Entrance Exam Resources
For testing, please refer to the web sites listed below. They explain the testing procedures, formats and how to register. You can choose either test, but you should take some time to review the different formats. Some people are much more comfortable with one test or the other. You can find study materials online, in libraries and bookstores.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test
Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
Valdosta State University Office of Testing (offers MAT)
Online GRE preparation classes offered through VSU Continuing Education
All application materials must be received by March 15, so you should register for one of these exams as soon as possible. The GRE is given at Sylvan Learning Centers and the MAT is given at College and University Testing Centers. It usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks for the company to report scores and the Division of Social Work cannot make a final admissions decision until your completed application is received.
The admissions committee is looking for the following scores:
GRE = Applicants who take the GRE should receive a combined minimum score of 800 on the verbal and quantitative sections or a minimum score of 400 on verbal and a minimum score of 3.5 on the analytical sections or a minimum score of a 146 on verbal and a minimum score of 3.5 on the analytical sections, or a combined minimum score of 286 on the verbal and the quantitative sections.
MAT = Applicants who take the MAT should receive a minimum score of 390.
FAQ: "Why do I have to take a entrance exam?"
Entrance Exams are a standard part of the Graduate Admissions process (just as ACT/SAT tests are standard for undergraduate admissions). Studies have consistently shown that standardized tests give important information about student readiness for graduate education. Scores are used in conjunction with other measures (such as GPA, academic history, written statement, references, and resume) to build a more complete picture of each applicant.
FAQ: "I did poorly on the exam. Should I retake it?"
MSW admissions are semi-competitive (cohorts are limited in enrollment) and test scores are one factor in the decision. Whatever you can do to present a strong application is recommended. ALL completed applications are considered and the committee takes into account academic history (GPA), test scores, career history, recommendations and your personal statement in a holistic review. It is your decision whether to retake the exam if you do poorly. Study materials are widely available (from the bookstore/library/internet). You may be able to improve your score and trying again does demonstrate commitment. You might also consider taking the other exam (GRE or MAT). If you decide not to retake the entrance exam, pay particular attention to the quality of other areas of your application.
FAQ: "I took the GRE/MAT a few years ago - can I still use the scores?"
Generally, VSU can accept scores that are no more than 5 years old. We must receive the official score reports from the testing company. Contact the testing company to have additional score reports sent (there is a fee for this service). You may call the VSU Graduate School if you have specific questions about whether a previous test will be accepted (229-333-5694).
FAQ: "Which exam should I take?"
This is a matter of personal preference. The GRE is a longer exam, costs a bit more and has verbal, quantitative and analytical writing sections. The GRE is more universally accepted and can sometimes substitute for other tests (such as the Praxis General test). The MAT is less expensive, not as long, and has a multiple-choice analogy format. However, fewer programs will accept the MAT (if you planned to apply for multiple programs or to another graduate program in the future). Different people prefer different formats - try the sample questions at the testing websites to see what you prefer.
FAQ: "What if I am taking the test at the last minute? "
You can print out or write down your GRE or MAT preliminary score at the testing center after you complete the exam on computer. You may submit that score with your application materials to start the review process. However, GRE scores for the written analytical section will not be immediately available. Admissions decisions will be contingent on the VSU Graduate School receiving an official score report.
Updated: 1 February 2012