GRE Subject Test


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Jun 29, 2022 12:39 PM IST

If you are amongst the students who believe that the world is in your oyster and aiming to get admission to a top international university, then taking GRE Subject Test will definitely help. In this article, we have discussed the types of GRE tests, GRE test dates, and the GRE registration process.

Everything You Need to Know About GRE Subject Test

Are you considering taking a GRE Subject Test? Compared to the general GRE exam, this test is far less well-known. You may have heard of it but may not know what it is or whether you ought to take it. The purpose of this test is to augment a candidate’s academic record and overall profile for graduate-level study by offering a common yardstick for comparing student credentials. This allows test-takers to stand out from the rest of the applicants for the course or university they are targetting.

Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers both the GRE General Test and the GRE Subject Tests, updates its testing materials frequently to meet the demands of graduate programmes and the contemporary economy in a better way. To help students get ready to contribute meaningfully and creatively to their field of study, it is crucial to make slight changes to the assessments as the boundaries of education in graduate school are always shifting.

What are GRE Subject Tests?

If you are familiar with SAT Subject Tests, GRE Subject Tests are comparable. Unlike the standard GRE exam, which examines your knowledge of a wide range of topics, GRE Subject Tests focus on a single topic. They are intended to enable students to showcase their expertise in a particular subject area in which they have a solid foundation.

Prospective graduate school applicants, like the general GRE, take GRE Subject Tests to include in their application. GRE Subject Test scores are utilised by graduate schools to judge your competence in a given field and whether you would be a suitable fit for their programme. However, you cannot substitute a GRE Subject Test for the general GRE. Instead, you can take it in addition to the general GRE.

The following characteristics are shared by both General GRE and GRE Subject Tests:

  • The duration of both the tests is two hours and 50 minutes.

  • There is only one segment.

  • Both have a multiple-choice format.

  • Each question has five possible answers.

Types of GRE Subject Test

The GRE Subject Tests are achievement tests designed to assess your knowledge in a specific domain of study. Graduate schools will take notice if you showcase your knowledge about a particular subject. It can help you stand out from the crowd by highlighting your knowledge and skill level in a certain area. Each GRE Test is designed for students who have a strong foundation or an undergraduate major in one of the following disciplines:

  • Chemistry

  • Physics

  • Mathematics

  • Psychology

Note: GRE Literature in English and the GRE Biology and tests are phased out in May 2021. In December 2016, the GRE Molecular Biology, Cell, and Biochemistry Test were eliminated. As per the GRE score reporting policy, these exam scores will be notifiable for another five years.

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GRE Subject Test Dates

These tests are paper-pencil based and are conducted only thrice every year - April, September and October. However, note that not all the test centres take every subject test. So, it is advisable to contact you directly for availability and desired tests. 

How to Register for GRE Subject Test?

Candidates can register for the GRE Subject Test in two ways - Online and via Mail. Both registration formats are simple and candidates can follow the steps given below to register for GRE Subject Test.

GRE Subject Test Online Registration

Candidates who want to register online for the GRE Subject Test can follow these steps: 

  • Visit the official website of ETS.

  • Create your account as a GRE test-taker.

  • Now you will be required to opt for the specific subject they are interested to appear.

  • After selecting your desired choices, submit the form along with the documents required for GRE registration.

  • Select the test date and choose a nearby GRE test centre.

  • Make payment for the GRE Subject registration form.

  • Take the printout of the form or save the submission details for future reference.

GRE Subject Test Registration via Mail

You can also register for the GRE Subject Test via mail by following these simple steps:

  • Download the GRE Subject Test PDF form from ETS official website.

  • Fill up the application form clearly and carefully.

  • Mail it to the address mentioned in the form along with the registration fee amount.

  • Submit the form before the deadline (at least four weeks).

  • Once the application is registered, the candidate will get an email on their registered email ID affirming their test choice, date and centre.

Note: When you register for the test, your first and last name must exactly match (except accents) the name on the identification (ID) documents you will present on the day of your GRE test. If it does not, you may be prohibited from taking the test or your test scores may be cancelled even after you have taken the test.

Things to Bring on the Day of GRE Subject Test

It is quite important to know and remain prepared with the stuff you are allowed to take at the test centre. Below are the items a candidate must bring on test day:

Valid ID Proof

It is the first and foremost duty of every candidate to bring valid identification proof to a test centre. The candidates should ensure that their documents are all up-to-date. 

However, the ID requirement depends upon the country and where the candidate has planned to take the test. If in any case the candidate forgets to bring in an ID proof, or the first and last name written on the ID differs from the one written on the registration form, he or she won't be allowed to enter to test, also they will not initiate any refund on the same. 

Confirmation Email

After registering themselves, candidates must have received a confirmation mail from ETS that confirms their test choice, date, centre and score recipients.

Pencils and Erasers

Candidates must bring three to four pencils sharpened No. 2 or HB pencils along with a good eraser. Pencils and erasers won't be supplied at any test centre, so it is recommended to all the students take these two items to the centre. Note that no mechanical pencils or pens are allowed in the centre. 


This is also a must thing for every test centre. If you fail to bring or wear a mask, you won't be allowed to enter the centre or to take the test. However, depending on the centre's local policy, a candidate may or may not need to wear it for the entire test duration.

GRE Subjects Test Scores

Candidates will receive their GRE Test scores after approximate 15 days post-examination. Mail on the same is sent to the student's registered email address. Scores for this section yield from 200-900. With these scores, candidates can apply to top colleges and universities worldwide. 

The candidate should approach the test day with more confidence as they can share these scores to showcase their skills via ScoreSelect. The student can use it any day - be it a test day or when they order their score reports.

Rescheduling/Cancellation of GRE Subject Test

In any case, if the candidate wants to reschedule or cancel their test, they must follow these points:

  • Students or candidates can reschedule their test date four days before the actual date. If not, their test fee will be forfeited.

  • Rescheduling is only allowed for the same year.

  • Applicants can reach out to them via online or offline mode.

  • Cancellation of the test can be done four days before the actual date of examination.

  • After the cancellation, the candidate gets half of the amount as a refund.

Candidates can treat the GRE Subject Test as a smart way to get admission to an international college or university. With this, the candidate's competition is streamlined to other students in the field and hence will make it easier for you to score well and prove or showcase your knowledge and efficiency. 

Make sure you know the syllabus well and polish yourself accordingly to get flying colours. Download booklets and practise GRE sample question papers from their official website. This will not only help you to have a clear idea regarding the pattern but will also help you to get relief from test anxiety. 

Want to attempt the GRE Subject Test? Feel free to reach out to us at to get the best expert advice.

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Is the GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test the same?

No, the GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test are not the same. The main difference between them is that your abilities in Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude will be tested on the GRE General Test. While your domain-specific knowledge will be assessed on the GRE Subject Test.

Is GRE Subject Test necessary?

No, the GRE subject test is not necessary, rather it is not required by most graduate programmes. The test-takes of this test are the students who are exceptionally knowledgeable in their particular field—typically the one in which they obtained a degree. 

What subjects are tested on the GRE Subject Test?

Mathematics, Psychology, Chemistry, and physics are the subjects tested on the GRE exam. The GRE Biology Test and the GRE Literature in English Test were terminated in May 2021. In December 2016, the GRE Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology Test were discontinued. According to the GRE score reporting policy, results from these exams will be eligible to be reported for the next five years.

How do I prepare for the GRE Subject Test?

You can prepare for the GRE Subject Test in two ways:

1. By taking a practice GRE test. This will help you gain a better understanding of the questions that will be asked in the actual test.

2. By looking at your relevant college courses and brushing up on the topic by skimming over old textbooks and notes.

Are the GRE Subject Test scores used by the admissions committee?

Yes, the GRE Subject Test scores are used by the admissions committee or fellowship panel in addition to your letters of recommendation (LORs), academic transcripts, and other requirements for graduate-level study. However, some GRE Subject Tests produce subscores that can be used for placement and guidance as well as to show a test taker's preparation's strengths and flaws.

Who accepts the GRE Subject Test scores?

The GRE Subject Test scores are accepted by thousands of graduate programmes, as well as specific departments or divisions within these programmes. The scores may not be necessary for admission to a specific programme, but if they are submitted, admissions committees will probably take them into account. The best approach is to get in touch with the particular graduate school you are interested in and find out what are their requirements.

What is the Mathematics GRE Subject Test?

The Mathematics GRE Subject Test consists of approximately a total of 66 multiple-choice questions covering standard undergraduate-level mathematics topics. Your final score is determined by converting the number of questions you correctly answer to a number on a point scale from 200 to 990.

How is the GRE Subject Test scored?

The GRE Subject Test is scored by converting the number of questions correctly answered to a score ranging from 200 to 990 points, with scores presented in 10-point increments. However, scores should not be compared between subject tests even though all tests use the same 200-990 point scale. For instance, a 6500 on the GRE Subject Test for English Literature is not the same as a 650 on the GRE Subject Test for Psychology.

What is the duration of the GRE Subject Test last?

The duration of the GRE Subject Test is two hours and 50 minutes. You can proceed through the entire test at your own leisure because there are no sections that are timed separately. Your responses will be entered on a different multiple-choice answer sheet. However, answering a question incorrectly will not result in a loss of points.

What is a good GRE subject score?

A good GRE subject score in the 75th percentile is generally considered to be good, and one in the 90th percentile is exceptional. Thus, a GRE subject score of 318 or above is considered good, while a score of 329 is considered great. A score of 292 is regarded as below average, while a score of 300+ is deemed average.

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