From the Director · General Grad School Advice · Tips and Hints for Grad School · Uncategorized

Testing, 1… 2…

Every graduate program has different admission requirements when it comes to standardized exams, so it’s important to follow the application instructions for your program(s) of interest carefully.

At SUNY Plattsburgh, some graduate programs have no exam requirement, some accept only Graduate Record Exam (G.R.E.) scores, and others offer the option to take either the Miller Analogies Test (M.A.T.) or the G.R.E.

The following programs at SUNY Plattsburgh currently accept either M.A.T. or G.R.E. scores for program admission:

  • Adolescence Education (M.S.T.)
  • Childhood Education (M.S.T.)test.jpg
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.)
  • Literacy (M.S.Ed.)
  • School Building Leader (C.A.S.)
  • Special Education (M.S.Ed.)
  • Student Affairs & Higher Education (M.S.)
  • Teaching & Learning (M.S.Ed.)

Other programs at Plattsburgh require the G.R.E. only:

  • Speech-Language Pathology (M.A.)
  • Natural Science (M.S.)
  • Professional Science Masters: Environmental Science (M.S.)

If you have a choice of which exam to take, there are some important differences to consider between the two exams:

Cost – G.R.E. costs $205, while the M.A.T. is $80

Time – G.R.E. is a nearly 4 hour exam, while the M.A.T. is 1 hour

Content – The G.R.E. includes a math, verbal, and writing section, while the M.A.T. is strictly analogies (120 analogy questions)

The Importance of Testing

greThe value of a strong exam score can vary depending on program area.  While exam scores are not considered to be the primary factor for admission in any of our graduate programs, they become increasingly important in highly competitive fields, such as Speech-Language Pathology.  If you are on the borderline of being admissible, they may also be a determining factor of your admission.

In 2015, New York State implemented the current testing requirement for all teacher education applicants, including the post-masters School Building Leader applicants.  Unfortunately because it is a state mandate, we cannot waive this requirement.  Other programs require exams to adhere to the standards of certification or accrediting bodies.

Which to Take and Where to Take It

If you’re applying to a program with testing options, the choice of which exam to take is entirely up to you.  Because of the lower cost and length, the M.A.T. has become the more popular testing option for many of our graduate applicants to the Counselor Education and Teacher Education programs. 

If your programs requires the G.R.E. or you prefer this exam option, you can visit ets.org to learn more about setting up a test date.  For local students, there is a testing site available in downtown Plattsburgh.

The M.A.T. exam is now administered at SUNY Plattsburgh by the Graduate Admissions Office, on a variety of test dates or by appointment.  Visit our M.A.T. webpage to learn more about scheduled dates and what to expect on test day.

Suggestions for Test Preparation

Whether you are taking the G.R.E. or M.A.T., it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam and at least look at a few sample test questions in advance, if not take an entire practice test.

If you search online, you should be able to find information and possibly test questions, but consider buying a study guide or borrowing one from your local library or Career Development Center.

MAT.pngBecause we proctor the M.A.T. exam here, we are asked more often about its format and examples.  A good strategy while taking the test is trying to fill in the blank in the question, without looking at the answer choices. Once you have the answer in your mind, try to find which one matches your answer best. Another important thing to remember is there is only one correct answer, so you should choose the most likely option.

Analogy questions present a logical relationship between two pairs of words or numbers. For example, consider the following sentences:

  1. A mason works with stone; similarly a carpenter works with wood.
  2. A square has four sides, just as a hexagon has six sides.
  3. Copper is a metal, whereas oxygen is a non-metal.

These sentences could be represented as logical analogies of the form A : B :: C : D. For example,

  1. MASON : CARPENTER :: STONE : WOOD
    or
    MASON : STONE :: CARPENTER : WOOD
  2. SQUARE : FOUR :: HEXAGON : SIX
    or
    SQUARE : HEXAGON :: FOUR : SIX
  3. COPPER : OXYGEN :: METAL : NON-METAL
    or
    COPPER : METAL :: OXYGEN : NON-METAL

You can read these statements as: A is to B as C is to D.  Or A is to C as B is to D. But never A is to D as B is to C!  These logical statements are converted to questions of the type that appears on the M.A.T. by replacing one of the terms in the analogy by a blank. Four choices are given for the blank and the test taker selects the correct answer.  The correct answer would be C.

Lastly, on test day, remember to take a deep breath and keep calm.  Do the best that you can but know that one test will not determine your fate!

If you are ever confused about the graduate admission testing requirements at Plattsburgh or would like our advice, please don’t hesitate to call or email us at graduate@plattsburgh.edu or (518)564-4723.
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