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Preparing For Postgraduate Study Abroad

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  • Read about the course and its contents carefully. The titles and duration of the course maybe very different from their Irish counterparts
  • Bear in mind that the range and quality of study available from country to country varies enormously.
  • Be aware of the closing dates for applications. These vary and you will often find that you must begin your research at least a year before you begin the course.
  • Assess the facilities and support for postgraduate study in the institution you apply for.
  • You may need to consider your ability to cope with the cultural differences in the country in which the course is being taught. You may have to update and improve your language skills in order to communicate.
  • Although there is a wide range of ways of obtaining funding for study abroad it can be time-consuming, frustrating and difficult to find financial support. This can be avoided with early applications and persistence.
  • Check the acceptability of your existing academic qualifications. A first, upper second or Masters degree will meet most requirements however most Universities in the US and many in Canada require that applicants for postgraduate study take a standardised admission test.

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Admission tests in the US and Canada

There are two standardised tests widely used as part of the admissions procedure for postgraduate courses in the USA and Canada, in some other countries. These are the GRE and the GMAT.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardised aptitude test which includes a General Test and Subject Tests. The General Test, which is required by most US universities, measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills; the Subject Tests, which are less frequently required, measure achievement in specific subject areas. The General Test is a computer-based test which is available on a year-round basis in Dublin. Full details of this test, together with sample questions and registration procedures, can be accessed on the GRE website at www.gre.org. You can download a document with further details on the GRE here

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is used for applying to MBA courses or other postgraduate management courses in universities all over the world. This is also a computer-adaptive test that measures basic verbal, mathematical and analytical writing skills. As with the GRE, it is possible to take this test on a year-round basis in Dublin. Full details of this test, together with sample questions and registration procedures, can be accessed on the GMAT website at: www.mba.com

Most US universities require you to submit the test results as part of your application package so you would need to register for a test well in advance of the application deadline.

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