Entrance Exams

Entrance exams for master's and doctoral degree programs vary depending on the type of program you plan to enter. Some tests are general exams that are accepted by all graduate school programs, while others are specific to a certain type of graduate or professional program. Read on to learn more about standardized tests you may need to take if you apply to graduate school.

Before registering for any of these tests, it is important to confirm that the test is in fact required by the schools you are considering. In general, most non-professional graduate programs accept the GRE. Some schools may not require any exam, particularly for very strong applicants or those who have already completed an undergraduate program at the school in question.

Entrance exams are just one facet of your application; schools will also examine your transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other factors when making an admissions decision.

For the most up to date and accurate information about each test, visit the test’s website.

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a general test that is used for admission into most graduate school programs.

Administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the GRE tests verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning (math), and analytical writing (essay section).

The computer-based test is available year-round at locations across the United States. Scores are available at the test center and you have the option of sending the scores to whichever schools you choose.

  • Cost: $205 (US locations)
  • Local computer-based testing centers:
    • University of Cincinnati West Campus (University Pavilion, Testing Services)
    • Gateway Community & Technical College (Florence, Kentucky)
    • Standalone testing center in Blue Ash, Ohio
  • If you're not happy with your scores, take it again. You can take the computer-delivered GRE General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period (365 days). This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously. You may take the paper-delivered GRE General Test as often as it is offered.
  • GRE practice tests:

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) is primarily used for admission to business school.

It consists of a 30-minute analytical writing assignment, 12 integrated reasoning questions (30 minutes), 37 quantitative questions (75 minutes) and 41 verbal questions (75 minutes). Questions are designed to measure the skills needed to succeed in business school.

The GMAT is given year-round. While unofficial scores are available at the test center, your official scores will be sent to you within 20 days of completing the exam. Registration can be completed online.

  • Cost: $250
    • GMAT Fee Waivers: Schools can offer GMAT fee waivers in one of two ways. Some schools offer GMAT fee waivers to currently enrolled students or alumni. Others offer fee waivers to applicants to their business programs. Both ways require you to submit a supplemental GMAT fee waiver application. Check out this article from PrepScholar.com to examine these options more closely.
  • Local computer-based testing centers:
    • University of Cincinnati West Campus (University Pavilion, Testing Services)
    • Standalone testing center in Mason, Ohio
  • If you're not happy with your scores, you can take it again. You can take the GMAT exam once every 16 calendar days and no more than five times in a 12-month period and no more than eight times total.
  • GMAT practice tests:

The MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is designed for those who plan to apply to medical school or other health professions school, including allopathic, osteopathic, podiatric, and veterinary medicine programs.

This multiple-choice exam measures your skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of science concepts and principles in sections that include physical sciences, verbal reasoning, and biological sciences.

The test fee includes distributing your scores to the programs of your choice. Scores are available 30-35 days after completing the exam.

  • Cost: $275
  • Find a local MCAT testing center
  • If you're not happy with your scores, you can take it again. In 2015, the AAMC implemented limits. Voids and no-shows count toward your lifetime limits. Remember that you can only be registered for one seat at a time. The MCAT exam can be taken up to three times in a single testing year. The MCAT exam can be taken up to four times in a two-consecutive-year period. The MCAT exam can be taken up to seven times in a lifetime.
  • MCAT practice test

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is designed to test your ability to succeed in law school.

It includes multiple choice questions that cover reading comprehension skills, analytical reasoning skills, and logical reasoning skills, as well as an essay.

The test is administered by the Law School Admissions Council four times a year at designated locations all over the world. Scores are available three to four weeks after completing the exam.