Admissions Exams


Regardless of which profession you are pursuing, it is best to take the admission exam that is required well before the application deadline. Generally, you will want to complete the coursework and take the exam in the Spring prior to the application deadline, though the recommended timing for your specific profession may vary. Taking the exam early allows you to receive your test scores and have time to retake the test, if needed, prior to the application deadline. Programs must have your test scores prior to considering the rest of your application. 


The Medical Colleges Admission Test (MCAT) is the admission exam that is required for admission to medical school. Students typically take the exam in early summer after they have completed prerequisites for medical school, most often in May or June after their third year. Scores on the MCAT range from 472-528 total, though students will also receive sub-section scores for each of the four sub-sections: including Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. Each sub score ranges from 118 at the lowest and 132 at the highest.  

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

MCAT Prep Scholars


The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is one of two options for students planning to apply to Physician Assistant programs and is required for most Physical Therapy programs. The GRE is offered several times throughout the year, and most students take the GRE in summer before their final year before graduation, when they are beginning the application process. Students will receive a score for each of the two subsections of the GRE, including the Analytical Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. There is also an optional Analytical Writing section, in which the student composes an essay that is scored on a six-point scale.

The GRE also offers Subject Tests, which are intended to measure your knowledge in a specific content area, including Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, or Psychology. Though, it is important to consider the requirements for your chosen program, as most programs require the general GRE versus the Subject Tests.   

Graduate Records Examination (GRE)


The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is the required admission exam for application to dental schools. Students are recommended to take the DAT in their second semester of their third/junior year, or in the summer before their fourth/senior year of undergraduate study. The DAT includes four sections that are scored separately, including: Survey of the Natural Sciences, Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning. In addition to the four sub-scores, students will also receive a composite score (referred to as the Academic Average) that is the average of their scores on the four sub-sections. 

Dental Admission Test (DAT)

DAT Prep Scholars


The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the required exam for application to law schools. Students are recommended to take the LSAT in the summer before their final year of undergraduate study. Scores on the LSAT range from 120 at the lowest to 180 at the highest. The primary portion of the LSAT exam is a multiple-choice test, though there is also a written portion, called LSAT Writing, in which students submit an essay composed to answer a randomly chosen prompt, and the essay is then included in the student’s Law School Report to be considered with the rest of their application materials. 

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Preparing for the exam

While there are several preparation guides available for each exam, it is important to consider the potential cost versus the potential benefit of each method or guide. For example, if the study guide has a high cost for participation, is the potential benefit to your score high enough to justify the cost? You'll also want to be sure your guide was developed by a reputable organization with proven results from test takers.

Ultimately, it is recommended that students begin with guides and practice exams that are either available through the testing organization itself (such as AMCAS sponsored MCAT Prep, or LSAT Prep sponsored by LSAC and the Khan Academy). As you continue through the course or study guide, evaluate whether you feel as though it's helping you prepare for the exam. If not, you may wish to consider alternative methods If you have questions about preparing for your admissions exam, you can also meet with your pre-professional advisor to discuss your specific timeline and plan, as well as finding the best study materials for you.

Retaking the exam

If you are not satisfied with your exam score, you can retake it. Though, keep in mind that programs will see and consider all exams scores, and retaking the exam may delay your application. Your pre-professional advisor can help you to evaluate your score in the context of the rest of your application.