gre subject tests

Things to Notice for a Succeed in GRE Subject Tests?

What is the distinction between the GRE Subject Tests and the GRE General Test? In this blog post, we will help you clarify them!

November 11, 2022

If you think that the world is your oyster and want to complete a master’s degree or an MBA in another country, you must take the GRE exam. A high GRE test score will get you into a number of the world’s most prestigious colleges and universities. There is, however, a fascinating alternative for learners who want to do otherwise. A one-of-a-kind subject-focused GRE Subject Test is an ideal solution that very few applicants/students choose. As a result, if you want to stand out from the crowd, the GRE Subject Exam is an excellent choice.

On this website, we offer thousands of free GRE practice test questions to help you thoroughly prepare for this exam!

gre subject tests

What is the GRE Subject Test?

The GRE Subject Tests are performance tests that assess your knowledge and skill level in a specific field of study. They are designed for individuals who have completed an undergraduate major or have extensive experience in one of the following disciplines:

  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Admissions or fellowship panels use GRE Subject Test scores to supplement your undergraduate records, recommendation letters, and other certifications for graduate-level study.

GRE Subject Test Pattern and Structure



  • The exam includes approximately 130 multiple-choice questions.
  • The test booklet includes a periodic table along with a table of information containing various physical constant values and a few conversion factors between International System (SI) units. When needed, extra physical constant values are printed alongside the question text.
  • Test questions are designed to make mathematical manipulations easier. As a result, neither calculators nor logarithm tables are required. If a problem’s solution necessitates the use of logarithms, the required values are attached to the question.
  • The test’s content highlights the 4 fields into which chemistry has traditionally been divided, as well as some interrelationships between the fields. Specific questions may test more than 1 field of chemistry due to these interrelationships.
  • Some candidates may associate a specific question with a relevant field, whereas others may have faced the same material in a different field. Some candidates, for example, may have learned the knowledge required to answer some questions categorized as testing organic chemistry in analytical chemistry courses.
  • As a result, the emphases of the 4 fields mentioned in the following outline of test material shouldn’t be considered definitive.

Content areas

  • Analytical Chemistry: 15%
  • Inorganic Chemistry: 25%
  • Organic Chemistry: 30%
  • Physical Chemistry: 30%



  • The examination includes around 66 multiple-choice questions drawn from undergraduate courses.
  • Approximately half of the questions entail calculus and its applications, which is assumed to be popular to almost all mathematics majors’ backgrounds.
  • The test contains approximately 25% of questions in elementary algebra, linear algebra, abstract algebra, and number theory. The remaining questions are about other mathematical topics that undergraduates are currently studying in many institutions.

Content areas

  • Calculus: 50%
  • Algebra: 25%
  • Additional Topics: 25%



  • The test includes around 100 questions with 5 different choices, some of which are grouped into sets and are based on materials such as diagrams, graphs, experimental data, and physical situation descriptions.
  • The purpose of the test is to evaluate the extent to which examinees understand basic principles and their capacity to use these principles in problem-solving.
  • Most test problems can be answered with knowledge of the first three years of undergraduate physics.
  • The International System of Units (SI) is primarily utilized during the test. The test book includes a table of information involving multiple physical constants and a few conversion factors between SI units.
  • The committee of examiners determined the approximate percentages of the test on the main content topics based on a nationwide survey of undergraduate physics curricula. The percentages reflect the committee’s assessment of the importance of each topic in a typical undergraduate program. These percentages, as well as the major subareas included in each content category, are provided below. The concepts in each category are mentioned roughly in decreasing order of significance for inclusion in the test.
  • Almost all of the questions on the exam will be related to the material in this listing; however, there could be questions on other topics that are not explicitly listed here.

gre subject tests

Content areas

  • Classical Mechanics: 20%
  • Electromagnetism: 18%
  • Optics and Wave Phenomena: 9%
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics: 10%
  • Quantum Mechanics: 12%
  • Atomic Physics: 10%
  • Special Relativity: 6%
  • Laboratory Methods: 6%
  • Specialized Topics: 9%

Participants in the exam should be familiar with specific mathematical techniques and their applications in physics. Single and multivariate calculus, Fourier series, partial differential equations, boundary value problems, vector algebra, vector differential operators, matrices and determinants, coordinate systems (rectangular, cylindrical, and spherical), and functions of complex variables are examples of such mathematical methods. These methods may show up in the test in the context of different content categories, as well as on rare occasions in the category of the specialized subject above.



  • The exam contains nearly 205 multiple-choice questions. Each exam question has five options from which the examinee must choose the one that is the exact right or best answer to that question.
  • A number of the stimulus materials, such as an experiment description or a graph, may serve as the foundation for several questions.
  • The questions on the Psychology Exam are drawn from the core of knowledge most commonly experienced in undergraduate courses in the broadly defined psychology field.
  • A question may require you to recall facts, analyze relationships, apply principles, draw conclusions from the data, and/or evaluate a research design.
  • The terminology, metrics, and classifications used in the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are followed by the test (DSM-5).
  • In addition to the overall score, the test produces six subscores: (1) Biological, (2) Cognitive, (3) Social, (4) Developmental, (5) Clinical, and (6) Metrics/Methodology/Other.

Content areas

  • Biological (17–21%)
  • Cognitive (17–24%)
  • Social (12–14%)
  • Developmental (12–14%)
  • Clinical (15–19%)
  • Measurement/Methodology/Other (15–19%)

What distinguishes the GRE Subject Test from the GRE General Test?

Students who take the GRE Subject Test distinguish themselves from the crowd when compared to those who take the GRE General Test. Candidates who choose the GRE subject test, as opposed to the vast majority of students taking the GRE globally, can concentrate and excel in one subject rather than juggling their attention across multiple subjects.

Are you studying for the GRE and looking for in-depth analysis? Passemall GRE Prep offers a FREE diagnostic test as well as a section-by-section analysis. Let’s take it now!

Do You Need to Take GRE Subject Tests?

Now you understand that there aren’t many hard and fast rules about which programs require Subject Tests and which don’t. So, should you go for it?

The primary and most critical contributor is the policies of the graduate schools to which you intend to apply. As previously stated, you can obtain this information by visiting the program’s website or contacting someone directly. Use the information you receive to help you arrive at a decision. If one or more colleges require or strongly advise you to submit a Subject Test score, you should do so since failing to do so may jeopardize your admission chances. If all of the schools you’re considering have stated unequivocally that they don’t value Subject Test scores, there’s no reason to take one.