Do You Need to Take the GRE to Become a Nurse Practitioner?

I have always hated standardized tests.  Marking little bubbles on the scantron sheet with a number 2 pencil, broken eraser bits littering my paper, carefully attempting to stay in the lines lest my correct answer be deemed wrong by some machine.  I get frustrated by the questions about topics such as the exact time two cars will pass each other if they are each going different speeds.  Who cares?!  Most of us thought we were done with standardized testing after taking the SAT but unfortunately this may not be the case.

There are not standard requirements for applying to nurse practitioner programs.  Some schools require certain prerequisite courses while others do not.  Some NP programs require a RN degree while others necessitate a BSN.  What about the GRE?

Unfortunately for students, many nurse practitioner programs require applicants to submit GRE scores.  If you plan to apply to multiple NP programs, you will most likely need to take the GRE as it is required by approximately half of nurse practitioner programs (based on an informal survey).  A few schools will accept MAT scores in lieu of the GRE.  Many schools requiring the GRE have minimum score specifications while others simply necessitate that you take the exam.

If you have identified your NP programs of interest, check on their GRE requirements before signing up to take the exam as you may be able to avoid it.  Review requirements carefully- some nurse practitioner programs will waive the exam if you meet a certain GPA.  If the GRE is required, start studying!

It is likely that you have forgotten many of your math, writing and reading comprehension skills.  The best way to study for this exam is to purchase a review book.  I recommend completing all sections of the book and doing as many practice questions as possible.  Students give GRE review courses mixed reviews.  These courses tend to cover what you will need to know for the test but typically don’t reteach the material.  If you have gaps in your knowledge, you will need to relearn the material on your own.  I found memorizing the GRE vocabulary cards included in my GRE study book the most helpful, practical learning I did before taking the test.

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Have you taken the GRE recently?  Share GRE review tips by commenting below!


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