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The GRE® Tests

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The GRE Subject Tests

The GRE Subject Tests measure undergraduate achievement in a particular field of study and help departments evaluate applicants' readiness for graduate school.

Carefully developed by committees of examiners with expertise in particular disciplines, each GRE Subject Test measures content taught in undergraduate programs that is important for graduate study in that discipline. The tests are intended for individuals who have an undergraduate major or extensive background in the field. These paper-delivered tests are offered three times per year (September, October and April) in Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology.
 

The GRE Biology Test and the GRE Literature in English Test were discontinued in May 2021. The GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test was discontinued in December 2016. Scores on these three tests will continue to be reportable for 5 years per GRE score reporting policy.

Topic Icon Discontinued Subject Tests

Chemistry test

The test consists of approximately 130 multiple-choice questions. The content of the test emphasizes the four fields into which chemistry traditionally has been divided: Analytical, Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry.

Mathematics test

The test consists of approximately 66 multiple-choice questions drawn from Calculus, Algebra and additional topics.

Physics test

The test consists of approximately 100 multiple-choice questions covering Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Atomic Physics, Optics and Wave Phenomena, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, Special Relativity, Laboratory Methods and Specialized Topics.

Psychology test

The test consists of approximately 205 multiple-choice questions covering Experimental, Social and General Psychology topics.

Score reporting

The GRE Subject Tests report one total score on a 200–990 score scale, in 10-point increments, although the score range for any particular Subject Test is usually smaller.

Subscores are reported for the Physics and Psychology Tests on a 20–99 score scale, in 1-point increments. The subscore scales for each of these tests occupy only a portion of the 20 to 99 score range.

With the ScoreSelect® option, test takers who retake a GRE Subject Test can decide which GRE scores from the last 5 years to send to designated institutions. Institutions receive score reports that show the scores that test takers selected to send to them. There are no special notations to indicate whether other GRE tests have been taken.

Receiving scores

Scores on the GRE Subject Tests are available approximately 5 weeks after the test date and are reportable for 5 years following the individual’s test date.

The fastest way to receive scores is through the ETS® Data Manager, a secure web-based system that provides fast, convenient score report viewing/printing capabilities. It is updated twice per week and scores are available in the system for as long as scores are valid. 

How the tests are scored

For a detailed look at how the GRE Subject Tests are scored, download the GRE® Guide to the Use of Scores (PDF).