Dear Class of 2020

To all graduating seniors looking for career opportunities, be patient, and focus on learning. As a member of the Class of 2008, the economic climate post-graduation was depressed with the real estate and financial sector contributing to most of the decline. International trade, as well as the auto industry, were also shocked into submission. I mention this economic crisis, not to compare it to our current economic climate, but instead, to say that this is not a unique time to find a job (although certainly a very unique time to live). Economic downturns, disruptive technologies, and bizarre innovations have consistently propelled our economy, opened new opportunities for some businesses while creating difficult challenges for others. Post-graduation, it is important to take a step back, observe the industries/companies that are flourishing, and determine a path that promotes growth, intellectual curiosity and opens you up to life-long relationships.

To understand my perspective, it is important to understand my path. Post-graduation, I had the opportunity to attend Case Western Reserve University and obtained my master’s in business administration. Denison University gave me a skillset underappreciated at the time but certainly appreciated now. It was the skillset of “how to think critically and how to solve problems”. Case Western Reserve helped me specialize in finance and accounting to prepare me for a life in business. I reference this because if you have an opportunity to expand your education/credentials, this is a great time to take advantage of those opportunities. If not, that’s ok as well. After I graduated, I profiled growth industries and two came to the top of the list; Healthcare and Technology. I took a staff consultant job at a small boutique healthcare consulting start-up in Hudson, Ohio and the rest is history.

Job opportunities are all around us. Amazon added thousands of jobs just a week ago. Chronic diseases are still extremely prevalent and although a number of healthcare firms are focused on creating solutions for COVID-19, healthcare pharmacy companies are hiring in their research & development departments to solve issues that will be around way after we find a vaccine for this deadly virus. Fitness companies are pivoting to virtual platforms and demand has never been higher for home gym equipment. I certainly empathize that these may not be the opportunities you want, but I challenge you to focus on certain parts of the job. For example; growth potential, ability to develop meaningful relationships, opportunities to present and communicate to leaders of organizations. All of these have the same common denominators; expand your learning capacity in your 20s. The money will come later!

I wish all of you the best of luck and please do not hesitate to reach out. I will always make myself available to chat. I hope all of you are taking advantage of spending time with family, while we all have time. Stay safe and keep smiling.

 Matt Fadel ’08, Senior Director at Sg2

Denisonians in Health Professions: Medical Dietetics

Name:  Jennifer McCann
Denison Graduation Year:  Class of 2014
Denison Major:  Psychology
Graduate Degree Type:  Master of Science in Coordinated Medical Dietetics, from The Ohio State University, Class of 2019
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Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate or professional school pathway: what impacted your decision?

I decided my junior year at Denison that I wanted to be a dietitian, but knew the path I would need to take if I did not transfer would be a graduate program, so I started looking for schools that had an accredited dietetics graduate program. I also needed the program to be a coordinated program since I would be graduating with an undergraduate degree in a field other than nutrition, this limited my options. I also ideally wanted to stay in state so that brought me to The Ohio State University which had the Coordinated Medical Dietetics program, everything I was looking for.

What challenges did you face on the way to graduate or professional school, and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge was having an undergraduate degree not in the health sciences, while I knew my psychology background and knowledge would be very helpful in the profession, I had very few prerequisite courses complete that I needed before even applying to the program. Therefore, I took two years after Denison graduation where I took these prerequisite classes at Columbus State. I took two years as I was also working full-time and school part-time, which I recommend to any new graduate before going to graduate school! The real-life experience was also crucial to my success in my graduate program.

What was your favorite part of your graduate school experience?

My favorite part of my graduate school experience was the life and career experience my program allowed me to get before graduation. Since it was a coordinated program I was able to do my internship hours at the same time I was taking classes, which allowed me to experience the many different roles I could work in as a Dietitian and confirm to myself that I chose the right path as I loved them all!

What have you enjoyed most about your work post-graduation?

What I have enjoyed most about my work post-graduation is truly making a difference in my patient’s lives. I am able to follow-up with them and see them regularly, see the changes they are making and encourage them every step of the way to live healthier.

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate or professional program like yours?

Look up the prerequisite courses before you graduate! If I had done this and planned ahead just a little more I would have had to spend less money on these classes post-graduation. If you are interested in healthcare, try to have a major or minor in the hard sciences. I started with a Biology minor and if I would have stuck with it (rather than changing to Sociology/Anthropology) I would have had maybe a year less of school post-graduation. However, I did love the classes I took for my sociology/anthropology minor, so biggest advice is do what you love, never give up, and you will get to where you want to end up.

Denison Grads in Grad School: Master of Fine Art

Lindsay Martin

Denison Graduation Year:  Class of 2013
Denison Majors:  Studio Art; English (Creative Writing)
Graduate Degree Type:  Master of Fine Art (MFA) from Oregon College of Art & Craft, Class of 2019
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Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate school and career pathway: what impacted your decision?

After Denison University, I worked for Akron Art Museum and a historical home museum. After a few years of learning the many roles in a museum career path, I researched arts administration and museum studies graduate degrees. However, my passion was painting, which I continued during my free time after Denison. I decided to look into schools that have a liberal approach for research topics and schools that may possibly feed both interests, learning more about contemporary painting and museum studies. I spoke with many professors about my interests and read program’s academic curriculum. Ultimately, I chose a few schools based on the mentors I would work with and their research interests, and I am very glad that I did. I chose Oregon College of Art and Craft because of its mentor-based learning, traditional craft expertise, small classes and campus, thriving arts scene location, and a graduate assistantship opportunity. I do regret not looking for more funded programs, but also chose my program based on scholarships. I am very happy with my decision, as I was able to tailor my masters degree to my interests, have many off-site field excursions to contemporary art institutes, and have a full bodied painting studio and research project, while working in a gallery and for the college’s marketing and development.

What challenges did you face on the way to or during graduate school, and how did you overcome them?

Financial challenges were imminent, I had to pick up odd jobs and even take a semester off to assist with the financial difficulties. I am not sure if I would move to a more expensive city for graduate school, many friends did better in less urban school settings. The odd jobs got in the way of many extra curricular opportunities, such as networking outings and gallery openings. I had to balance both and completely put my program first, leaving my family and often relying on my partner for household responsibilities. I am in a lot of debt with over half of my tuition covered in scholarships. For an art degree, emotional and psychological changes also took place when work was heavily critiqued. The work evolved very quickly. It was a very stressful two years, but my motivation was very independent, while some students took time off to relax, I used the two years to really push myself and do not regret that. Professional challenges also happened, I had to learn how to speak publicly, introduce myself to a room full of strangers, talk about my artwork in front of a large lecture hall, learn how to teach in a current academic climate.

What was your favorite part of your graduate school experience?

Because I really researched my mentor and professors, I really enjoyed my education, working with my professors, and establishing a long term relationship with them. I enjoyed our projects and off site trips, everything that was optional I participated in that and I have no regrets. I enjoyed getting out of my comfort zone and acquainting myself in a new arts community and city-I wish that I could stay in such a city long term, definitely think about making connections in a place you want to live long term. I enjoyed my cohort and established long term relationships with fellow students. I met amazing people from all over the world and now consider them family. I was pushed and motivated to create more work than I ever thought possible. I was able to develop critical inquiry and language around a subject that I will enjoy for the rest of my life. I enjoyed teaching and residency opportunities.

What are your professional plans post-graduation?

Post-graduation for fine arts graduates is very challenging and difficult. We often are not given a position right out of school and have to apply to even more difficult post-graduate programs right after the most intense few years of our lives. I have enjoyed showing my thesis body of work in multiple national galleries and opportunities for scholarship-funded workshops in Colorado and Ohio. I am working on moving across the country for my partner’s business, establishing a new studio, applying to shows, creating more work and applying for art positions. Currently, I work at a non-art related professional job that will cover studio expenses, debt, and allow me to save money for long term residency next year. I just graduated six months ago. I am also planning a long term business plan for starting up my own contemporary art-related business.

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate program like yours?

An MFA is a truly incredible experience for yourself, your art and your arts community. It is important to utilize every opportunity to the fullest extent, and know that there is no external reward for your incredible achievements in the art world for a very very long time. Once you graduate, the rewards are purely internal. You may realize that teaching is incredibly exhausting and you only want to practice art. You may realize that your practice changed completely altogether, and may be even outside traditional art media. In order to be a full time artist, you must sacrifice a lot of comfort. If you think you will make money or grab a comfortable position after art school, this is not the degree for you at all. This is a huge long term financial sacrifice. If you want to commit yourself to your artwork, to becoming a better artist, individual, community member, if you enjoy not only contemporary art, but philosophy, history, museum studies, pedagogical studies, research, reading and writing, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Denisonians in Health Professions: Social Work

Name:  Hannah Fiore Gallagher
Denison Graduation Year:  Class of 2016
Denison Major:  Psychology
Graduate Degree Type:  Master’s in Social Work (MSW), from the University of Pittsburgh, Class of 2020
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Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate school and career pathway: what impacted your decision?

Throughout my time at Denison, I planned to get a PhD in psychology. After graduation, I worked for two years as a project manager in a research lab at the University of Pittsburgh. I loved the work, but ultimately decided that the academic lifestyle is not for me. There are a lot more people with PhDs than there are jobs in academia, and all of the sacrifices necessary just to have a chance at a tenure-track position were not worth it to me. I don’t say this to discourage people from that career if that’s what they want! But I don’t think that future quality of life is talked about nearly enough when we consider career preparation, and it’s an important facet to consider. So, with academia off the list, I became interested in psychology-related master’s programs. I applied to social work, counseling, and marriage and family therapy programs, but I ultimately settled on social work because of its flexibility. I loved my liberal arts education at Denison, and in many ways the MSW is the liberal arts of professional degrees. Having this degree will offer me numerous career paths going forward. I can work for the government, the private sector, a non-profit, medical settings, and more. I liked that I could gain some expertise in the mental health field without being pigeonholed into one specific career path.

What challenges did you face on the way to or during graduate school, and how did you overcome them?

Social work does not have a great reputation as a profession. People associate it almost exclusively with Child Protective Services and think all social workers are miserable and burned out. Many of the stereotypes are off base or exaggerated, but a lot of people believe them. So getting past other people’s opinions about my decision to pursue an MSW was probably the biggest challenge I faced.

What has been your favorite part of your graduate school experience so far?

My favorite part so far has been gaining more experience with diagnosing mental health disorders and formulating treatment plans. I got an overview in these areas from my abnormal and clinical psychology courses at Denison, but now I’m getting an in-depth look at different treatment modalities and how to implement them. Starting this fall, I will have my own caseload of therapy clients, and I’m excited to put my classroom knowledge into practice.

What are your professional plans post-graduation?

I plan to work as a therapist, preferably in a doctor’s office or other medical setting.

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate program like yours?

Work for a couple of years before you go to graduate school. It will give you valuable life experience, allow you to save some money and/or pay down debt, and help you focus your interests better. I think a lot of people are a little burned out by the time they graduate with their bachelor’s degree, so taking a gap year (or a few years!) can give you a much-needed break and also help you gain experiences that will make you more attractive to graduate schools.

Denisonians in Health Professions: Psychology

Name:  Christina Till
Denison Graduation Year:  Class of 2016
Denison Major:  Psychology
Graduate Degree Type:  M.S.Ed. in Child Psychology, and a Psy.D. in School Psychology, from Duquesne University, Class of 2020
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Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate school pathway: what impacted your decision?

I did not begin my undergraduate career with the intention of pursuing a graduate degree. However, a graduate school path became apparent after discovering my passion for psychology, research, and child advocacy through my coursework at Denison. By my third year, I knew that continuing my education was necessary to further my knowledge of these interests as well as combine them into a meaningful career.

What challenges did you face on the way to graduate school, and how did you overcome them?

Deciding between two fields of interest (i.e. school and clinical psychology) was a particular challenge for me in the process of applying to graduate school. Completing my own research, attending graduate program interviews, and consulting with Denison faculty (thank you Dr. Weis!) were instrumental to my selection of a path that best fit my interests.

What was your favorite part of your graduate/professional school experience?

I have really enjoyed the practicum experience offered each year within my graduate program, as it has enabled me to gain an applied experience of content learned in class. A second favorite component to my graduate program is the opportunity it has given me to work with student colleagues who share a similar passion for the field and academia.

What are your professional plans post-graduation?

After I receive my doctorate at the end of this academic year, I plan to obtain my state certification and licensure, and then pursue employment as a psychologist in the school setting.

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate or professional program like yours?

Prior to selecting a graduate program, speak with at least one or two professionals in your field of interest. This is especially helpful if you are considering multiple field or degree options. Ask them questions that are meaningful to you, such as additional information regarding their day-to-day responsibilities as well as what they like and dislike about their position. I was able to interview three school psychologists and two clinical psychologists prior to selecting a graduate program, and found their responses invaluable to my decision-making process.

Denisonians in Health Professions: Molecular & Developmental Biology

Name:  Kelsey Troyer (maiden name Elliott)
Denison Graduation Year:  Class of 2015
Denison Major:  Biology
Graduate Degree Type:  PhD in Molecular and Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Class of 2020
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Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate school and career pathway: what impacted your decision?

I was interested in programs that focused on ‘translational’ biomedical sciences, where I could work on human diseases. When going on interviews, the funding scenarios of the PI’s in the programs significantly weighed on my decision to choose a program in the end.

What challenges did you face on the way to or during graduate school, and how did you overcome them?

Finding somewhere to live when moving to a new city! It’s difficult to balance living somewhere close to work, but not too expensive. Graduate school stipends are tiny!! Finding roommates in your new graduate school class is a great way to get around this. Additionally, I found it difficult to decide which faculty I was going to rotate with since I had so many scientific interests! The best advice I got to curb that was to do extremely diverse rotations, I did one with a brand new faculty, one with a very established faculty member, and one with a mid-career faculty member, and all gave very different lab environments.

What has been your favorite part of your graduate school experience so far?

Indulging my curiosities and being able to set my own schedule. This is unfortunate a blessing and a curse, since grad students don’t get dedicated ‘Paid time off’ or ‘vacation days’, so I get to take as much or as little time off as I want, and work as many or as few hours a week as I need to. Some weeks are good, some weeks are bad. Flexibility is a fantastic thing about graduate school.

What are your professional plans post-graduation?

I am planning to do a post-doctoral fellowship followed by a career in Science Policy.

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate program like yours?

Think about what kind of research topics you want to do, and find a place where there are an abundance of faculty you could see yourself working with. Finding a place where the current students seem happy is also important. I did at least one interview somewhere that all the students couldn’t wait to leave the program. Make sure the program boasts about their rates of students landing their top choice post-doc or industry job, and that their faculty aren’t anti-industry! Some places will be full of faculty that look down on industry, and it’s important to find opportunities to explore that since not EVERY PhD can/wants to stay in academia.

The Graduate School Process: 3 myths busted

Three grad school myths debunked

Graduate school is both an exciting prospect and an intimidating one. As with all things in the era of the internet, there are also many myths circulating that are not based on these things called “facts”. Sara Stasko, Myth-buster extraordinaire, is here to set the record straight.

Myth #1: You should always try to attend a prestigious institution

Let’s be real: we all want to be fancy! I understand that you would love to tell your condescending Aunt Karen that you will “be attending HARRRRRVARD in the Fall”. That would undoubtedly be awesome. However, this myth is false on several fronts. First, attending a graduate program simply because the school, or for that matter the program itself, is deemed to be “prestigious” is a bad move. Perception does not account for the most important things in a graduate school program: faculty who will be great mentors, experiences that will be meaningful to you and a program culture that allows you to thrive. Remember when you were searching for an undergraduate institution, and you were very focused on fit? That still applies to graduate school. Second, a school with name-recognition does not necessarily have the best program in everything! That is in fact impossible. So, don’t be fooled: give each school a deep dive to look for fit beyond the name.

Myth #2: Graduate school is too expensive

Listen, I hear you. You probably have some student loans post-Denison. The last thing you want is to jump into more education with the possibility of additional debt to stack on. However, not only can graduate school be a great way to build skills, enhance your knowledge, and grow your job & salary prospects, but it can also be way more affordable than you may be thinking. Ever heard of an “assistantship”? This is a magical, work & study partnership, where you can serve as a teaching assistant, work in a lab, or in an on-campus office, and get paid (not a ton, don’t get crazy) as well as gain a partial to full tuition waiver. What I’m saying is, if you select a program that has an assistantship built in, you could get your education for basically free, plus gain work experience at the same time. Whatttttt? I know, exciting. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t consider the financial outcomes, such as what your salary may be with the degree you are considering. However, don’t knock graduate school out of the field of consideration without doing your due diligence. Do some research, be smart, know your options.

Myth #3: You should go to graduate school right after Denison

This is a huge misconception. First, if you do not have clearly defined goals for graduate school and why you want to go right away, it is likely that you are not giving this decision enough thought. Your future graduate school class will have people of a wide spread of ages, backgrounds, majors in college, tastes in pizza, etc. Time away can not only clarify what type of graduate degree is right for your goals, but will also give you additional work experiences that can make you more competitive in the graduate school process (hello maturity!). About 18% of each Denison graduating cohort goes straight to graduate school, but within 5 years of graduation closer to 80% have attended graduate school, so you are in good company. My advice: give timing of attendance a real thought and don’t allow yourself to be pressured to attend right away if you are not ready.

Authored by Sara Stasko, Associate Director for Graduate School & Pre-Health Advising

Denisonians in Health Professions: Social & Behavioral Sciences

Name:  Kinsey B. Bryant-Lees
Denison Graduation Year:  Class of 2013
Denison Major:  Psychology; Women’s Studies (minor)
Professional Degree Type:  M.A. in Cognitive & Social Processes, Ball State University; PhD in Organizational Psychology, Wright State University, Class of 2019
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Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate school pathway: what impacted your decision?

To be honest, I kind of wondered into my professional pathway by following the things that I was most interested in. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in research and that I was particularly interested in the consequences of stereotypes and implicit biases in the workplace. I began by pursuing my M.A. in cognitive and social processes. While in my program, I became much more interested in applied research which lead me down the PhD path in Industrial Organizational Psychology.

What was your favorite part of your graduate/professional school experience?

My favorite part of my graduate/professional school experience was being able to conduct research completely independently, and pursue my own passions.

What are your professional plans post-graduation?

I have just recently finished my PhD (July 2019) and am beginning my career as a tenure track assistant professor at Northern Kentucky University this Fall. I plan to continue this, as well as work as an independent research consultant. I don’t really feel like I’ve gotten to enjoy it yet, but when it sinks in I think that one thing I am going to enjoy most is the autonomy to develop my own classes and pursue my own research goals.

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate or professional program like yours?

I have a few pieces of advice:

  1. It’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do when you graduate – just keep following what you’re passionate about and you’ll carve your own way.
  2. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks – full disclosure, I applied to 10 programs coming out of undergrad (1 masters program and 9 PhD programs). I was only accepted into the Master’s Program, which at the time was extremely discouraging and made me think that I was under-prepared for what was coming next. When I arrived, I was honestly over-prepared which allowed me to do my regular coursework, independent research, and get additional certifications simultaneously.
  3. Take advantage of everything Denison has to offer – this is something that everyone says, but I didn’t fully appreciate until after I had graduated. The education that you can get and the relationships that you can build at Denison are incredible.

Denison Grads in Grad School: MS in Petrology

Lindsey Hernandez

Denison Graduation Year:  Class of 2016
Denison Major:  Geosciences
Graduate Degree Type:  MS in Petrology from The Ohio State University, Class of 2020
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Describe the process you went through while selecting your graduate school and career pathway: what impacted your decision?

From undergraduate research at Denison, I already knew that I wanted to work in petrology/volcanology, so that helped me focus my graduate school search. I started out by reading journal articles on research I was interested in and began to contact the authors to see if they would be looking for students (and if there was available funding). This allowed me to put feelers out before beginning the application process so that I wouldn’t waste time applying to a school that couldn’t offer funding. Also, most applications asked for the name of your potential advisor, so getting that first contact is important! My decision was based mostly on the funding available—I was offered a fellowship at OSU with a stipend and full tuition waiver, which was a great offer. However, I also thought it was important to consider how well I would get along with my potential advisor, since graduate school requires you to work pretty closely with them. In addition to meeting my potential advisor and discussing potential research projects with him, I also talked to his current graduate students about their time at OSU and their experience working under him to get a feel for if that environment would be a good fit for me.

What challenges did you face on the way to or during graduate school, and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I faced during graduate school was getting up to speed on my research project. My graduate research is pretty different from my undergraduate research, and we use different methods. I also have a lot less guidance as a graduate student, so it can seem a little overwhelming and confusing at times. Starting off, I spent a lot of time reading journal articles, upper level textbooks, and learning from my lab mates in order to get a better feel for motivation and methods of the projects my advisor oversees. After I gained more understanding, I was able to find my groove and customize the focus of my project to something that fits my interests. Finding my niche has made graduate school incredibly fun and engaging, even if it took a lot of work to get to this point!

What has been your favorite part of your graduate school experience so far?

My favorite part of graduate school is my research! I have learned the most though doing research and analyzing my data. I have a lot of freedom in the approaches I take, which allows me to explore ideas and answer really interesting questions. I was also able to get financial support for fieldwork for my project, which is allowing me to go to Guatemala to collect samples of lava, which is an incredible opportunity!

What are your professional plans post-graduation?

After finishing my MS degree, I plan to stay at OSU to pursue my PhD and continue working on my project. After fishing my PhD, I hope to work for an agency or institution at which I can continue working on the geology of Guatemala.

What advice would you give a current Denison student considering a graduate program like yours?

My biggest recommendation is to do research as an undergraduate. This is so helpful because it teaches you how to approach a research project in graduate school, and how to work independently. Denison has amazing undergraduate research opportunities, so take advantage of them! In addition, having some computer programming skills is very helpful in graduate school—almost every class I have taken has required the use of some sort of program, and having an understanding of coding basics beforehand lets you focus on the subject matter of the assignment, instead of the logistics of coding. I recommend taking at least one computer science course at Denison so that you are better prepared for this. Not to mention, being able to code allows you to do some pretty cool stuff in your own research, as well!

5 Strategies for Understanding & Destroying the GRE

Five strategies to help you feel like a GRE champion!

“Give me more standardized tests!”, the college students shouted desperately, “We love them!”. Thus, the beautiful, the glorious General Record Exam (GRE) was graciously provided for us all as a step in the graduate school admission process. Ok, we may not all be happy about it (let’s be real, few of us are), but this is actually a test that you, as a Denisonian, are 100% capable of destroying! Seriously. Follow these five strategies and feel like a champion.

1). Get to know the GRE

Before you slay a dragon, you must study it. Is that a saying? It is now, you can quote me. So here are some quick hits to understand the GRE:

                • This online test is meant to examine your overall aptitude for graduate school. Think of it as the ACT/SATs snootier big brother.
                • It has three timed sections: Analytical writing, quantitative, and verbal.
                • The GRE is widely used for Masters, PhD and Business program admissions, but not every program will require it.
                • It is offered at specific testing centers most weekdays and weekends year-round.
                • GRE scores are valid for five years from test date (so some student take it before they graduate if they are considering graduate school but want to work for a while first).
                • The total testing time = 3 hours and 45 minutes (plus timed breaks, yay!).
                • Points are not deducted for wrong answers! Yessssss.
                • Cost: $205 (I know, not the greatest).

2). Set a score goal and study smart

Not every graduate program values the GRE the same. Some schools establish minimum GRE scores per section, or widely share the average GRE scores for their entering cohorts. Before you begin studying, audit your selected graduate programs to see what their expectations are regarding scores. Know that the GRE score will be considered in collaboration with your undergraduate GPA to get a wider view of your academic performance and potential. Once you have established a score goal based upon program expectations, it is time to design a study plan. The typical Denisonian tends to spend 2-3 months studying for the GRE at a moderate pace. You should not focus you study time equally between all three sections. Instead, ask yourself:

                • Which section do I think is most valued by my graduate program?
                • What section is my natural strength? Which is my weakness?

3). Select the best study option for you

You do not need to take a GRE online or in person prep course. I repeat, not everyone needs a prep course. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) produces the GRE and also provides a wide range of free and low-cost study materials, including a free math review, which personally saved me during my GRE study time. The GRE is a very transparent test, and the content is predictable. The Knowlton Center also provides a library with test resources, including GRE books. Stop by Burton Morgan 306 to check one out!

4). Practice in real conditions

ETS provides free practice tests. Use them! Get use to the pacing of the test, the online features, and the structure of the test itself. Make sure to debrief the practice tests to learn what went well, what you missed, and to adjust your study plan as necessary.

5). Be ready for test day and to interpret your scores

You’ve studied, you’ve stressed, and now the day of the test has arrived. On test day:

                • Arrive early! At least 30 minutes early, because check-in is quite a process.
                • Bring your official ID that exactly matches your registration name (or no GRE for you).
                • Know that you’ll be given scratch paper and an onscreen calculator.

Understanding the scoring process

                • Analytical Writing: 0-6 in half-point increments (typically shoot for a 4 and above).
                • Verbal: 130-170 in 1-point increments, and you will be given a percentile score that lets you know where you are in comparison to other test-takers (try for 50% minimum, 70% or above ideally).
                • Quantitative: 130-170 in 1-point increments (try for 50% minimum, 70% or above ideally).
                • You will see unofficial scores at testing center when you finish, except for writing (a real-life human scores that later!).
                • You can choose to send 4 free scores to grad programs then if you like your verbal and quantitative unofficial scores.
                • After test day, you can send scores through ETS, selecting whichever test date scores you want ($27 per recipient, just so you know).
                • Expect your official scores in 10-15 days (fingers crossed!).

A Knowlton Center Career Coach would be happy to sit down with you and help you think through how to prepare for the GRE. You don’t have to tackle this alone! Log onto Handshake, call 740-587-6656 or stop by Burton Morgan 306 to get started.

Authored by Sara Stasko, Associate Director for Graduate School & Pre-Health Advising