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GRE Subject Tests

In addition to the General Test, there are also eight GRE Subject Tests testing knowledge in the specific areas of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. In the past, subject tests were also offered in the areas of Economics, Revised Education, Engineering, Geology, History, Music, Political Science, and Sociology. In April 1998, the Revised Education and Political Science exams were discontinued. In April 2000, the History and Sociology exams were discontinued, and the other four were discontinued in April 2001
GRE Subject Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology is a standardized exam provided by ETS (Educational Testing Service). It is a paper-based exam and there are no computer-based versions of it. ETS places this exam three times per year: once in April, once in October and once in November. Some graduate programs in the USA recommend taking this exam, while others require this exam score as a part of the application to their graduate programs. ETS sends a bulletin with a sample practice test to each candidate after registration for the exam. There are 180 questions within the biochemistry subject test.
The GRE Literature in English Test is a standardized test administered by the Educational Testing Service. It is intended to evaluate applicants seeking admission to a graduate program in English Studies. The test surveys a wide range of topics related to literature in English, but the focus is on works long accepted as part of the canon. Because of this and other reasons, some graduate programs do not require the test for applicants, as they are interested in accepting students who wish to do research in areas that are not as prominently evaluated by the subject test, such as women or minority writers, or literary theory. Included in the group of programs not requiring the test are some of the most prestigious, although other prominent programs continue to require it. One argument for continuing to require the test is that there are often numerous applicants to a given program with very high qualifications; the subject test offers admissions committees one more factor in measuring student competency. At any rate, while there is no longer broad consensus that everyone in English studies must be familiar with the same set of literary works, few would argue that knowledge of traditionally canonized texts could limit a student's ability to pursue English studies. Furthermore, most programs, even those most engaged in the decentering of the traditional canon, still require broad coverage of areas, and the test may help reveal a student's overall coverage.
The GRE subject test in mathematics is a standardized test created by the Educational Testing Service, and is designed to assess a candidate's potential for graduate or post-graduate study in the field of mathematics. It contains questions from many fields of mathematics. About 50% of the questions are on calculus (including multivariate calculus), 25% on linear algebra, and 25% on a broad variety of other topics typically encountered in undergraduate mathematics, such as abstract algebra, point-set topology, elementary number theory, probability and statistics, as well as real and complex analysis. This exam, like all the GRE subject tests, is paper-based, as opposed to the GRE general test which is usually computer-based. It contains 66 questions, which are to be answered within 2 hours and 50 minutes. Scores on this exam are required for entrance to most math Ph. D. programs.
Prior to October 2001, a significant percentage of students were achieving perfect scores on the exam, which made it difficult for competitive programs to differentiate between students in the upper percentiles. So the test was reworked, made much more difficult, and renamed "The Mathematics Subject Test (Rescaled)." It is now considered by many to be among the hardest of the GRE subject exams. One contributing factor to this is that there is a shortage of practice exams available, as the test in its current format has only been around since 2001. Tests take place each school season one Saturday in each of October, November, and April. egistration for each season of testing begins in July.
The GRE physics test is an examination administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The test attempts to determine the extent of the examinees' understanding of fundamental principles of physics and their ability to apply them to problem solving. Many graduate schools require applicants to take the exam and base admission decisions in part on the results. This puts pressure on undergraduate programs to teach the topics students will need to succeed on the GRE. The scope of the test is largely that of the first three years of a standard United States undergraduate physics curriculum, since many students who plan to continue to graduate school apply during the first half of the fourth year. It consists of 100 five-option multiple-choice questions covering subject areas including classical mechanics, electromagnetism, wave phenomena and optics, thermal physics, relativity, atomic and nuclear physics, quantum mechanics, laboratory techniques, and mathematical methods. The table below indicates the relative weights, as asserted by ETS, and detailed contents of the major topics.
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December 3, 2016 at 5:09 AM

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