As I mentioned last week, Application Boot Camp is a joint effort between my Admissions pal, Christine, and me. Today, Christine gives you the skinny on test scores and transcripts.
Test scores and transcripts are two key parts of your application, and they can take time to prepare. Let’s start by delving into what standardized tests are required.
All MALD, MA, MIB, and PhD applicants are required to submit scores from either the GRE or GMAT exam. Fletcher does not use cutoffs for GRE or GMAT scores, as we review all applications holistically and the scores are just one part of the overall application; however, they are an important part, and should be taken seriously. Preparing for the tests can be time consuming and some locations do not offer testing days as often as others.
A good strategy for picking a test date for the GRE or GMAT is to work backwards from the application due date. Pick a test date early enough for the scores to arrive by the deadline, but also leave yourself time to at least familiarize yourself with the exam format (or even put in some serious review). Do you want the option of taking the exam twice? Be sure to factor in the extra time for two exam dates. For applicants who have taken the tests more than once, we look at the highest score from each section. Additionally, we require official test score reports that must be sent to us directly from the testing service. This typically takes about two weeks, so if you are planning to apply by the January 10th application deadline, you should have your scores ordered by the end of December. GRE and GMAT scores are valid for five years — after that you will not be able to order an official score report.
International applicants for all programs (including the LLM) may be required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE in addition to the GRE or GMAT. You must submit this additional test if your native language is not English and you have not earned a university degree (undergraduate degree, or graduate degree lasting two or more years) in which English was the language of instruction. A score of 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL (with sub-scores of 25 on each section), 7 on the IELTS (with sub-scores of 7 on each section), or 68 on the PTE is generally considered evidence of sufficient English language ability for admission to Fletcher. As with the GRE or GMAT, it does take some time for these test scores to reach us, and you should plan accordingly.
TRANSCRIPTS are another central part of your application as they provide us with insight into your prior academic work. A transcript is required for all previously attended undergraduate or graduate institutions. (Note that we do not need high school results, regardless of where you attended high school.) Transcripts are required for study-abroad semesters if the grades and course names do not appear on your home institution’s transcript. If you transferred schools during your studies, you will need to provide transcripts from both the transfer school and graduating school. Additionally, if your transcripts are not in English they will need to be accompanied by a certified English translation. This means you cannot translate it yourself! You will need to take the transcript to a certified translator, and then submit to Fletcher both the original transcript and the translation, accompanied by the translator’s signed and stamped declaration of a true translation. A bank, post office, or university may be able to help you find translators.
Unlike test scores, transcripts can be uploaded to your online application and do not need to be mailed to us in hard copy. (We actually would prefer not to receive any hard copies at this stage!) You will need to upload a scanned copy of your official transcript. We cannot accept a copy of your unofficial online print-out. Like test scores, transcripts can take time to obtain and we would recommend that you start gathering these as soon as possible.
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