The GRE (or Graduate Record Examination) is the equivalent of the SAT for Graduate School (Master and Doctorate). It is an extremely stressful exam, lasting more than 5 hours, and for which you don’t need much preparation, except for the “Subject” part. It is divided into four parts:
By “Subject” we mean the specialization for which it is intended to go to the Graduate School (Economics, Psychology, Chemistry …).
Depending on the specialization, a higher grade will be required in certain sections. Admissions committees in science schools, for example, don’t consider the verbal section at all. Similarly, letters do not consider the mathematical section. Logic – the most difficult – is taken into account by everyone. Certain Universities do not require GRE Subject, especially minority studies and / or non-first rank Universities.
Although, as in the TOEFL, a mark and a percentage are given in comparison with the rest of the students as evaluation of the test, here the departments compare the percentages. It is well known that Graduate Schools measure students with two standards, depending on the University where they obtained the Bachelor’s degree. If you come from a good American university, 80 or even 70 percent is sufficient in each of the categories. If you come from a foreign university (good or bad, they don’t care, because they don’t know them), less than 90 percent disqualify the file almost automatically. 90% means that out of every hundred exams, yours must be in the top ten. Obviously, this is not easy, and the pressure on the exam is great.
The GRE should be taken in the summer or -as very late- in October, although it is not advisable, because if it is failed the first time it can be taken again after two months. The other option is to take the GRE CAT, which is the computer version of GRE. It takes a lot less time, but I know that many people have scored much lower than they should, mainly due to lack of habit of taking a test on a computer.
The GMAT (or Graduate Management Admission Test as abbreviated by AbbreviationFinder.org) is the equivalent of the GRE for Management schools. With a very similar format, the main difference is that the logic part and the “Subject” are eliminated, since to be a manager it seems that prior knowledge to the Graduate School is not needed.
The same numbers as for the GRE can be applied here, the difference being that a good GMAT is an essential requirement, but does not guarantee admission. The major difference between GMAT and GRE is that GMAT is for admissions to MBA programs while GRE is for admissions to graduate schools.
The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is the equivalent of the GRE for the Law School. Just as in the GMAT the emphasis is on the mathematical part, in the LSAT it is logic that is most important. The same percentages as in the GRE and GMAT can be applied for the LSAT.
The MCAT (Medical School Admission Test) is a world apart, and cannot be considered equivalent to any other exam administered by ETS. The MCAT, more than “showing” intellectual capacity, aims to be an index of the degree of knowledge of the applicant in different disciplines related to medicine: Chemistry, biology, psychology … and many more. The preparation for the exam is long (one year on average), and the competition is fierce, savage. The best Medical Schools demand MCAT grades bordering on perfection, and getting one of them is almost impossible.
The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) measures the ability to carry out Undergraduate studies. It is a long and heavy test to carry out, although the necessary preparation is minimal. It is divided into two parts:
The maximum score for each is 800 points (1600 in total). It is not difficult to get a good grade, although it is very difficult to get a grade that allows access to one of the First Rank Universities. The university that requires the highest SATs is Caltech, followed closely by Harvard and MIT. If you want to obtain a BS or BA from these Universities, a grade higher than 1400 (higher than 1300, in any case) is advised, while the other level Universities require 1100 points or even more. Never less than 1000, which is considered a “cut” grade.