The GRE General Test is administered throughout the year at computer-based test centers in the U.S., Canada, and many other countries. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. A paper-based option is still available. For GRE details and registration information, please visit the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website.
Letters of Recommendation
It is a courtesy to your recommender that you speak to him or her beforehand about writing a letter for you. Don’t presume a faculty member will write a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters of recommendation are submitted strictly on a voluntary basis.
When requesting a letter of recommendation, provide faculty members with the following:
- Deadlines to be aware of
- A copy of your transcript (photo copies are acceptable)
- Your resume
- A statement outlining your application focus and your academic and professional goals (your personal statement may suffice)
- The grade you received in his or her course
- Your phone number, email address, and PO Box
- Instructions regarding the submission of the letter. Some may be sent directly to the institution while others may have to be collected by you for inclusion in the application packet.
- Stamped and addressed envelopes
- Because faculty often juggle multiple priorities, be sure to follow-up, gently reminding them of approaching deadlines
Decide on a message. Consider no more than three points on which to focus. Remember the nature of your audience, academics who are expert in their fields. Each paragraph should reflect one main idea. The logical flow of ideas should be clear, with movement and progression from one sentence to the next throughout the piece.
Refining, Simplifying, and Polishing
Begin this process after the completion of the first draft. Is any section, sentence or word superfluous, ambiguous, apologetic, or awkward? Are all verbs strong and active? Have you removed most of the qualifiers? The committee has a copy of your transcript and activities; don’t duplicate information. Don’t inflate your accomplishments. Write as an adult and potential member of a select academic community. Check and re-check spelling, subject-verb agreement and syntax.
Resources for writing personal statements:
For individual assistance with writing your personal statement, consult with the writing tutor in your residential college.