Monday, March 2, 2009

Should You Go to Graduate School Now or Wait?

Posted by David Lucas,

You've planned on attending graduate school, but with graduation just around the corner, are you ready for another three to eight years of graduate education? Should you take time off before graduate study? This is a personal decision and there's no definitive right or wrong answer. However, if you have any doubts about your educational and career aspirations take your time and rethink your goals. What are your reasons for taking time off before attending graduate school?

You're Exhausted
Are you tired? Exhaustion is understandable. After all, you've just spent 16 or more years in school. If this is your primary reason for taking time off, consider whether your fatigue will ease over the summer. You've got two or three months off before grad school starts; can you rejuvenate? Depending on the program and degree, graduate school takes anywhere from three to eight or more years to complete. If you're certain that graduate school is in your future, perhaps you shouldn't wait.

You Need to Prepare
There are also many good reasons for taking time off. If you feel unprepared for grad school, a year off may enhance your application. For example, you might take a prep-course for GRE or other standardized tests required for admission. Improving your scores on standardized tests is essential for at least two reasons. First, it will enhance your chances of being accepted to the program of your choice. Perhaps more importantly, financial aid in the form of scholarships and awards are distributed based on standardized test scores.

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