Standardized Testing for Graduate School Applications

You may be required to sit for a standardized test as part of your application for graduate school. 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.

Applicants will also need to write a personal statement.

Essays and Personal Statements

Graduate schools generally request a written statement of purpose (sometimes called a graduate school essay or a personal statement) as part of the application process. This gives the school a “non-numerical” look at you as an applicant – something not necessarily based upon your GPA or standardized testing scores. It allows you to introduce yourself, explain your goals and objectives, why you want to continue your studies, and what you hope to do once you obtain your graduate degree. Essay questions may be as general as “Tell us your reasons for pursuing graduate study,” or as specific as “Discuss an ethical dilemma you have faced, and how you handled the situation.” Make sure that you answer the question posed, and not use a generalized essay to cover all your applications if the questions asked by each school are different. If you choose to write one essay to cover all of your applications, make sure you change the name of the school in each essay. Essays, personal statements, or statements of purpose can range in length from 1-2 paragraphs, to a specific number of words, to 5-6 separate essays for each application. Producing an original document can seem like a daunting task. Sometimes it helps to think of this as an opportunity to show the committee why you are the best choice as a student for their graduate program.