The Graduate Record Exam (GRE®) Subject Tests are intended to assist a prospective graduate level student in highlighting his or her academic excellence and achievement in specific subjects when applying to graduate schools. Taking the GRE® Subject Test in addition to the GRE® General Test can serve to accentuate a student’s knowledge and skill in the specific subject and improve a student’s potential for graduate school admission and also for financial aid.
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Eight (8) separate GRE® Subject Tests are offered for these disciplines: Biochemistry (Cell and Molecular Biology), Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. Test scores, used by graduate admissions and fellowship decision makers along with the student’s grades and letters of recommendation, can highlight the student’s strengths for the purposes of placement, fellowships, and scholarships.
The GRE® Subject Tests are offered at many locales worldwide in October, November, and April. Registration may be completed online at: www.ets.org/gre/subject/register/centers_dates. Begin the process by creating a My GRE® Account and choosing a date and a testing location, making certain that the test date chosen 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. Choose carefully, noting that not all test centers are open at all posted dates. Registration and payment may also be completed by mail by downloading and completing the registration form from the GRE® Bulletin. This paper form must be mailed with appropriate payment and received by ETS by the registration deadline.
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Regular registration for a test in the United States, U.S. Territories, and Puerto Rico is $140 US per Subject Test; all other locations, $160 US. Payment may be made by credit or debit card, PayPal, E-Check, money orders, certified checks, and Western Union. Payment may also be made 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. The 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). ETS also offers, on a first-come, first-served basis, a limited number of GRE® Fee Reduction Certificates for those who meet certain eligibility requirements. See www.ets.org/gre/subject/about/fees/reduction
All subject test preparation study materials are free and are sent to the test taker after registration is complete. Service Candidate Profile Listing is also free for test takers, matching your profile with fellowship sponsors.
A test may be taken as many times as it is offered. The test may be repeated in order to increase the test score, but test takers should note that a test repeated may not always increase the score, and may even decrease the test taker’s score. Test scoring reports are cumulative and include tests taken within the past five-year period only.
Students must bring an acceptable photo identification document to the GRE® Subject Test venue. In the event that the administrator questions one of the IDs presented, you may be required to show a supplemental document; it is recommended to bring two different forms of ID. Identification documents must be original, not a photocopy; must be valid, not expired; must bear the test taker’s signature; must bear a recent photograph that clearly matches the test taker; and must bear the test taker’s full name exactly as it appears on the admission ticket. If the test taker leaves the test site to obtain an acceptable identification document, your test seat may not be held and you may not be allowed to take the test. Fees will not be refunded if the test taker is not permitted to test or if scores are canceled or withheld because of an unacceptable or invalid identification document. If you do not show an acceptable identification document, and it is not positively confirmed by the administrator, you may not be allowed to take the test or your test score may be withheld.
Acceptable primary documents that may be used when testing inside your country of citizenship include: a valid passport, a government issued valid driver’s license, a valid state or province ID card, and a valid national or military ID card. Supplemental documents that may be accepted include: a valid government-issued ID card, a valid student ID card, and a confirmation of identity letter from your educational institution. Unacceptable documents may include: expired or photocopied documents, documents in which your name does not exactly match the name as it appears on the admission ticket, an international driver’s license or student ID card, credit or debit cards, birth certificate or social security card, an employee ID card, a draft classification card, any consulate, diplomatic, or embassy card, or any temporary identification. Certain exceptions may apply if your driver’s license has expired due to military deployment or if you can present both the expired and temporary license, but it is recommended in these cases that you present a supplementary identification document.
If testing outside your country of citizenship, or testing in mainland China, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, the European Union, or Schengen Zone countries, other documentation requirements may apply. Please review these at: www.ets.org/gre/subject/test or call the GRE® customer service at: 1-866-473-4373 (United States, U.S. Territories, and Canada) or 1-609-771-7670 for all other locations.
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 the fee be refunded to you. Bring with you: your admissions ticket, 2 forms of acceptable identification (see the list above), 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 storage for these items 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 three and a half hours total time at the testing site. If you require any health-related special accommodations, these must be requested in advance, and the procedures for this request are available on the GRE® ETS website.
All questions are of equal value, and one-fourth of your incorrect answers will be subtracted from your correct answers; guessing may actually decrease your score. Begin by reading through the entire booklet, answering questions that you are certain of the answer, then continuing with carefully choosing correct answers with the remainder of the test. Each Subject Test will yield a separate total score, and certain tests will yield subscores. Test scores range from 200 to 990; subscores range from 20 to 99. Up to 4 recipients may be designated to receive your test scores. Scores are sent out within 6 weeks of the date of the test, and test takers may view their scores online free of charge.
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by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: January 17, 2019