One of the perks of being in grad school are the people who are there to help you along your journey—especially those who are experts in your field. Take advantage of these mentorship opportunities by cultivating a relationship with your academic advisor. You might have an advisor who simply helps you choose classes, or an advisor who will guide you during your dissertation/thesis years. Here are five questions grad students should ask their advisors: 1. What are my required classes? Before or at the beginning of each semester, schedule a meeting with your advisor to discuss which classes you’re interested in taking, which fulfi ... Read More About 5 Questions Grad Students Should Ask Their Advisors
Applying to grad school is a great time of anticipation as you look forward to the next step in your career. However, it can also be a daunting process, whether you’re a current undergrad or have been out in the working world for a year or more. The good news is that you’ve been through the undergrad application process before, which is similar, and you’re likely to have materials you can draw from to help you present the best grad school applications possible. Not sure where to begin, however? Below is a breakdown of the grad school application process: 1. Researching prospective schools and requirements The application c ... Read More About What is the Grad School Application Process?
While a stackable degree program may sound like something between a college education and a fun snack, they’re becoming increasingly popular amongst colleges interested in helping students attend graduate level degree programs. While the name is not exactly self-explanatory, they’re fairly easy to understand—and for many students, a great option. Stackable degree programs do resemble their name; essentially, they are degree programs that lend themselves to building into other degree programs. Think of a stackable degree program as a building block toward your continuing education. While this isn’t exactly a new idea i ... Read More About What are Stackable Degree Programs?
Whether you decide to brave the crowds at your local mall or snag deals from home, Black Friday is an exciting time to do some major shopping—and, of course, saving. Usually, though, people aren’t waiting in line to save 40 percent on a t-shirt. The best Black Friday savings come from deals on big-ticket tech items, like tablets and laptops. For students on the go, technology is a life saver. To help parents and students prioritize their shopping list, we bring you great Black Friday technology deals for students—and where to find them. For Black Friday steals on high-end to low-end tablets and phones, shop at Walmart If y ... Read More About Great Black Friday Technology Deals for Students
Do you plan to apply to graduate school this fall? If so, you will likely need to take the GRE in order to gain admission to your program of choice. Summer is a great time to ready for this exam, and to help you in your quest for a high score, here is your guide to summer GRE prep: 1. Understand what is on the test The GRE consists of three sections. These sections are similar to the SAT, but with more challenging material. The Verbal Reasoning portion asks you to analyze written material, while the Quantitative Reasoning section tests your problem-solving skills in algebra, arithmetic, data analysis, and geometry. Finally, th ... Read More About Your Guide to Summer GRE Prep
The summer before graduate school is an exciting time. How you use the next few months can influence your transition back into life as a student, especially if you took time off after graduating college. These are 3 tips for starting graduate school. Here are six tasks for the summer before graduate school: 1. Arrange your move If you’re moving to a new city, one of the first things to think about is where you’ll live and how to get yourself (and your belongings) there. You’ll need to find a place to rent or buy, so check out online listings, and, if you’re able, visit potential apartments or houses in person. Then, d ... Read More About 6 Tasks for the Summer Before Graduate School
Undergraduate and graduate theses are both ways to conduct in-depth study on a topic within your field or major. As an undergraduate, you may not be required to complete a thesis. However, in graduate school, your study will most likely culminate in a thesis, dissertation, or capstone project. If you are a current undergraduate contemplating graduate-level work (or even a current graduate student), you might be wondering, "How do undergraduate and graduate theses differ?" The following five aspects further describe the differences between undergraduate and graduate theses: Length and depth Length requirements may differ from school to school ... Read More About How Do Undergraduate and Graduate Theses Differ?
Writing a thesis – a major paper or essay – is no small feat. Imagine you have finished the research, gathered your data, and created your main premise: now it is time to shape all of your information into the body of a thesis. Here are three thesis struggles you might run into along the way, as well as strategies to overcome them: 1. Unclear claim A strong thesis relies on a clearly written and understood line of argument. To come up with your central claim, look for patterns that emerge across all of your data. You want to make a claim that is not completely obvious; it should add something new to your classroom dialogue ... Read More About 3 Thesis Struggles and How to Overcome Them
The decision to continue your education by attending graduate school is exciting, but it can also feel very daunting. Graduate school is a very different experience than your undergraduate years, and it requires a different set of skills. Here are three tips to help you succeed as you begin graduate school: 1. Manage your time One of the best things you can do to ensure a smooth graduate experience is to develop an effective time management strategy. Many graduate students must also juggle employment, family, and social commitments. Learning to efficiently allot your time is imperative to your success. Different students utilize diffe ... Read More About 3 Tips for Starting Graduate School
Success in law school is a daunting task. Unlike exams in most other post-graduate specialties, a law school final may account for almost 100% of your grade in many classes. So: how do you navigate the trials ahead and manage to excel in law school? 1. Consider law school a full-time job Act as you would at your place of employment. Do not forego class because you want to sleep in or because you are terrified of being called on. Keep to a specific schedule. Develop strong habits early on; set a clear plan for your day and follow it. Keep a calendar. Consider classes “meetings” and be productive in-between each period. Use the dow ... Read More About 6 Tips to Excel in Law School
The following piece was written by Paul Bodine. Paul has been featured in our Admissions Expert series and is the author of the best-selling admissions guide, Great Applications for Business School. He currently runs his own firm, Paul Bodine Admissions Consulting. Harvard and Stanford won't releases their essay questions until May, and most other schools won't follow suit until the summer. But that doesn't mean you have to sit on your hands until then. There's plenty you can do now to ensure that the MBA applications you submit this fall are the best they can be. Most obviously, there's the GMAT. If you haven't taken it, plan to d ... Read More About How to Prepare for Your Business School Application Early
Many of the tutors at Varsity Tutors are more than just highly effective teachers; they have significant professional accomplishments and experiences to share with their students. Evan Benn, a Varsity Tutors tutor specializing in undergraduate and graduate school admissions essays tutoring, is a successful journalist with an impressive professional track record. Evan graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004 and went on to work for The Miami Herald as a hard-news reporter for five years. He later relocated to St. Louis where he landed a position at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, mo ... Read More About Journalism Career Experiences of a Northwestern University Alumnus
More often than they should, students decide to go to grad school simply to avoid the doomed job market. Others choose to go because they flat out miss being in school. Neither of these are logical reasons and in the end, they usually won’t leave the student feeling fulfilled. Graduate school is a very serious and big commitment that should only be undergone if a graduate degree is definitely what you want and/or need. There are several aspects of being a graduate student that may not be hitting you just yet as you scour admissions pages for application requirements and deadlines. There are a few key questions yo ... Read More About Is Grad School the Right Option for You?
You may be asked to submit a resume or a Curriculum Vitae (CV), depending on the type of program you’re applying for. Typically, CVs demonstrate your academic credentials like research/awards earned, and resumes emphasize your professional experience, although there is a tremendous amount of overlap. Generally, PhD and academic-based programs require CVs, and other grad programs ask for resumes. If you want to be a teacher, you’ll write a CV, and if you want work professionally, you’ll write a resume. But, make sure you know exactly which one you’re supposed to write. Contact your school if necessary. An error will lik ... Read More About How To Write A Resume For Grad School Applications
Bad news: with regards to business school admissions, it is a whole lot more challenging today than it was 5-10 years ago. More and more employers are demanding that employees carry business degrees for senior-level positions. Employees are listening and loading up admissions committees with applications. This makes it harder for you. But, Varsity Tutors is available to help with more information on business school admissions strategies. And the best part is: we have private tutors waiting to help you improve your GMAT and overall application. Today, business schools can be more selective, and they are looking for the next CEOs and senior le ... Read More About How To Get Into Business School
The GMAT has one 30-minute essay: the Analysis of an Argument prompt. It has a pretty basic formula, and yes, we’re going to walk you right through it. Instead of arguing your belief, you will actually critique another author’s point. However, this essay still requires the classic, 5-paragraph setup. In the first paragraph, you’ll need to take a stance that the author’s argument is either logical or illogical. Next, you will use 3-4 paragraphs of points to confirm your stance. Finally, you’ll put together a strong conclusion to sum it all up. Example prompt:The Awesome Energy Riders have become an extremely popu ... Read More About How To Improve Your GMAT Essay
UPDATE: Some of this article's advice is now outdated due to changes in the GMAT. An updated article on the exam can be found here.Although the "Analysis Of An Issue" is specific to the GMAT, the essay writing tips below will help you on any standardized essay writing prompt. This is the first of two writing prompts, and you will have 30 minutes to complete your essay. You will be given an issue – typically a business-related or general interest topic – and you have to argue for or against it. Graders are really looking for your typical 5-paragraph essay with an intro that states your opinion, 3-4 paragraphs of example ... Read More About How To Improve Your Issue Analysis Writing
UPDATE: Some of this article's advice is now outdated due to changes in the GMAT. An updated article on the exam can be found here.The Analytical Writing section is the dark horse of the GMAT. Often ignored and rarely prepared for, the Analytical Writing section slides behind the curtain of the Quantitative and Verbal Sections. However, it can dramatically improve your chances of acceptance, and some schools even place minimum Analytical Writing score requirements. The following tips can make it easier for you to grasp what a solid essay is and the thought behind it. But, working with a GMAT Writing Tutor can help you take your essay to the n ... Read More About How To Increase Your GMAT Analytical Writing Score
The Quantitative Section may be the easiest section to improve in – if you prepare correctly, giving you the golden opportunity to significantly improve your overall score. The following tips can help you understand how to boost your score, but working with a private Varsity Tutors tutor will be the major difference in actually doing so. Your tutor will guide you through the following tips and structures, ensuring you improve your GMAT quantitative score. See more from Varsity Tutors on how to improve your cumulative GMAT score. Focus on just the Quant. Section: Verbal, Analytical Writing don’t even exist right now. First, you ne ... Read More About How To Improve Your Quantitative GMAT Score
The Verbal Section is the hardest section of the GMAT, according to most test-takers. And if you really want to improve your overall score, you’re going to have to take it on and master its techniques. The following tips can give you a solid understanding of how to improve your verbal score, but to truly to ace this section, you will need more help. A private Varsity Tutors tutor will help you convert the following tips into tangible results for improving your GMAT Verbal score. See more from Varsity Tutors on how to boost your combined GMAT score. Focus on verbal: The GMAT is just way too big to take it all on at once, although studi ... Read More About How To Boost Your Verbal Score On The GMAT
The classes you take outweigh the grades you earn in them – or at least that’s the case at most grad schools. Grad schools want to see that you challenged yourself academically, instead of just padding your GPA. While most schools still require a strong GPA to be accepted, they pay very close attention to the classes you took. For example, an A in a cooking class like “Cuisine 101” can actually hurt your chances of being accepted, and a B (or even a B-) in an Advanced Chemistry class can improve your chances, especially if you’re applying to a science program. But, ultimately if you can earn an A in your Advanced ... Read More About Best Classes For Grad School Admissions
Graduate schools receive more applications than you could ever imagine. That’s no secret to anyone. So, grad school admissions committees (comprised of counselors, professors and sometimes even students) use a systematic process for filtering applications. When admissions committees see your application, they are trying to answer one question: will this student be successful here and in his/her career? This is the filter most grad schools drag applications through: 1. GPA/GRE screening: Typically, grad schools place a stronger emphasis on research and practical experience than test scores, assuming they are a better predictor of futur ... Read More About How Graduate Schools Analyze Applications
First of all: congratulations because you have passed nearly every round of the application process, and your prospective school is ready to admit you. Now, you just have to ace your interview. Tutors who have been through the process before can help you. Basics: You may interview with an admissions committee group (comprised of faculty members, admissions counselors or even students), or individually with any of those. Most interviews will be in-person, but some may be over-the-phone. Typically, interviews are 30-60 minutes, but some schools will invite students for weekend-long events, full with multiple interviews and meet-and-g ... Read More About How To Interview For Graduate School Admissions
GRE scores, GPA, transcripts, letters of recommendation, quality of undergrad school, admission essay / personal statement, research, and even where you live can all impact your admission chances. Some of those factors are completely beyond your control and others are somewhat controllable. But, there is one factor that can greatly improve your chances of being accepted, and you can completely control it. That factor is research experience. Research experience is not required to apply to graduate school. But, it has become increasingly more popular, to the point where if you don’t have a project, it hurts your chances. Research c ... Read More About Why Research Experience Is Important For Grad School Apps
Some schools may require a succinct personal statement – a couple paragraphs about who you are as a student. But, other schools/programs may require multiple admissions essays, typically between 500-1,000 words. Possible prompts include: career plans, academic interests, research experiences, academic objectives, clinical and field experience, academic achievements and personal experience. But, ultimately, what grad schools really want to know is if you will be successful. Follow these steps to prove that: Establish a clear purpose: What do you want to do? Do you want to find the cure for cancer or help small children overcome ps ... Read More About How To Write An Application Essay For Grad School
The sooner you figure out exactly what it is you want to do, the better. Then, you can start marketing yourself as a budding chemist (for example). And that is exactly how to perk up a grad school admissions counselor. Graduate schools don’t want students who are still trying to figure out what they want to do. They want students who are set on a field, and are now doing everything they can to get there. There’s one simple way to show you’re one of those students: take a GRE subject test. A GRE subject test measures your knowledge/analytical thinking skills in a specific field and is much more specialized than the standard ... Read More About How To Prepare For GRE Subject Tests
On your application, great test scores and grades speak for themselves, and everyone knows how important those are. But, there are a lot of other factors that can boost your application and ultimately your chances for acceptance. Most grad schools require a transcript, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and admissions essay(s). Make sure you include all these components, or you may be automatically rejected. Transcripts: It’s not all about your GPA. Grad schools want to see a challenging undergrad curriculum. So, if you earn a 4.0 with a bunch of easy classes like “The History of the Alphabet 101,” you will rank lower t ... Read More About Improving Your Graduate School Application
Update: Some of this article's advice is now outdated due to changes in the GRE. A more recent article on the exam can be found here.First things first: the GRE is for graduate schools, but not for MBA programs (that requires the GMAT); however, some business schools may accept it. Background: The GRE is a computer-based test that generates questions based on your previous answers. If you continue to correctly answer questions, they will get harder. The test has three sections: quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning and analytical writing. The test was updated in August 2011 to more accurately reflect the current thinking skills needed in g ... Read More About How To Improve Your GRE Score
Employers have raised their standards to the point where many now require a master’s degree instead of a bachelor’s degree, according to an article in the New York Times. Employers can be very selective in whom they hire as the unemployment rate rises. Combine that with the fact that a higher percentage of people now have bachelor’s degrees than they did 10 years ago, and careers are just looking bleak for recent college graduates. The master’s is now the fastest growing degree, as 657,000 were awarded in 2009, twice as many since the 1980s. The rate has skyrocketed in the past few years as many with bachelor degrees ... Read More About Why Advanced Degrees Are Becoming More Popular
Employment rates and starting salaries for graduating college students entering the job market have fallen drastically in the last few years, according to an article in the New York Times. Only 55.6% of 2009 college graduates found jobs that actually used their degrees; 22.4% are unemployed, and 22% are working jobs that do not use their college degrees. Students were surveyed in the spring; so these numbers could have changed by their graduation dates. However, 90% of graduates in 2006-2007 had jobs (that were relevant to their degrees) during the spring before their graduation. The median starting salary for 2009 and 2010 college graduate ... Read More About Why College Grads Face A Tough Job Market
A Master’s degree traditionally carries an honorable, intelligent and prestigious clout; however, the value of this clout is a moot point. To some, a Master’s degree is a sign of intellectual superiority, but to others it could simply be a framed piece of paper that needs to be dusted regularly. There are many pros and cons to pursuing a Master’s degree, and it would be wise for students to make the decision of whether they will pursue one early. As the economy plummets, the interest in graduate programs increases. ... Read More About The Value Of A Masters Degree