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Book Review: Graduate School: Winning Strategies For Getting In With Or Without Excellent Grades

Book Review: Graduate School: Winning Strategies For Getting in With or Without Excellent Grades

by Mary Savvidou

Dave G. Mumby’s Graduate School: Winning Strategies For Getting in With or Without Excellent Grades is a must read for undergraduates or recent graduates who wish to pursue further education before entering the job market. This is a very concise and well organized book with a threefold purpose: firstly, to encourage more students to apply to graduate school, secondly, to help students successfully handle the application process, and finally, to reveal the strategies that make certain applicants outstanding.

In the first part of the book, Mumby educates his readers about issues such as the differences between graduate and undergraduate school, the many ways to finance graduate studies, as well as the workings of the selection process. For instance, as pertains to the latter, hesitant students may be pleasantly surprised to find out that an attractive personality could compensate for a less than excellent GPA. Moreover, the author outlines steps to take before applying in order to make the right choice of program.

The second part is where prospective applicants to graduate school will find answers to their frequently asked questions, including how many programs to apply to, how to prepare for standardized tests, and how to establish connections with professionals in their field. There are also separate sections dedicated to successfully handling the application form, letters of recommendation, personal statement and preselection interviews.

Mumby has saved the most insightful advice for the last part. Here is where the readers will learn all the “secrets” about going beyond the requirements in order to increase their chances of being accepted into the graduate program of their choice. The author even suggests a detailed step-by-step plan for students to follow as they go through their undergraduate years. The book ends with a listing of resources intended to help students explore their various options.

Overall this is a fabulous piece of work with sensible advice.  If you are curious about grad school then this is the book for you!