Graduate School Exams

Exam Schedule

See the Schedule of Exams Offered at Whitman 12-13.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Graduate programs and business schools use GRE scores to evaluate your readiness for graduate-level work. The GRE General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.

·         Analytical Writing — Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically the test taker's ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively

·         Verbal Reasoning — Measures reading comprehension skills and verbal and analogical reasoning skills, focusing on the test taker's ability to analyze and evaluate written material

·         Quantitative Reasoning — Measures problem-solving ability, focusing on basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis

The GRE is changing in August 2011. Click here to learn about the changes.

Visit the official GRE homepage.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The GMAT exam is a standardized assessment, delivered in English, which helps business schools assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management. By taking the GMAT exam, you have a better chance of being targeted by business schools that are a good match for you—and learning more about their programs and admissions processes. Schools use the test as one predictor of academic performance in an MBA program or in other graduate management programs.

The GMAT exam consists of three main parts, the Analytical Writing Assessment, the Quantitative section, and the Verbal section. 

·         Analytical Writing Assessment - The GMAT exam begins with the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA). The AWA consists of two separate writing tasks—Analysis of an Issue and Analysis of an Argument. You are allowed 30 minutes to complete each one. 

·         Quantitative Section - Following an optional break, you then begin with the Quantitative Section of the GMAT exam. This section contains 37 multiple-choice questions of two question types—Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving. You are allowed a maximum of 75 minutes to complete the entire section.

·         Verbal Section - After completion of the Quantitative Section (following an optional break), you begin the Verbal Section of the GMAT exam. This section contains 41 multiple choice questions of three question types—Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction. You are allowed a maximum of 75 minutes to complete the entire section. 

Visit the official GMAT homepage.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day, standardized test administered four times each year at designated testing centers throughout the world. All American Bar Association-approved law schools, most Canadian law schools, and many other law schools require applicants to take the LSAT as part of their admission process. It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants. Some schools place greater weight than others on the LSAT; most law schools do evaluate your full range of credentials.

In the US, Canada, the Caribbean, and some other countries, the LSAT is administered on a Saturday, except in June, when it is generally administered on a Monday. For Saturday Sabbath observers, the test is also administered on a weekday following Saturday administrations.

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.

Test Format

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 preequate 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.

What the Test Measures

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, applying principles or rules, and identifying argument flaws.

Visit the official LSAT homepage.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess the examinee's problem solving, critical thinking, writing skills, and knowledge of science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine. Scores are reported in Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, Writing Sample, and Biological Sciences. Medical colleges consider MCAT exam scores as part of their admission process.

Almost all U.S. medical schools require applicants to submit MCAT exam scores. Many schools do not accept MCAT exam scores that are more than three years old.

Visit the official MCAT homepage.