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GRE Subject Tests




GRE Subject Tests: An Overview


 

In addition to the GRE general test, some graduate schools or fellowship committees may require you to take additional GRE Subject Tests. These tests are specific to eight fields of study and are sometimes required if you have a heavy background or a major in one of them. Unlike the general test, the Subject Tests are paper-based only and are administered on only three dates during the year in November, December, and April. The ETS site carries comprehensive outlines of the subject matter covered by each test, but here are some quick facts for each test:

Biochemistry, cell, and molecular biology

  • Approximately 180 multiple-choice questions, many of which are grouped in sets and based on laboratory situations, diagrams, or experimental results.
  • Organized into three major areas: biochemistry (36 percent); cell biology (28 percent); and molecular biology and genetics (36 percent). In addition to the total score, a subscore in each of these subfield areas is reported.
  • Emphasis on questions requiring problem-solving skills and content knowledge.

Biology

  • 200 five-choice questions, many of which are grouped in sets and based on laboratory and field situations, diagrams, or experimental results.
  • Organized into three major areas, each with its own sub-areas:cellular and molecular biology (33 to 34 percent); organismal biology (33 to 34 percent); ecology and evolution (33 to 34 percent).
  • In addition to the total score, a subscore in each of these subfield areas is reported.

Chemistry

  • Approximately 130 multiple-choice questions.
  • A periodic table is included in the test booklet, as well as a table of information presenting various physical constants and some conversion factors among SI units. Additional values of physical constants are printed within question contexts as necessary.
  • Test questions are constructed to simplify mathematical manipulations. As a result, neither calculators nor tables of logarithms are needed.
  • The content of the test emphasizes the four traditional fields of chemistry: analytical chemistry (15 percent); inorganic chemistry (25 percent); organic chemistry (30 percent) ; and physical chemistry (30 percent).

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