Time flies when you’re having fun! It wasn’t until college that I realized how true this statement is. While it may feel like you just finished studying for the ACT/SAT, graduation will be looming and many students will be preparing for graduate school exams of some sort.
Getting familiar with the vast amount of degrees and programs out there would be the first step. Florida Atlantic University offers over 75 different graduate programs to choose from. If you are considering graduate school at FAU, be sure to check out FAU’s Annual Graduate College Open House. There are also several Graduate College Information Sessions held throughout the year. More information on information sessions can be found here. Consider visiting other colleges as well. This will give you the opportunity to meet professors and ask questions about the program. Start talking to an advisor early to be sure you have all the correct prerequisites, shadowing or research hours you will need.
Whether you are preparing for Medical or Law School or a specific graduate program, researching the continuation of your education may feel overwhelming. Finding the right concentration for you is important. Consider all of your options, including the location of schools, degrees offered, length of time to complete the degree, funding/cost, prerequisite classes testing and other requirements needed for entrance, and so on. Most graduate schools require test scores with the application.
FAU offers students test preparation courses for the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, and GK. The courses are held in person or online. FAU Students and Alumni are eligible for discounted Rates on prep courses. For information and pricing, click here or visit the Test Preparation center in Student Support Services Room 208D.
The FAU Career Center is a great resource to help prepare students for interviews and personal statement reviews. Students can make an appointment or simply walk in from 9 am to 4:00 pm.
Taking a course is optional and you may not need to spend hundreds of dollars to do so. Taking a practice test a few months before the actual exam to see where to start studying will help gear how much studying you’ll need to do. By this point in college, you should have a good idea as to how you learn best. Perhaps online studying is not the best choice for you; therefore a local class or private tutor may be a better idea.
Some of the popular test prep programs are Kaplan, Magoosh, BenchPrep, The Princeton Review, Next Step Test Prep, Khan Academy, and Manhattan Test Prep. Many are offered as online classes that allow students to study at their convenience. Some also offer private tutoring in person or online, as well as regular local classes.
Here a few additional pointers:
GRE- Get the ‘GRE Word of the Day’ app to help vocabulary. Sign up for the Question of the Day from Kaplan. It’s free!
MCAT- Next Step Test Prep offers live webinars to answer questions that may come up as you study.
LSAT- Testmasters’ LSAT prep class is offered right on the FSU campus.
Prepare a timeline or checklist for each school you apply to. It may include GPA, test scores, letters of recommendations (LOR), personal essays, resume, interview, etc.. Standardized tests are only one part of the application process. In addition, it may not be too soon to begin to look into scholarships or how you will finance your continuing education.
Finally, it has become common for some students to take a year off before starting grad school. College is stressful and there is a lot of pressure to start Grad school immediately. Perhaps the year can be spent gaining experience that will add to your application or having more time to prepare. Remember, this shouldn’t be a race; it should be a marathon. Give some serious thought to taking a gap year.