Is the GRE Required for Masters in Creative Writing?

Many graduate programs require GRE scores, so the GRE for a masters in creative writing may sometimes be submitted with the student’s application. While this ultimately depends on the specific example, below explains why GRE scores are sometimes required and why they are important.

What is the GRE?

Similar to the SAT and ACT exams, the GRE exam is a compressive assessment of the test takers’ verbal reasoning, analytical writing, critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills. The purpose of each GRE exam is to help graduate school admissions offices decide if applicants meet the qualifications for their respective programs. There are major differences between the paper and computer-based GRE test. Those who take the written portion of the exam on a computer will be able to use standard word processing software, which makes it easy to edit and change the answers.

Many students prefer to take the computer-based test because it is adaptive and adjusts the difficulty level each time the individual submits an answer. That is, the test starts out with questions of average difficulty that are immediately scored and compared with previous answers. Those who answer correctly are presented with harder questions and those who answer incorrectly receive slightly less difficult questions. The test lengths and number of questions may also be different.

GRE Sections

The GRE test is comprised of three main sections. The analytical writing section always comes first. Test takers must read a paragraph on a common topic and then spend 45 minutes expounding their opinions with sound reasoning and solid examples. The second essay question requires the test taker to read and critique an argument in 30 minutes. The other two sections are the GRE are verbal and quantitative exams that appear in any order and often include unscored questions that may be used in future tests.

The verbal section includes topics like antonyms, analogies, sentence completions and reading comprehension questions. The purpose of this section is to test the individual’s ability to formulate conclusions from the content, recognize relationships between words and concepts and determine the associations between sentence parts. The quantitative section contains high school-level math questions in algebra, geometry, arithmetic and data analysis. Basic math skills and the ability to use quantitative reasoning are tested.

Masters in Creative Writing Programs

Most Masters in Creative Writing degree programs offer specializations, such as in poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction and screenwriting. These programs teach students practical models for evaluating different literary formats and critiquing specific works of literature. Students are required to develop publishable writing in their target field. For example, those who study fiction will learn how to implement advanced principles of plot, style, characterization and point of view.

When it comes to admission, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a GPA of at least 3.0. Students with a lower GPA can strengthen their application through submitting satisfactory scores on one of the standard graduate, such as the GRE, GMAT or Miller Analogies Test. Official transcripts and at least one letter of recommendation are usually required.

Related Resource: 10 Best Deals on Online MFA in Creative Writing Degrees

The GRE for a masters in creative writing may be required so prospective students’ should confirm with the requirement target program’s admissions office.