GRE Part 1: Do I really, really have to take it?

Stressing Over the GREWhen talking to prospective students, I often get asked whether or not the GRE is required. I respond yes, and then – the irritation, the fear, the resignation comes forth. So let’s talk about it: what’s so horrible about the GRE, anyway?

Yes, it requires time and preparation. The good news is that there are lots of ways to prep – books you can buy, prep classes you can take, and plenty of sources online. Start by checking out the ETS website. You’ll also find options and locations for taking the General and Subject tests. Other good sites are and

When inquiring about a degree program, make sure the GRE is indeed required – sometimes it’s not! Woo hoo! – and know the admission deadlines so that you can deliver scores in time for your application to be considered in the term that you want.

Taking the GRE is a way to make sure you are committed to the process of completing your higher education, and lets YOU know – not just the application reviewer – that you have the basic knowledge to succeed in the degree program. That’s a good thing, right?

Take the GRECommitting to a degree program is a long-term goal, but like every other big project it’s a series of little steps. Think about taking the GRE as a really big first step. Sure, you can look at it as an annoying hoop you have to jump through, but that attitude might be the very thing that’s keeping you from achieving your goal – and if that master’s degree is really what you want, then just take the darn test. In fact, let’s call taking the GRE two steps, two really big steps, two frog leaps toward your future life.

Check out GRE Part 2: Wait, there’s more than one test?

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