www.advanceweb.com | 2018 | FOCUS ON EDUCATION 29 A DVANCE offers prospective gradu- ate school students this brief guide of examinations that affect admis- sions into medical, business and law schools. For additional information, visit the respective administrative bodies. GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATION (GRE): Most graduate schools in the United States require prospective students to take the GRE, a test intended to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking. Administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS), the GRE is composed of questions designed to reflect the type of thinking and skills that graduate programs expect of students and is organized into three sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative rea- soning and analytical writing. Among of the most important benefits of the GRE test-tak- ing process, according to ETS officials, is the ability to skip questions and the flexibility to choose which questions to answer first. Test- takers can also retake the test and send only the desired scores to schools of their choice through the ScoreSelect® option. The intent behind the sections of the exam are to mea- sure the following: • Verbal Reasoning: Ability to analyze and draw conclusions from discourse and reason from incomplete data; understand multiple levels of meaning (such as lit- eral, figurative and author’s intent); sum- marize text and distinguish major from minor points; understand the meanings of words, sentences and entire texts; and understand relationships among words and among concepts. An emphasis on complex verbal reasoning skills is also addressed. • Quantitative Reasoning: Ability to under- stand, interpret and analyze quantitative information; solve problems using math- ematical models; and apply the basic con- cepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis. • Analytical Writing: Critical-thinking and analytical-writing skills, including the ability to articulate and support complex ideas with relevant reasons and exam- ples; and ability to examine claims and accompanying evidence. A listing of institutions and fellowship sponsors approved to receive GRE scores is available.1 GRADUATE MANAGEMENT ADMISSION TEST (GMAT): The GMAT is a computer adaptive test (CAT) designed to assess analytical, writing, quan- titative, verbal and reading skills. Composed of four separately timed sections, the exam also allows for the opportunity to choose the exam’s section order of completion to help give test-takers more control and flexibil- ity based on individual strengths and testing preferences. The three order options are: 1) analytical writing assessment, integrated rea- soning, quantitative, verbal; 2) verbal, quanti- tative, integrated reasoning, analytical writing assessment; and 3) quantitative, verbal, inte- grated reasoning, analytical writing assess- ment. As a CAT test, the GMAT’s difficulty tailors itself in real-time to one’s ability level so that the exam can assess potential with a higher degree of precision. Via that process, the first question received in either the verbal or quantitative sections will be of medium dif- ficulty, and as individuals answer each ques- tion, the computer scores answers and uses that score combined with preceding responses to select the next question. If the first question is answered correctly, the computer typically follows up with a more difficult question. If the first question is answered incorrectly, the next question will be easier. According to the test’s administrators (Graduate Management Admission Council), the process contin- ues until a section is completed, which is expected to produce an accurate assessment of one’s ability on that subject. The GMAT does not offer the ability to skip, return to or change answers because the computer uti- lizes responses in the CAT manner. Each section of the exam is classified as follows: Analytical Writing: Measures ability to think critically and to communicate ideas. Overview of Required Grad School Examinations What test(s) to take By Joe Darrah FOCUS ON EDUCATION  |  GRADUATE EXAMS