Do I need to take a standardized test to get in to or to return to college? If so, how important are these tests to my continuing my education?
These questions are often asked by the adult learner. Like you, it may have been years since you sat for such a test, your experience may not have been one you like to remember, and you are not sure you are ready to take such an exam. We have assembled some information that can help, with tips and tools for testing for both undergraduate and graduate programs.
If there is one area that strikes fear in the hearts of adult learners it is the thought of having to prepare for and take a standardized test. Fortunately for most adults wishing to enroll in an undergraduate program or to take courses on a part-time basis, you may not need to "sit" for the two standard high school to college exams, the SAT or the ACT. These exams, traditionally taken by juniors and seniors in high school, remain a standard part of the traditional student application package. For most adults, including those who might have had a collegiate experience some years ago and "stopped out" for a few years, reporting a "fresh" score on one of these examinations is generally not required. You should check the institution of choice to learn of their policies. For most transfer students, of whatever age, your demonstration of your ability to do well in a college or university will eliminate the need to take the SAT or ACT exam. Should you need to take a High School Equivalency test, visit the GED section.
If you are looking to begin graduate study, the answer to whether you need to take a graduate examination, either the GRE or more specific discipline tests such as the GMAT will depend on the program. Many colleges and universities require the GRE or GMAT for admission and use the results to determine admission, often for traditional on-campus programs and students planning to study full-time. Others use the results to help determine a small number of students to be offered admission when a program has a large numbers of applicants. Still other graduate schools use test results for determining assistantships and graduate research positions.