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Graduate Record Exams (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination, which is abbreviated as GRE, can be defined as a standardized test, which includes the admission requirement for the graduate schools in the United States principally, and some other English speaking countries. The GRE Test is developed and administered by the US-based "Educational Testing Service" (ETS) under the direction of the Graduate Record Examination Board, a non-profit organization of graduate business schools worldwide. The test is meant to measure the scholastic abilities of a candidate at the undergraduate level. The test's scores are one of several important components considered in the admissions process, and also influence decisions on financial awards (e.g. fellowships, assistantship etc) to students.

GRE test is conducted in two categories - General GRE test and Subject GRE test. General GRE test is conducted whole year. This test is open to all candidates, irrespective of their age or educational background. Unlike other exams, you can choose your own date and time for taking the GRE Test. The test is administered in the five-days-a-week (Monday through Friday), twice-a-day. September to December is the high season for GRE Test, so in case you intend to take the test during this period, you need to register very early (say 2-3 months in advance) to get a date of your choice.

The GRE Subject test is meant for candidate’s qualification in a specific field of study. It is required mainly for Doctoral Study in the US and is also required by some universities for Masters Level programs. GRE Subject test is a written test and not a computer test like the General GRE test. It is held thrice a year. This test assesses candidates’ knowledge level in a specific field of study. Unlike the GRE General test, this test is available only thrice in a year and can be taken only as the paper-based test.

Examination Pattern/Syllabus

General GRE

The General GRE - Graduate Record Examination is a computer-based exam. The test is conducted by the select qualified testing centres in different parts of the world.The GRE General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. The pattern of the Exam is as below:

Sections Time Alloted Number of Questions Break Up
Verbal 30 30

Analogies - 7

Sentence Completion - 6

Antonym - 9

Reading Comprehension - 3

Quantitative 30 28

Mathematical Comparisons - 14

Problem Solving - 10

Chart - 4

Analytical 75 2 Tasks

1 essay topic from two choices - 45 Minutes

1 argument task - 30 Minutes

Subject GRE 

The GRE Subject test is available in eight different areas as below. In developing questions for GRE Subject tests, consideration is taken for both the content of typical courses taken by undergraduates and the knowledge and abilities required for graduate work in the fields related to the test.

Subjects Number of Questions Main subject areas Other Information
Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology 180 multiple-choice questions, a number of which are grouped in sets toward the end of the test and based on descriptions of laboratory situations, diagrams, or experimental results. Biochemistry - 36%
Cell biology - 28%
Molecular biology and genetics - 36%
Because these three disciplines are basic to the study of all organisms, test questions encompass both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Throughout the test, there is an emphasis on questions requiring problem-solving skills (including mathematical calculations that do not require the use of a calculator) as well as content knowledge. All the sections include questions on methodology and data interpretation.
Biology 200 multiple-choice questions, a number of which are grouped in sets toward the end of the test and are based on descriptions of laboratory and field situations, diagrams, or experimental results. Cellular and molecular biology
Organismal biology
Ecology and evolution
Approximately equal weight is given to each of these three areas.
Chemistry 130 multiple-choice questions Analytical Chemistry  - 15%
Inorganic Chemistry   - 25%
Organic Chemistry     - 30%
Physical Chemistry    - 30%
A periodic table is printed in the test booklet as well as a table of information presenting various physical constants and a few conversion factors among SI units. Whenever necessary, additional values of physical constants are printed with the text of the question. Test questions are constructed to simplify mathematical manipulations. As a result, neither calculators nor tables of logarithms are needed. If the solution to a problem requires the use of logarithms, the necessary values are included with the question.
Computer Science 70 multiple-choice questions, some of which are grouped in sets and based on such materials as diagrams, graphs, and program fragments. Software systems & Methododlogy- 40%
Computer organization & Architecture- 15%
Theory & Mathematical Back ground- 40%
Other topics- 5%
Literature in English 230 questions on poetry, drama, biography, the essay, the short story, the novel, criticism, literary theory, and the history of the language Literary Analysis - 40-55%
Identification - 15-20%
Cultural and Historical Contexts - 20-25%
History & Theory of Literary Criticism - 10-15%

 Some questions are based on short works reprinted in their entirety, some on excerpts from longer works.The test emphasizes authors, works, genres, and movements. The questions may be somewhat arbitrarily classified into two groups: factual and critical.

The factual questions may require a student to identify characteristics of literary or critical movements, to assign a literary work to the period in which it was written, to identify a writer or work described in a brief critical comment, or to determine the period or author of a work on the basis of the style and content of a short excerpt.

The critical questions test the ability to read a literary text perceptively. Students are asked to examine a given passage of prose or poetry and to answer questions about meaning, form and structure, literary techniques, and various aspects of language

Mathematics 66 multiple-choice questions drawn from courses commonly offered at the undergraduate level. Calculus and its applications - 50%
Elementary algebra, linear algebra, abstract algebra, and number theory - 25%
Others - 25%
The questions are intended not only to test recall of information but also to assess test takers' understanding of fundamental concepts and the ability to apply those concepts in various situations.
Physics 100 multiple-choice questions, some of which are grouped in sets and based on such materials as diagrams, graphs, experimental data, and descriptions of physical situations. Classical Mechanics - 20%
Electromagnetism - 18%
Optics and Wave phenomena - 9%
Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics - 10%
Quantum Mechanics - 12%
Atomic Physics  - 10%
Special Relativity - 6%
Laboratory Methods - 6%
Specialized Topics - 9%
The aim of the test is to determine the extent of the examinees' grasp of fundamental principles and their ability to apply these principles in the solution of problems.
Most test questions can be answered on the basis of a mastery of the first three years of undergraduate physics. The International System (SI) of units is used predominantly in the test. A table of information representing various physical constants and a few conversion factors among SI units is presented in the test book.
Psychology 205 multiple-choice questions some of which is based on description of an experiment or a graph. Experimental or natural science oriented - 40%
Social or social science oriented - 43%
General - 17%
Questions may require recalling factual information, analyzing relationships, applying principles, drawing conclusions from data, evaluating a research design, and/or identifying a psychologist who has made a theoretical or research contribution to the field
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