Completing the GRE® Subject Matter Test in Mathematics will help the prospective graduate student showcase his or her knowledge and expertise with general undergraduate Mathematics topics.
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All GRE Subject Matter Tests are accepted at most colleges and universities and offer additional standardized information about the applicant’s ability in a certain subject.
While a Subject Matter Test may not necessarily be required for admission, an exceptional score in this subject can serve to help the student’s graduate application summary and records and allow them to be positively noticed in the admissions process.
The GRE® Subject Matter Test in Mathematics contains about 66 multiple choice questions. These questions are based on the Mathematics topics and details that are typically taught at the undergraduate level in Mathematics courses.
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The great majority of the test, approximately 50% of the questions, relates to Calculus and Calculus Applications normally studied in depth in the usual sequence of elementary calculus courses by a Mathematics undergraduate student.
A candidate who has only a basic understanding of Calculus may find the questions on this test very difficult. The student should have an excellent understanding of algebra, calculus theory, and fundamental concepts and practices in order to be able to identify the correct answer choice.
The questions on the GRE® Subject Matter Test in Mathematics will be randomly grouped into 3 divisions:
- Calculus (calculus constructed applications and associated coordinate geometry, differential equations, integral calculus of one and/or several variables and other divisions of Mathematics)
- Algebra, of which the questions form 25% of the test (abstract and elementary algebra, including number, field, and group theory and theory of rings; Linear Algebra, including characteristic polynomials, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, linear transformations, matrix algebra, systems of linear equations, and vector spaces) along with basic algebraic manipulation and techniques normally learned in high school mathematics classes and which are used in all mathematics topics.
- Approximately 25% of the test covers Discrete Mathematics (algorithms, logic, graph and set theory, and combinatorics); Real Analysis (continuity, elementary topology of R and R?, differentiability, and integrability, as well as sequences and series of numbers and functions) with other topics such as complex variables, geometry, probability, statistics, general topology, and numerical analysis.
While the test is lengthy, no student is expected to be familiar with all subject matter or be able to answer all questions correctly. Many short, multiple choice questions, along with the scope of the test, have been proven to work to the student’s advantage in allowing the student to fairly, accurately, and systematically evaluate his or her knowledge of the test material. The student may obtain a maximum score on the GRE® Subject Matter Test in Mathematics without actually answering all the questions correctly.
The GRE® Subject Matter Test is offered worldwide in October, November, and April. Registration may be completed online at: www.ets.org/gre/subject/register/centers_dates. To begin the registration process, create a My GRE® Account and choose a date and a testing location, making certain that the chosen test date will be sufficiently early enough that your test scores will be received by the educational institution in time to be considered as part of your college application. Registration and payment may also be completed by mail by downloading and completing the registration form from the GRE® Bulletin online.
Regular registration for a GRE® Subject Matter Test in the United States, U.S. Territories, and Puerto Rico is $140 USD per Subject Test; all other locations, $160 USD. Payment may be made by credit or debit card, PayPal, E-Check, money orders, certified checks, and Western Union, or by mailing a check to ETS-GRE. Payments may be made in British pounds, Japanese yen, Euro, or Canadian dollar. Late registration can be requested online for an additional fee of $25 up to one week after the regular registration deadline. Standby or change (changing test center OR changing subject test) fee is $50 per situation. Scores may be requested by phone ($12) or you may request an additional score report ($23 per recipient).
All GRE® Subject Matter Test preparation study materials are free and are sent to the registrant after registration is complete. Service Candidate Profile Listing is also free for registrants, matching your profile with fellowship sponsors.
On the day of the test, you should arrive at least 30 minutes before the test is scheduled to begin. Late arriving test takers may not be admitted to the test site nor will fees be refunded. Bring with you: your admissions ticket, 2 forms of acceptable identification, 3 or 4 sharpened number 2 pencils, and a good eraser. You will mark your answers on a machine scored answer sheet separate from the test booklet. You may not bring mechanical pens or pencils, any food or drink, tobacco, weapons, cell phones, smart phones, PDAs, or any electronic devices. Personal items other than your identification are not allowed and no personal storage will be offered. Scarves, hats, jackets, etc., may be searched. Seating is assigned. The test will take 2 hours and 50 minutes; allow for up to 3 1/2 hours total time at the testing site. If you require any health-related special accommodations, these must be requested in advance. The procedures for this request are available on the GRE® ETS website.
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by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: January 9, 2019