Choosing a program

Although there are many paths towards higher education, it is always a good idea to take a while and think about what you would like to get out of your studies and what you would like to do afterward. If you have a specific career in mind, that can help narrow your choices based on which program will best prepare you. If you were highly engaged with a certain subject during your undergraduate studies, it would be recommendable to continue in that discipline and gain expertise.

Take time to browse through the many programs offered across numerous fields, and make note of what jumps out at you. Write down a list of your top three areas of focus, your top locations, and top career goals. Use this list to narrow your search and help you guide your decision-making process.

Graduate entry exams

Depending on the type of program you’re seeking and the country in which you’d like to study, there is a good chance you will have to take at least one test in order to enroll in a Master’s program. Below you can find details regarded various exams:

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a test required for entry into most Master’s programs in North America, Australia and in certain other countries. The GRE includes verbal, quantitative and analytical sections and adapts in difficulty to the test-takers responses after each section. This test is owned and operated by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which also runs the TOEFL English test and many others. The GRE is usually taken on a computer and is offered in locations around the world.

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a test required for entry into most Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in North America and many other places in the world. The GMAT assesses the test-taker’s analytical, verbal and quantitative skills, as well as skills in reading and writing. The GMAT is offered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) and can be taken in locations around the world.

• Other tests
Countries such as India, Brazil and China require various tests for specific programs. Among these are the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), which is required for students interested in studying engineering in India, as well as at certain universities in other countries; the Admission Test for Postgraduate Studies in Economics (ANPEC), which is a test offered in Portuguese for Brazilian economics students; and the national graduate school entrance examination, which is generally required for all programs of study in China.

• Language tests
If you are planning to study in a foreign country or would like to enroll in a program taught in English in your own country, you will most likely have to first pass a language assessment exam. The most well recognized tests for the English language are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). These tests are each widely accepted and are viewed as offering a fair assessment of English language skills. Tests for other languages, such as Spanish, French or German, can usually be taken at language institutes or through home universities.

Life after your Master’s

A Master’s degree can be seen as a great step towards a professional or academic career. If you are interested in continuing your education, a Master’s degree is a prerequisite to gaining admission to PhD programs across most of the world. If you are interested in entering the labor market, a Master’s degree can offer strong advantages in terms of securing gainful employment and earning a higher salary.

Regardless of which field you’ve earned a Master’s degree in, earning this graduate degree will increase your competitiveness on the market.