You have probably seen the initials in a lot of college admissions material, but exactly what is the GRE?
The GRE, Graduate Record Examination, is a standardized test that measures a person’s analytical writing, and verbal and quantitative reasoning skills. Taking the GRE can be part of a graduate school’s admissions list of requirements for a master’s or doctoral program. The questions in the exam are crafted to reflect the type of thinking needed in graduate-level coursework. Achieving the minimum scores requested by a university you may be interested in, shows the admissions staff that you have what it takes to succeed in a graduate-level program.
You can prepare for the GRE exam through online sample exams, paper-based study guides or even a GRE prep course. Preparing in advance for taking a test like the GRE is highly recommended to enable you to achieve the scores a school may require for admission. National University has a minimum requirement of 152 for the verbal portion of the exam, and 147 for the quantitative portion.
The GRE can be taken up to five times in a 12-month period. There is a registration fee for the exam and if you need to cancel or reschedule an exam date, you may or may not get any type of refund.
GRE scores have a five-year shelf life, so if you take the exam, you need to have the scores sent to your university or college of choice before they expire.
Do You Have to Take the GRE for Master’s Program Admission?
Not necessarily. For instance, If you want to attend grad school, no GRE scores are needed to apply to National University; however, your grade point average (GPA) from your undergraduate degree does come into play.
Charlie Graham, an enrollment advisor at National University says, “The general admissions requirement for most of our grad programs is that you have to have above a 2.5 GPA from a regionally accredited college or university.”
Unlike GRE scores which have expiration dates, undergraduate GPAs don’t expire. So whether you finished your bachelor’s degree a month, a year, or 30 years ago, if your GPA is 2.5 or higher, you can be verbally accepted for admissions without taking the GRE; your transcripts will still need to be submitted, however, regardless of your GPA.
With no GRE, master’s program admission is achieved under probationary status. Students with a 2.0-2.49 undergrad GPA can also start a master’s program through probationary status/admission.
Probationary Status Does Have Financial Aid Implications
Probationary admission to a graduate program at National University means that a student can take up to three graduate-level classes and once a 3.0 GPA (B) or higher is attained, acceptance is gained without taking the GRE. But there are financial implications.
Graham says, “Basically a student would have to pay out-of-pocket until they are off probation. Financial aid is not an option until you’re officially accepted into the university. You’re not officially accepted until you’re off the probationary period, which can take up to three months [since classes are four weeks long., But if you got a B or higher in your first class, that would put you above a 3.0, so that would take you off probation right away.”
If a B hasn’t been achieved by the third graduate-level class, a student will not be accepted into a master’s program. The GRE test scores would then be a necessary requirement to meet to be accepted as a graduate student at National University.
Master’s Degree Options at National University
National University has over 50 online master’s degree programs to choose from, so there is most likely one that best fits your goals.
If you are wondering how college expenses may impact you, this article can give you some insight into how much a master’s degree costs and offers starter tips for financial aid options. The GRE test cost is also an expense to consider; in the U.S. it is about $200. If you are in need of financial aid to take the test, that is a possible option through the GRE Fee Reduction Program.
National University Is Ready When You Are
Explore the programs available at National University today and contact a graduate admissions counselor to help you get started on your master’s, with or without the GRE.
However, by taking the GRE test and meeting the minimum score requirements for National University, you can be well on your way.