Are you planning on pursuing a graduate degree? Then, you might have come across the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) as a requirement for admission in most universities across the world. The GRE is a standardized test that assesses the skills of the test-taker in verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning. However, there are two types of GRE tests – the GRE General Test and the GRE Subject Test. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two tests to help you make an informed decision about which test to take.
GRE General Test vs GRE Subject Test: Key Differences
Motive of the Test
The GRE General Test is designed to assess the general academic skills of the test-taker in verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning. It is the most commonly required test for graduate school admissions.
On the other hand, the GRE Subject Test evaluates the knowledge of the test-taker in a specific subject, such as physics, biology, or mathematics. It is required for specific graduate programs and is used to assess the candidate’s expertise in a particular field.
Mode of the Test
The GRE General Test is administered throughout the year and is computer-based. It comprises six sections, including verbal reasoning, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning, and takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete.
The GRE Subject Test, however, is paper-based and is conducted three times a year in April, September, and October. It consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and lasts for about 2 hours and 50 minutes.
GRE General Test Syllabus:
The GRE General Test assesses a candidate’s skills in the following areas:
- Verbal Reasoning: This section measures the candidate’s ability to analyze and evaluate written material, understand the meanings of words and sentences, and reason with verbal concepts.
- Quantitative Reasoning: This section assesses the candidate’s ability to understand, interpret, and analyze quantitative information, solve problems using mathematical concepts, and apply mathematical skills and knowledge to solve problems.
- Analytical Writing: This section measures the candidate’s ability to articulate complex ideas effectively, support arguments with evidence, and analyze arguments.
GRE Subject Test Syllabus:
The GRE Subject Test evaluates a candidate’s knowledge of a specific subject, such as Biology, Chemistry, Literature in English, Mathematics, Physics, or Psychology. Each subject test has a specific syllabus that assesses the candidate’s knowledge of that particular subject. Here are some general topics that are covered in each subject test:
- Biology: Cellular and molecular biology, ecology, genetics, organismal biology, and evolution.
- Chemistry: Analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry.
- Literature in English: Literary analysis, cultural and historical contexts, and literary terminology.
- Mathematics: Calculus, algebra, discrete mathematics, and numerical analysis.
- Physics: Classical mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics.
- Psychology: Biological, cognitive, developmental, social, and clinical psychology.
The GRE General Test is scored on a scale of 130-170 in each section, with a total score range of 260-340.
The GRE Subject Test, however, is scored on a scale of 200-990, with each subject test having its own scoring range.
GRE General Test vs GRE Subject Test: How to Pick the Right One?
Choosing between the GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test depends on the graduate program requirements and your area of interest. If you are applying for a general graduate program, you will most likely require the GRE General Test. On the other hand, if you are applying for a specialized program or have a strong background in a particular subject, then the GRE Subject Test might be a better fit.
It’s essential to research the program requirements of the universities you’re interested in and determine whether they require the GRE General Test, GRE Subject Test, or both.
In conclusion, the GRE General Test and the GRE Subject Test serve different purposes and are designed to assess different skills. It’s essential to research the program requirements of the universities you’re interested in and determine which test is best suited for your needs.
|GRE General Test||GRE Subject Test|
|Assesses general academic skills||Assesses specific subject knowledge|
|Broad syllabus||Subject-specific syllabus|
|Scores range from 260-340||Scores range from 200-990|