Applying for Graduate School and the GRE General Test

Brought to You by our Partners at College Ave Student Loans

A lot goes into applying for graduate school, and what you’ll need to supply during the application process will often vary by school – and even by individual graduate program. Aside from the actual application itself, you’ll often need to submit your undergraduate transcripts, along with an essay. Some schools or programs will also require that students submit exam scores. Many graduate school applicants submit their GRE scores.

Our partners at College Ave Student Loans shared a list of common questions about the GRE General Test.

What is the GRE General Test?

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test is an exam that many students take prior to applying for graduate school. It’s broken down in several sections and tests ability for verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning.


Who Should Take the GRE General Test?

Certain schools will require scores from the GRE General Test during the application process – other schools may not require them but will accept them and consider them – along with other parts of your application.

Even if you’re not required to take the GRE General Test (or any exam) for entrance into the program you’re applying for, it could still be worth taking. For example, if there is another part of your application that’s not as strong (i.e. not an outstanding GPA from your undergraduate studies), you can potentially stand out with a terrific GRE score. Additionally, if you’re applying for a competitive program, taking the GRE and scoring well can also give you an edge.


Applying for Graduate School and the GRE General Test


What are the Benefits of the GRE General Test?

Although the GRE General Test may not be the ideal testing choice for certain specific degree programs, one major advantage is that it’s so widely used for many graduate programs. You can invest a lot of time and money into taking the GMAT and then decide you don’t want to go to business school. You’ll likely need to take the GRE if you plan on pursuing a different professional program. But by taking the GRE General Test from the beginning, you can use your scores for admittance in thousands of programs – many business schools included.

Another advantage is that the GRE General Test is often considered to be slightly easier than other comparable tests. This means you’re less likely to need to retest, which can save you a lot of time and additional testing fees. If you do, however, need to retest, the GRE is very flexible—another benefit to consider.

The GRE General Test also provides a convenient option called ScoreSelect, which allows test takers to take the exam multiple times and then only send their best scores to the schools of their choice.


Find even more common questions about applying for grad school and the GRE general test on College Ave’s blog! Check it out here.


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