So you want to go to grad school: GRE and application prep

Today I continue my posts on applying to graduate school. So, you have chosen the schools you are interested in. Having done this, you probably know by now the minimum GRE scores you need to get into a particular program. So, now its time to prepare for the GRE. I will say that personally, I was horrible at studying for the GRE. I was super busy with school, student teaching, and work. I still managed to pull off the score I needed, but it wasn’t as high as I would have liked it to be.

You definitely will want to touch up on vocabulary. Hubby made flash cards to help him study vocab. Also, get some study books and pay special attention to the tips when it comes to taking the math portion of the test. When I first started preparing for the GRE, I took a practice test without having cracked any books, and I bombed the math part. After understanding the format of the math test my scores on the practice tests greatly improved. Also, some schools have you take the GRE Biology portion, so you might want to touch up on things you learned in intro bio.

So, with the GRE taken care of, you will need to fill out the rest of your application. Most of the time, you will need to write something up about your research interests and why you want to go to grad school. Most schools are cool with you being broad, but if you have been in touch with a faculty member, it would be good to state your interest in their lab at this point. It would also be good to get someone to read over your essay to check for grammatical and spelling errors. You want these people to take you seriously, so you don’t want to submit a sloppy essay.

Lastly, make sure you get letters of recommendation for professors you have had good interactions with. If you have done undergrad research, you best letter of recommendation will come from you research advisor since they have directly interacted with you and have observed you doing research.

Alright, so you submit everything, and now you wait. Next time, what to do once you start hearing back.


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