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The GRE® Subject Tests

Stand out from other applicants

Select a step to learn more about your GRE® Subject Test journey.
 

Strategies and Tips

Become familiar with the test before test day 

Use the Subject Test practice book to familiarize yourself with the types of questions used in the test, paying special attention to the directions. If you thoroughly understand the directions, you’ll have more time during the test to focus on the questions themselves.

 

Make sure you know the subject matter

GRE Subject Test questions are designed to measure skills and knowledge gained over a long period of time. Although you might increase your scores to some extent through preparation a few weeks or months before you take the test, last-minute cramming is unlikely to be of further help. In addition to downloading the practice book, a general review of your college courses is probably the best preparation for the test. However, the test covers a broad range of subject matter and no one is expected to be familiar with every question.
 

Test day tips

When you take the test, you’ll will mark your answers on a separate, machine-scorable answer sheet. Total testing time is 2 hours and 50 minutes; there are no separately timed sections. Here are some general test-taking strategies you may want to consider.

  • Read the test directions carefully and work as rapidly as you can without being careless. For each question, choose the best answer from the available options.
  • All questions are of equal value; don’t waste time pondering individual questions you find extremely difficult or unfamiliar.
  • If you decide to change an answer, make sure to completely erase it and fill in the oval corresponding to your desired answer.
  • Don’t skip questions. Your score is determined by the number of questions you answer correctly. Nothing is subtracted from a score if you answer a question incorrectly. Therefore, to maximize your score, it’s better for you to guess at an answer than not to respond at all.
  • Record your answers on your answer sheet as you go rather than waiting until the end of your testing session. Only answers on the answer sheet will count toward your score. Answers recorded in your test book will not be counted.