRE Revised General Test replaced the GRE General Test. Featuring the new test-taker friendly design and new questions, the revised test more closely reflects the kind of thinking you'll do in graduate or business school and demonstrates that you are ready for graduate-level work.
- Verbal Reasoning - Measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words and concepts.
- Quantitative Reasoning - Measures problem-solving ability, focusing on basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.
- Analytical Writing - Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively.
The GRE Subject Tests are designed to measure knowledge and understanding of subject matter basic to graduate study in 8 specific fields, and run for approximately 3 ½ hours, including breaks (2 ½ hours actual testing time). The tests are only offered as paper-based tests, and are given 3 times a year on Saturday mornings, (October 15, 2011 November 12, 2011 and April 21, 2012). Mailed applications must be received 6 to 7 weeks prior to the test dates, or you can register online. Your graduate schools will tell you which, if any, of the Subject Tests is necessary for admission to that school. The fields of study for the subject tests are: biochemistry, cell, and molecular biology; biology; chemistry; computer science; literature in English; mathematics; physics; and psychology.
The current cost of the GRE is $160 for the General Test, $140 for each Subject Test. (Fee waivers are available in some cases. Check with the Saint Michael’s College Financial Aid Office to see if you qualify.)
Scores for the General Test are reported on a scale of 130-170 in one point increments. Scores for the analytical writing section are based on a 6-point holistic scale. The General Test computer exam allows for you to see your unofficial scores for the verbal and quantitative portions immediately, with official reports (including the writing scores) sent to you and your chosen schools within the next 10-15 days.
Scores range from 200 to 990 for the Subject Tests. The Subject Test results are mailed approximately 6 weeks after the exam.
The GRE website is ets.org/gre/. Free GRE Test Preparation materials will be sent to you when you register for the exam or can be downloaded from the website. You may register online or call a testing center.
LSAT: Law School Admissions Test
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day, standardized test administered four times per year (current dates are June 6, 2011; October 1, 2011; December 2, 2011; and February 11, 2012) at designated testing centers. The test is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States, Canada, and a growing number of other countries. It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing an applicant’s readiness for law school. Many law schools require that the LSAT be taken by December for admission the following fall. However, taking the test earlier—in June or September—is often advised.
The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker's score. The unscored section, commonly referred to as the variable section, typically is used to pretest new test questions or to pre-equate new test forms. The placement of this section will vary. A 35-minute writing sample is administered at the end of the test. LSAC does not score the writing sample, but copies of the writing sample are sent to all law schools to which you apply.
The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.
The three multiple-choice question types in the LSAT are:
- Reading Comprehension Questions: These questions measure the ability to read, with understanding and insight, examples of lengthy and complex materials similar to those commonly encountered in law school. The Reading Comprehension section contains four sets of reading questions, each consisting of a selection of reading material, followed by five to eight questions that test reading and reasoning abilities.
- Analytical Reasoning Questions: These questions measure the ability to understand a structure of relationships and to draw logical conclusions about that structure. You are asked to reason deductively from a set of statements and rules or principles that describe relationships among persons, things, or events. Analytical Reasoning questions reflect the kinds of complex analyses that a law student performs in the course of legal problem solving.
- Logical Reasoning Questions: These questions assess the ability to analyze, critically evaluate, and complete arguments as they occur in ordinary language. Each Logical Reasoning question requires the test taker to read and comprehend a short passage, then answer a question about it. The questions are designed to assess a wide range of skills involved in thinking critically, with an emphasis on skills that are central to legal reasoning. These skills include drawing well-supported conclusions, reasoning by analogy, determining how additional evidence affects an argument, and applying principles.
The cost for the LSAT Exam is $139. There is an additional fee of $124 for the credentialing service. Scores range from 120 – 180, and are sent approximately 3 weeks after taking the exam via email. You will also receive a percentage score which reflects the percent of those candidates scoring below your score. You may not take the LSAT more than three times in any 2 year period. The website is located at LSAC.org.
MAT: Miller Analogies Test
This exam is a high-level test of analytical ability requiring the solution of problems stated as analogies. It consists of 120 partial analogies to be completed in 60 minutes. It measures your ability to recognize relationships between ideas, your fluency of the English language, and your general knowledge of the humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, and social sciences. The questions are framed in the terms of "A is to B as C is to D". It is administered at Controlled Testing Centers (VT locations are at Castleton State (802) 468-6085 and Lyndon State (802) 626-6206), and you can obtain current fee information from them (fees vary by testing site). Three scores are reported to you. You receive a scaled score ranging from 200 - 600, followed by two percentile scores. A comprehensive website is located at: milleranalogies.com and includes practice tests.
MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test
The MCAT is administered to prospective medical students to evaluate the student's knowledge and ability to solve problems in the areas of biological sciences (biology and organic chemistry), physical sciences (general chemistry and physics); verbal reasoning; and ability to write (two 30-minute essays). Total testing time, including time allotted for breaks and lunch, is a little more than 7 hours. The test is administered throughout the year between January and September (see the website for current schedule of dates), and registration opens approximately 6 months before the test date. The current fee is $235, which includes processing, registration, scoring the test, and reporting your scores to all AAMC and AMCAS medical schools, as well as up to 6 schools that are not registered. Dr. Donna Bozzone, SMC Biology Department, is very familiar with this exam, and is willing to assist in answering questions you may have about it. Applications and registration for this exam can be found online at aamc.org/mcat. Scores are reported on a scale of 1 - 15 for each section, except for the written work, which is scored on a scale of 1 to 6, then converted to an alphabetic score. A score of 11 or greater for each section is usually considered competitive.
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language
The TOEFL is administered to evaluate the English proficiency of people whose native language is not English. This exam consists of four sections - listening comprehension; structure and written expression; reading comprehension; and speaking. TOEFL is offered as a computerized exam. The fee is $170 here in Vermont (local testing center is in Williston, VT. Most states have multiple locations) for the Internet-based test. Fees will vary by location and country. Scores are reported for each of the four sections, and range from 0 to 30. You will also receive a total score. Booklets are available in the Office of Career Development.