GRE Preparation for Psychology Degrees and Careers

Are you applying to psychology graduate programs? If so, you'll likely have to take the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE. This computer-based exam is offered through the Educational Testing Service and is considered a measure of critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning and analytical writing.

What is the Psychology Subject Test?

Depending on your school psychology department, you may also have to take the GRE Psychology subject test, which weighs in at a little more than 200 multiple-choice questions. The Psychology GRE evaluates how well you understand material typically covered by undergraduateschool psychology courses and is seen as a predictor of how well you may do in psychology graduate programs.

Who Requires the Psychology GRE?

An estimated half of U.S. psychologydoctorate programs and a third of psychologymasters programs require the Psychology GRE. Other programs may recommend but not necessarily require the exam. These include the psychology masters programs at Southern New Hampshire University, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and the University of Toronto.

When Should I Take the GRE?

It is recommended that you take the GRE about a year before you plan to enter a psychology graduate program, usually during the summer or early fall. While you are allowed to take the GRE as many as five times, you may not take it more than once per any calendar month. Be certain to give yourself time to register, take the GRE and possibly re-take it if you find that necessary.

How Do I Prepare for the GRE?

Scoring well on the GRE takes preparation. If it is necessary for you to take, you will want to buy a study guide that specifically addresses the Psychology GRE subject matter. Study guides will help clarify the material you'll need to know for the actual GRE test. Start by setting up a specific study area in your home that is both comfortable and distraction-free, and then read through the study guide. Once you've familiarized yourself with the guide, get your feet wet by taking timed GRE practice tests. These should be included with the guide itself. Some websites offer free practice tests online- PrincetonReview, Kaplan, and GREGuide are a few you can try. As you go, make note of the material that is most difficult so that you'll be able to study and familiarize yourself with it more, before the day of the exam. GRE study groups and classes can also be helpful for community and support.

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