SGA offers free practice test for grad school examsBy Sam Gerard | 02/01/2012 11:10pm
The Student Government Association is offering free practice tests to administer to hopeful graduate students. The tests will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Lloyd Hall and Bidgood Hall.
Kaplan Test Preparatory offers practice Law School Admission Tests and Graduate Record Examinations for this practice test session.
These tests are designed to help future doctors, lawyers, businesspeople and other professional workers identify their strengths and weaknesses in their field of work and to assist in their admission into graduate school.
“The SGA found administering the tests to be a way to help students out, and it’s about time for people to apply to grad school, so these tests would be helpful to the students,” Dorothy Griffith, communications director of SGA, said.
These tests are available to anyone interested in taking the exam for either practice or to see if they are interested in the field of graduate study.
“The key to succeed is endurance, so taking practice LSATs is more important than familiarity with the material," said Hannah Brewer, a sophomore majoring in psychology. "It is important to be used to the familiarity with the format of the test and getting used to the exam’s time division.”
The SGA urged students to take one of these practice exams to prepare for the actual exams required for graduate schools and programs. The admissions standards of graduate schools is higher than it has ever been, which makes getting into grad school more tasking.
Educational Testing Service, the group that gives the test, reported that there was a five percent increase last year in people taking practice GREs. According to ETS, taking the practice exam can improve the test statistics of potential graduate students.
Some students, however, are ambivalent to taking practice exams for graduate school. They see the work as a repetitious continuation of control education systems have over graduate students.
“They cheapen education and promote a mechanistic, reductionist worldview,” Nick Janzen, a senior majoring in political science, said.
The tests only provide a benchmark that does not mean anything in real life, according to Janzen.
Kaplan is also offering a preview class to some of the tests on Feb. 6 at Lloyd Hall and Bidgood Hall. This session will offer students an opportunity to overview the practice exam and get tips for future test taking.
Students interested in taking a practice exam can go to Kaplan’s website, enter Tuscaloosa’s ZIP code (35487) and sign up for a practice GRE, LSAT or MCAT to take this Saturday.