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Going to Graduate School - Part 2 of 2

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  For many prospective graduate students, it's been at least four years since taking any large, standardized tests. And while examinations such as the GMAT and the GRE aren't always considered to be necessary requisites for acceptance into graduate programs, CollegeSeniors.Net strongly recommends taking them. For the most part, many students find graduate entrance exams to be easier psychologically than the SATs were back in high school! It's not that the subject matter isn't harder (it is much more advanced!), it's just that four years of college do an excellent job inherently preparing most graduate school applicants whether they've consciously realized it or not! If you're serious about going on to the next level of your education, we recommend that you start preparing for your entrance exams at least 6 months in advance with at least two study guides (use only those guides that have sample exams for you to test yourself!) and one good, tutorial course. The few hundred dollars you invest in such preparation will more than make up for the results you're likely to yield if you study hard and practice frequently!

    So what's the potential downside of going on to earn a Masters degree? Many argue (quite validly!) that the costs involved in extra schooling are not easily made up for by the augmented salaries that typically follow graduation. Of course, this depends on your particular career choice, the job market, and the economy (as well as the cost of the school you decide to attend!). The American Psychological Association posts an excellent article on this very topic which can be accessed by clicking here. It is advised that every student consider their decision as they would any investment and perform some cost analysis before pursuing a higher degree. In most cases, we believe that continuing education yields greater profitability than lack of same but anyone may find exceptions to this assertion. And even if the "next level" of schooling does indeed look as though it will increase your future net earnings as well as your gross wages, you should also perform some serious self-assessment. The experience of furthering one's education can be dreadful for those who begin with their heart in the wrong place. Investing money in a degree you never actually go on to earn is perhaps one of the greatest academic tragedies of all. Click here for notes on self assessment posted by the University of Colorado to help point you in the right direction! If you need more advice or have additional ideas, please let us know!