About the GRE Subject Test
The GRE® Subject Tests are tests that measure your specialized knowledge in a particular field of study. The GRE Subject Test scores are used by admissions or fellowship panels to supplement your undergraduate records, letters of recommendation and other qualifications for graduate study.
Taking the GRE Subject Test will help you stand out from other applicants by way of your knowledge and skill level in a particular field of study. The Biology and the Psychology tests yield subscores that can indicate the strengths and weaknesses of an individual student’s preparation. The subscores can also be used for guidance and placement purposes.
The test is of paper-pencil format.
Who Takes GRE Subject Tests and Who Accepts them?
The GRE Subject Tests are taken by prospective graduate school applicants who want to showcase their specialized knowledge in a specific area of study. GRE Subject Test scores are accepted by thousands of graduate schools. It is recommended that you contact the university admissions office or department you are interested in and see exactly what they are looking for.
What is the Eligibility Criteria?
There are no eligibility requirements for taking the GRE. The GRE Exam has no explicit eligibility requirements. There is no minimum age or educational requirement for GRE 2022. Hence, anyone can take the GRE subject Test who is an undergraduate.
Why to write GRE Subject Tests
A question arises: Why write a Subject Test? These tests are an excellent means to portray the skill level of a candidate in a particular subject, they are often not “required” or “mandatory” at even the top tier universities. It is recommended for the GRE Subject Test but would not insist on it. GRE Subject Tests are optional. Hence, while GRE General might be a requirement. So should a student write them?
So, The answer is, it depends on what you want to showcase. If the candidates want to show that they have good knowledge about the subject then they can go for the GRE subject test. This in turn significantly improves your academic credibility and might add on to the application on a whole. This is more the case if you believe that your academic background requires a bit of boost or not.
GRE Subject Test Syllabus
As we know that GRE is available in two different modes: computer-delivered and paper-delivered, GRE Subject Test is available only for the second mode i.e. the paper-delivered or the offline mode. The duration of this test is 2 hours and 50 minutes. GRE Subject Test is developed to test the understanding of the candidates of the following subjects:
The section-wise syllabus details of GRE
This is the detailed GRE subject test pattern for the subject tests which consists the subjections with total number of questions, sub-sections and weightage:
|Subjects||Number of Questions||Sub-sections||Weightage|
|GRE Biology Syllabus||190||Cellular and Molecular Biology||33-34%|
|Ecology and Evolution||33-34%|
|GRE Chemistry Syllabus||130||Analytical Chemistry||15%|
|GRE English Syllabus||230||Literary Analysis||40-55%|
|Cultural and Historical Contexts||20-25%|
|History and Theory of Literary Criticism||10-15%|
|GRE Mathematics Syllabus||66||Calculus||50%|
|Algebra (Linear algebra, abstract algebra, elementary algebra, and number theory)||25%|
|Probability and Statistics|
|GRE Physics Syllabus||100||Classical Mechanics||20%|
|Optics and Wave Phenomena||9%|
|Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics||10%|
|Specialized Topics like Nuclear and Particle Physics etc.||9%|
|GRE Psychology Syllabus||205||Biological||17-21%|
Note: Since December 2016, biochemistry is not a part of the GRE Subject Test. The GRE subject test computer science is also not taken anymore.
GRE Subject Test: Requirements
The GRE Subject Test is designed for graduate-level courses. So, if a candidate wants to attempt the test then they should complete the respective undergraduate course. For GRE, there are no specific eligibility criteria as specified by ETS (the conducting authority of the exam) which applies that there is no age bar or specific score in the undergraduate courses and others. There are some documents which to be needed are Valid ID proof with a recent photo (passport) and signature of the candidate, which is enough to appear in the GRE Subject Test. However, the universities in which candidates desiring admission in graduate courses must have some requirements along with a GRE score. The candidates need to meet those criteria for their enrollment. For the GRE Subject Test, it is advised to the candidates that the selection of the subject is closely related to their majors.
What Does Your GRE Score Report Contain
First time candidates appearing for their GRE test are often intrigued about the contents of their GRE Scores. GRE Scores of candidates contain the following information:
- Candidates contact information
- Candidates gender
- Candidates date of birth
- GRE Test date
- Intended graduate major of candidate
- GRE test score(s) and the associated GRE total score percentile, ranks
How, When and Where GRE Subject Tests are Conducted?
GRE tests are conducted three times a year, during the following times:
All centers would have all the subject tests during the given months and students can check the centers near them for availability of the desired tests.
GRE General vs GRE Subject Test
There is always a confusion in the minds of the test-takers about whether to choose the GRE general test or subject test. To sort it out for the candidates, below is a list of differences marked between the GRE general or GRE subject test:
|GRE General Test||GRE Subject Test|
|GRE general test is taken by test-takers who wish to pursue PhD or graduate abroad||GRE subject test is taken by candidates who wish to prove their excellence in those particular subjects|
|GRE General Test comprises verbal, quant and analytical writing||GRE subject test can be taken in any of the subjects – Biology, Math, Chemistry, Literature, Physics and Psychology|
|GRE general test is accepted by thousands of grad schools||GRE subject test acts as an addition to the other academic requirements and is sometimes required for graduation in the top colleges|
|GRE general test can be taken every 21 days with a count of up to 5 times a year||GRE subject test can be taken only thrice in a year|
|GRE general test is a computer-delivery exam||GRE subject test is a paper-delivered exam|
GRE Subject Test: Tips for Preparation
To prepare for the GRE subject test the best a candidate can do is to practice with various GRE practice papers from the official site which are composed of tests, tips, and strategies. Here is the list of a few general GRE subject paper preparation tips which are applicable for all the 6 GRE subject tests:
- Revision to undergraduate content: The GRE subject tests are based mostly on the knowledge level of the undergraduate program, candidates are expected to be proficient in those topics.
- Do focus on particular types of questions: It requires the candidate to put special effort on the question types which includes
directions. Once they decode it, it will save their ample time during the test to solve answers.
- Try to attempt every question: All the questions are weighted similarly and therefore, don’t put more time on hard and tricky questions. This will not only prevent candidates from answering easy questions but will also leave certain questions unanswered.
- No extra use of note-books except for taking important notes: Use the test-booklet only for note-taking and organizing. Don’t forget to write the answer in the answer booklet.
- Make a pattern to solve the question paper first: The pattern of answering the questions is a great trick for the students as GRE subject test preparation advises the candidates to answer the questions the candidate feels confident about then move on to the difficult ones.
The above GRE subject test preparation tips and syllabus will help the candidates understand the process of preparation.
- Create an account on https://www.ets.org/gre. If you already have an account, sign in to your account
- While creating an account use the same first and last name as it appears on your valid identification document which you will be using on the day of the test (For test-takers in India, a valid passport is the only valid identification document)
- If you have already created an account, verify if the name you have entered matches the name on the passport. If not, you must edit it before your register for the GRE
- If there is a mismatch, you will not be allowed to take the test
- Check the availability of seats at your preferred center at your preferred date
- Make sure your preferred test date is at least two business days before your actual test date
- Book a slot
- Use an American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, or Visa credit/debit cards to pay your test fee. Please note net banking or cash is not accepted. Ensure you have a credit/debit card for making the payment
- You will receive a confirmation email from ETS that will confirm your test choice, test date, test center, and score recipients
- People with disabilities or health-related needs, accommodations cannot register online
Register by Mail
Firstly, fill out the GRE Subject Tests Registration Form (PDF) and mail it with payment receipt to the address on the form. By the registration deadline, the form must be received by ETS. The Processing time would be four weeks. Money orders, certified checks, and voucher numbers are all accepted methods of payment but forms for registration cannot be faxed.
Points to Remember
- Read the test instructions properly and work as fast as possible without degrading the performance. The candidates should select the best possible answer from the available options for each question.
- All questions consist of equal value. So, do not waste time revolving around the individual questions, focus on the questions that are extremely difficult or unfamiliar.
- If any answer needs to be edited, make sure it is deleted entirely and fill in the oval with the new answer.
- On the answer sheet, make notes of all the responses. Answers written in the test book will not be taken into account.
- Try to complete it before time, do not wait until the last five minutes of a testing session to record answers on the answer sheet.
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