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Graduate School: Winning Strategies for Getting in + Graduate Admissions Essays, Fourth Edition: Write Your Way into the Graduate School of Your Choice + Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D.
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Editorial Reviews

Review

So, are you content with your bachelor's degree -- or do you just think that you can't afford grad school? Perhaps you're convinced that your grades aren't up to par, or that you won't do well in a certain program. The application process seems too daunting, so you've decided to forego the opportunity to attend grad school, and roll the dice in the job market. Don't settle for that entry level job just yet; there's a book you should read before you make up your mind about postgraduate education.
Graduate School: Winning Strategies for Getting In, by Dave G. Mumby, was originally published in 1997. At that time it was one of the few books on the market that offered advice about applying to graduate school. Fast forward 15 years and we have the second edition. The title has been edited, the role of modern technology in the application process has been addressed, a few key sections have been added, and the book now works in tandem with the websiteMyGraduateSchool.com
However, one important element has not changed with this edition -- the content of the book remains an asset to undergraduate college or University students who are either currently planning to apply to graduate school or professional school, or who have not yet made that decision but eventually will.
Information is only as valuable as its source. Much of the advice and insight throughout the book comes from professors and faculty members, interpretations of other books that offer similar advice, and of course, Dave G. Mumby himself. As a professor at Concordia University, and a supervisor to undergraduate honours and graduate students in psychology, Mumby has direct experience with assisting students that decide to pursue or have pursued postgraduate education. Moreover, he is keen on what selection committees look for when evaluating potential grad students, because he has personally served on such committees.
Experience aside, Mumby's words come across in a calm and direct tone; it's a good lecture spliced with an in-depth conversation during office hours. There is a sense that he genuinely wants to help potential grad students. Several books that offer grad school advice have a chapter near the beginning about, why you shouldn't go to grad school. Instead, this book includes a section entitled, Find out what grad school is all about. In fact, that sentiment was the motivation for the introduction to this review. It's not often that you hear (or read) the phrase, grad school is more rewarding than most people think. It's education, romanticize it if you choose, but the point is that Mumby is helpful, honest, and positive. The positive part is especially refreshing.
Don't get too giddy, the book is just as much realistic as it is positive. You don't want a letter of recommendation from just any professor, regardless of whether you hold he/she in high esteem, or vice versa. You're good grades don't guarantee you'll be successful in grad school. Do you even understand how the application process works? And how can you afford grad school? All of these topics are covered. For example, chapter 11 covers;financing your graduate studies, and the entire fourth chapter is dedicated to a discussion about grades -- two common misconceptions are that one must have outstanding grades to get into grad school, and that outstanding grades are all one needs.
More of this review can be found at the on the GradShare blog
--GradShare.com Blog

"I have recommended this book to my students because it is simply the best recourse out there for students interested in grad school" --Dr. David R. Brodbeck, Department of Psychology, Algoma University

About the Author

Dave G. Mumby, Ph.D. graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1992. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Concordia University and a member of the Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology (CSBN). He has supervised many graduate students over the past 15 years and has served on numerous graduate admissions committees at Concordia University. He is also an academic advisor for the Psychology Department and holds frequent workshops on applying to graduate school. From the author: Something that I hate having to do as part of my job is denying certain students entrance into our graduate programs. Many of the rejected students are probably great candidates and would likely succeed in graduate school, but they were unable to convey their true potential; essentially, they were unable to sell themselves. Don t let this happen to you. Regardless of whether you are just starting college or University or you are a few months away from application deadlines, if you are willing to put in the time and work, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of getting into graduate school. My advice, however, is not to wait until you are in your last year to start preparing for graduate school and as I emphasize in this book, many of the recommended steps take a good deal of time to implement. If you have weak grades and no notable and relevant accomplishments, then you should really consider reading this book and take a look at these useful on-line resources, where I write about the various requirements of applying to graduate school and I give lots of tips on how you can improve your chances of getting in: MyGraduateSchool.com & myGraduateSchool.wordpress.com If you don t think you have a realistic chance of getting into graduate school this year no matter what you do, consider it a blessing that you figured this out before you wasted your time and money and take advantage of all the advice in this book and other on-line resources that I mentioned to prepare for next year.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Proto Press Publications; 2nd edition edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0968217362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0968217368
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I supervise graduate students and serve on graduate admissions committees at Concordia University in Montreal, Qc. I also am an academic advisor for the Psychology Department and hold frequent workshops on graduate school and the application process. Something that I hate having to do as part of my job is denying certain students entrance into our graduate programs. Many wishful applicants are rejected each year. I often consider that many of these rejected students are probably well-suited for graduate school but may never find out because their applications were unable to convince me that they truly have what it takes. I feel sorry for these students, but there is nothing I can do about their inability to sell themselves.

Occasionally, one comes across applicants who do an exceptional job of demonstrating that they possess attributes necessary for success in graduate school and in a related career afterwards. Those are the applicants who are accepted. You should be one of those applicants, and there is no reason why you can't be if you are willing to make appropriate use of the information and advice in this book.

Whether you are in your freshman or senior year, the time to begin planning for your graduate-school application is now. Don't wait until you are in your final semester of your senior year to begin taking the steps outlined in this book. Some of the recommended steps take a good deal of time to implement. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to improve your chances of getting into graduate school. Conversely, the sooner you begin, the easier it will be. But don't panic if you discover that you do not have enough time to take advantage of all of the strategies described in this book. There are a great many things that you can do "at the last minute" to improve your chances.

If you have weak grades and no notable and relevant accomplishments, then you might decide after reading this book that you don't have a realistic chance of getting into graduate school this year no matter what you do. Consider it a blessing that you figured this out before you wasted your time and money, and experienced much anguish. If you are serious about getting into graduate school, then you have plenty of time to take advantage of the advice in this book and prepare for application next year.

For more information on applying to graduate school and advice from me and other experts, I strongly recommend that you check out this web site: http://MyGraduateSchool.com



Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sia Knight on April 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the most comprehensive book that I have ever seen about applying to grad school. The advice, aimed primarily at undergraduates looking to further their education, is sound and each topic is thoroughly covered. This thought-provoking guide leaves no stone unturned; I would recommend it to anyone considering applying to grad school.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Haas on December 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Had some good suggestions on how to write a personal statement. I felt that it overall portrayed a realistic view of graduate school admissions.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mak on May 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
As someone who has been actively considering grad school, this book was really helpful in answering some of the questions I've had, as well as aleviating some of my anxieties about the process.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a thorough, methodical summary of the application process for graduate school. The author is clear and straightforward in his presentation of information and advice, though also rather repetitive. The book was most helpful for me in providing a picture of the relative strength of an application from the perspective of an admissions committee member, a role in which the author has functioned for many years. Particularly enlightening was the insight that, according to the experience of the author, letters of recommendation carry the most individual weight in determining a candidate's qualification. This book will be most beneficial for those who find the thought of applying to graduate school daunting or who operate most effectively when thinking through such a process systematically. Others, including myself, will find much of the material provided in this book to be inapplicable (e.g. whether or not you are "right for graduate school"), common sense (e.g. that "first impressions matter most"), or accessible through other means, such as conversations with professors and students (e.g. "what should be in your CV").
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