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On many international student blogs or forums, I see the same questions over and over again. How should I register for the GRE? What are the test dates for TOEFL? How many questions are there on the GMAT? What is the cost? These are what I call, “Google me” questions! If you key in the word “TOEFL,” (as an example) the official website for TOEFL has all the information you need! Everything and more than what you need or more than what anyone can answer! More important, by accessing the original site or the official site, you will get accurate information. There is another reason why it is important for you to do your own research. U.S faculty expect you to have good research skills. If you ask questions to which answers are readily available, you will not impress your faculty or your fellow students!
Dr.Gupta is the CEO of PlanetGPA, an international student counseling and recruitment firm.
Should I retake GRE or GMAT?
Many US universities use standardized test scores as part of
their application screening process. GRE (for engineering, science, technology,
and a few other programs) and GMAT (for business) are well known and widely
accepted standardized tests. TOEFL and IELTS are designed to test the English
skills of students.
Students want to know if they should take the test and
if their scores on these tests matter. The answer to both is Yes and Yes. Yes,
you should take the test, and yes, your scores matter.
But what happens if
you make a terrible score? Should
you retake the test? Unless you were not able to perform well on the day of
the test because you were ill or there was some other compelling circumstance,
retaking the test will usually not make a big difference in your score.
Standardized tests are designed in a way to test one's basic aptitude and one's
basis aptitude does not change from day to day! However, if you did not prepare
for the test, then it is wise to take the time to prepare and retake the exam.
Having said that, it does not mean that if you do not take
the test, you cannot study in the US. There are a few universities that do not
require these tests. But there are only a few of them. In other words, your
choices become limited if you do not take these tests.
Prepare and do well on standardized tests. But, if you don't have a good score,
it is not the end of the world. You can still gain admission to some good
universities. So don't be discouraged!