First and foremost, you need to know the details. For each institution you are going to apply to, examine the admissions criteria in detail. Look for things like entrance exams, transcripts, letters of recommendations, personal statements, etc.
- Get free practice GRE questions through the ETS website.
- Leave at least six weeks to study before any qualifying exams like the GRE or the LSAT.
- Take the GRE/GMAT. The earlier you take it, the more time you’ll have to improve your score.
- Calculate how much grad school will cost. How much will you spend on application fees, admission exams, transcripts, tuition, room and board.
- Set aside money for application fees, admission exams, transcripts, etc.
- Begin investigating sources of funding
- Get and file applications for financial aid
- Complete your FAFSA
- Draft a general statement of purpose outlining the reasons why you wish to attend graduate school. You will use some version of this in most applications
- Solicit letters of recommendation
- Follow up with sources
- Request transcripts
- Verify transcripts are complete and correct
- Prepare for your interview if you’ll have one.
- Submit your applications
- If you are an undergraduate, reinforce relationships with your professors – they will be the ones you’ll solicit recommendation letters from