Students prepare for graduate admissions exams

By Anthony Navarrete, Staff Writer

Students are preparing for life after their undergraduate years at Newman by taking the GRE, MCAT and LSAT, which are exams required by most professional programs prior to admission.


Junior Claudius Cieko has taken steps to prepare for the MCAT, an eight hour exam taken by students applying to medical school.

“I guess it isn’t easy finding time for everything, but I have to prioritize. I find myself pressed for time sometimes,” he said. “I try to do a certain amount of hours a day.”

Cieko enrolled in an online Kaplan course, which retails for $3,000 and guides students in studying for the MCAT by offering lectures and videos of the materials that will be featured on the exam.  

“A big key for anyone, I think, is just to have the confidence going into it. You’ve got to have the confidence in yourself and what you can do. You have to believe,” he said.


Senior Linnea Ristow said she plans to take her GRE in April to apply for grad schools for a career in international, nonprofit work.

Ristow said because she’s taking a gap year after graduating Newman, she waited to take the GRE until her senior year.

The GRE covers similar topics to that of the ACT in math, English and writing with a heavy emphasis on vocabulary knowledge. Unlike the MCAT, it is only a four hour test.

Ristow said she started studying for the GRE earlier this semester by downloading apps on her phone to keep her up to date with the vocabulary section.  

“I figured they would be good for review in between classes,”  she said.


Senior Vincent Cuoto used a variety of resources to prepare for the LSAT, including Kaplan.

The LSAT is the exam used by law schools to test students in areas that are needed in law school, which include analytical skills, reading skills and comprehension.

After taking it the first time and receiving a decent score, Cuoto felt he could perform better a second time with other resources such as books from the Newman library.

Cuoto said when one is taking the LSAT, they have to have a certain mindset.

“I’d call it a marathon really. It’s constant mental focus, constantly giving yourself positive feedback,” said Cuoto.

Cuoto applied to three law schools in the United States and three law schools back home in Canada, he is expecting to hear back mid-March.