Applying to graduate school is a big step in anyone’s life. You’ve probably spent countless hours mulling over your decision, as well as the discipline you would like to focus your studies on. Now it’s time to start applying, which can be incredibly time consuming and stressful, especially if you don’t even know where to begin. While every application is a little different, there a few things that you can always expect to see on your grad school applications. You will have to provide your transcripts and your GRE scores.
The vast majority of graduate programs will require you to take the standardized graduate record exams. If you are applying to medical school you will have to take the medical college admissions test, if you are applying to law school you will have to take the law school admission test and if you are applying to business school you will have to take the graduate management admissions test. These exams are meant to measure your ability to handle graduate level work. The amount of weight placed on your scores heavily depends on your specific school and graduate program, but in general a higher score will increase your likelihood of gaining access to the program you wish to enter. You should aim to take these exams about a year before you plan to enter graduate school, so plan ahead.
You will have to order transcripts from the registrar’s office of your undergraduate program. While your GPA does hold great importance, the type of classes you took during your undergraduate education is also important. Receiving an A in an astrophysics course will hold a lot more weight than an A for learning to install ebc brakes in your intro mechanics course. Make sure that your transcripts are sealed and certified by your school; otherwise they will not be accepted with your grad school application. You will most likely need to fill out forms far in advance so that you can receive them on time. During the spring semester, most schools receive numerous official transcript requests so it may take a while to process yours.