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The typical career counselor advises those interested in a career change to become familiar with the GRE or Graduate Record Exam. This is a standardized test that most graduate schools in the US use as an admission requirement. This test was created by the Educational Testing Service or ETS in 1949. Currently this test is offered on computers; though certain countries cannot afford that type of technology and paper based tests are made available.

There are those who say that the GRE is an inadequate test, as it just shows how well a student can take a test. There was once a plan for creating a new test but the plan never came to fruition. The GRE instead decided that it would be prudent to introduce a few new questions.

If you are preparing to take the GRE, then it would be a good idea to become familiar with the test. First of all, those considering a Career change should know that the cost of this test is approximately $190. That’s not exactly pocket change for most people, but for those who are suffering economic hardship financial aid is certainly available. If you fail the test, you will need to wait approximately five years for the results to be removed from the record.

You might be wondering what exactly is on this test and it would be poor career advice not to tell you! So now we’ll go over the sections that you will encounter when taking this test, and hopefully it will prepare you:

Issue: This is a part of the test in which you will have to make a choice, the choice usually being between two topics. You will then be required to write an essay on the topic of your choice. Typically one is allowed forty five minutes to complete this portion of the GRE exam.

Argument: An argument is presented, and an individual needs to compose a piece to critique it. Test takers are given thirty minutes to compose their critique.

Verbal: Requires a person to work with analogies, antonyms, sentence completion and reading comprehension. The time allotted for this section is thirty minutes.

Quantitative: This section involves problem solving and high school-level math problems. Forty five minutes are given for this portion of the exam.

Experimental: This section holds questions that are new to the test and that aren’t quite integrated with it. It doesn’t count toward the score – but it does need to be completed. If it is not completed, the final score could be reduced significantly.

This test is mostly used to determine an individual’s placement in the school. It usually will not disqualify those seeking a career change, but it is advised that one does as well as possible on this test, as a career counselor will tell you. You’ve probably heard all of the career advice you can handle at this point, but believe me when I say you should study for this test and prepare as best you can, especially considering how expensive it is. This helps you to ensure a better placement in a new position when your career change is finally complete.

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