What Tests are Required for Graduate School? (And What Do I Do About Them?)

Recent studies demonstrate the lack of correlation between standardized test scores and graduate student success. They also illustrate the role of standardized tests in limiting diversity in graduate education. Many schools (like USF’s School of Education) are re-evaluating what tests are required. 

However — certain credentialing and licensing bodies still require particular tests, which means graduate schools must require the tests of applicants. 

Confused yet? Yeah, we don’t blame you. 

But I’m here to help. Here’s how I recommend approaching the question of “What tests are required for graduate school – and what do I do about them?” 

  1. Contact the admissions office for up-to-date testing requirements.

    When I began considering graduate school, the first thing I did was study for and take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Turns out none of the schools I ultimately chose to apply to required it (bummer).

    Research which programs you plan to apply to first. Then contact the programs’ admissions offices to request information about up-to-date testing requirements. Once you know which tests they require, ask about the timeline for when those tests must be submitted. While some schools ask for the score at the time you apply, a growing number of schools are allowing you to apply and be admitted, without the test score (and instead require that you submit the test during your first year in the program).

  2. Once you know which tests are required (and when they are required), do an online search for free or low-cost study resources.

    We’ve compiled a list of study resources for two of the exams required for teaching credential candidates.

    Find helpful resources that we didn’t include on this list? Leave them in the comments section as a resource for others!

Want to talk more about strategies for navigating testing requirements? I’m here to help. Contact me today.

Lisa Klope
Associate Director, Admission & Outreach
USF School of Education


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