Gearing up for Grad School, Part 5: Letters of Recommendation

Posted by on May 20, 2015 4:56:05 PM


We've been breaking down the grad school application process, step by step, for the past few weeks. This week, we'll talk about letters of recommendation: What they are, who should write them, and what they should talk about.

Letters of recommendation deserve just as much attention as any other part of your application, for two very important reasons: They come from an outside perspective and speak about you in the third person. This gives them more weight. Letters of recommendation allow admissions officers to corroborate your academic story, be appraised of any personality traits you may not have mentioned throughout the rest of your application, and learn of any other qualifications (positive or negative) that you may bring to the table.

However, because recommendation letters (and recommenders) are also almost completely out of your control, you need to be aware of exactly what you can control, and how you can control it best.

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Topics: Gearing Up For Grad School Series, Grad School Admissions

Gearing up for Grad School, Part 4: Take the GRE

Posted by on May 12, 2015 4:00:00 PM

Applying to grad school can sometimes feel like a maze where documents are requested, fees are paid, tests are taken, and essays are written, all without any seeming rhyme or reason. How can you make sense of it all, and be successful in your quest for admission to a graduate program? We're breaking it down, step by step, and this week, we'll talk about the GRE: what it is, when to take it, and how to study for it.

The one thing everyone knows about applying to grad school is that you have to take the GRE. But what is the GRE? What does it test, when do you take it, what should your score be, and can you study for it?

Start by taking a look at our "About The GRE" general overview. Then, read on to find answers to some of the most pressing questions students have about this all-important component of their grad school application.

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Topics: Gearing Up For Grad School Series, Grad School Admissions, GRE prep

Gearing up for Grad School, Part 3: Choose Your Schools

Posted by on May 7, 2015 5:25:29 PM


Applying to grad school can sometimes feel like a maze where documents are requested, fees are paid, tests are taken, and essays are written, all without any seeming rhyme or reason. How can you make sense of it all, and be successful in your quest for admission to a graduate program?

We're breaking down this process into manageable chunks. This week, we'll talk about what to consider when you're choosing the schools to which you will apply.

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Topics: Gearing Up For Grad School Series, Grad School Admissions

Gearing up for Grad School, Part 2: Get Organized

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 11:00:00 AM

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As we saw last week, there are many moving parts to keep track of when you're applying to grad school, including... 

  • The application form
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized test scores
  • Additional essays and documentation

When this many balls are up in the air, it becomes very easy to drop some of them (and sometimes, once they fall you forget to pick them back up!). To make sure that don't miss a beat and keep on top of your apps--and, most importantly, submit them on time and well done--you need to get organized. And you need to do it before you even fill out your first application form. 

Our advice? Follow these steps to get organized: 

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Topics: Gearing Up For Grad School Series, Grad School Admissions

Gearing up for Grad School, Part 1: Start Early

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 3:15:00 PM

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Applying to grad school can sometimes feel like a maze where documents are requested, fees are paid, 

tests are taken, and essays are written, all without any seeming rhyme or reason. How can you make sense of it all, and be successful in your quest for admission to a graduate program?

We'll break it down, step by step, in weekly installments. This week, we'll talk about timing, and the importance of starting the application process early. 

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Topics: Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions

Understanding GRE Subject Tests

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 11:35:00 AM


In addition to the GRE General Test (which is the test that comes to mind when most people think of the GRE), the Educational Testing Service offers eight GRE Subject Tests in the following disciplines (click on the links to be taken directly to the ETS page on each specific subject test):


Let's learn a little more about what subject tests are, and what their purpose is.

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Topics: GRE Prep: Verbal, GRE prep

What is the ETS Personal Potential Index (PPI), and how does it work?

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 1:27:01 PM


Students who have taken the GRE have the option of including in their admissions folders the ETS Personal Potential Index, or PPI—an online system of evaluation designed to present a more complete picture of graduate school applicants than is represented by grades and traditional scores. The system gives evaluators the opportunity to rate applicants on six attributes considered vital to successful performance in graduate study:Knowledge and Creativity; Communication Skills; Teamwork; Resilience; Planning and Organization; and Ethics and Integrity.

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Topics: Grad School Admissions, GRE prep

When should you take the GRE?

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 1:11:03 PM

Are you trying to figure out the best time to take the GRE? We have some advice! 

Try to take the GRE about a year prior to your expected entrance into Graduate School—preferably any time during the summer or early fall. The deadline for taking the GRE will vary dramatically depending on the admission procedures of each school to which you apply, the specific program, and the term in which you are planning to enroll. You need to look at the application guidelines to find out whether you need to take a Subject Test in addition to the General Test. These tests are only offered three times a year, so factor their schedule into your timeline.

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Topics: Grad School Admissions, GRE prep

Part-time graduate programs: Are they for you?

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 1:36:49 PM


Part-time graduate programs are popular at law schools and business schools, but are not common in other graduate fields. This is surprising since part-time study offers many benefits, such as:
  • allowing students to further their education while working full-time;
  • reducing the financial burden by distributing costs over a longer period of time;
  • allowing students more flexibility in scheduling, which is helpful if a student has children or health issues; and
  • permitting students to participate in other activities that full-time students would not have time for.

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Topics: Grad School Admissions

GRE Tip: Look for the easy solution first

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 1:26:18 PM

Look for the easy solution first!

In Quantitative questions with multiple equations, if you are asked to solve for an entire expression (like x + y, for instance) look to combine the equations by simple addition or subtraction to produce the expression before attempting to solve for individual variables.

Want to check out other GRE tips? Click here.

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Topics: GRE prep