You’ve graduated college and are now planning on applying to graduate school. But what standardized test should you take? The GRE General or the GRE Subject? Here’s a guide to help you figure out which is best for you.
Going to graduate school is a huge accomplishment and the GRE subject test allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise within a specific field. It’s an important tool for admissions committees when considering applicants for admission, and for those seeking advanced degrees in their field of choice, taking the GRE subject test is well worth the effort. There are currently nine subjects offered for the GRE subject exam: Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology; Computer Science; Literature in English; Mathematics; Physics; Psychology; Biology; Chemistry, and General Test (No specific field). You will no doubt stand out from other applicants and make it easier for top schools to see that you understand the material they require prospective students to know. Moreover, preparing for a subject-specific GRE can help you review material that could be used in your future postgraduate studies, making it an invaluable asset to your academic success. No matter what type of program or degree you may pursue in graduate school, showing an admission committee that you are well-prepared by not only taking your GRE test prep seriously but by choosing the correct GRE test for your field, is a must!
If you’re not quite sure what field of study interests you the most, or if your diverse interests make it hard to narrow in on a single major, taking the Graduate Record Examination General is a great way to go. Not only does it give you access to multiple graduate or professional training programs, but taking the GRE shows potential employers that you are capable of succeeding and thriving in conditions with high levels of difficulty and complexity. Additionally, your GRE score is accepted by over 6,000 programs – and counting! – around the world, so this route will ensure that all paths remain open for you as you continue your education journey and explore opportunities beyond graduate school. The GRE General Test is designed to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. The Verbal Reasoning section consists of two 30-minute sections that require you to answer multiple-choice questions based on reading comprehension, text completion, and sentence equivalence problems. The Quantitative Reasoning section similarly consists of two 40-minute sections that test your ability to solve mathematical problems related to arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. Finally, the Analytical Writing section requires you to compose an essay in response to a given prompt. Altogether, the GRE General Test typically takes around three hours and 45 minutes and includes both computer-delivered (CBT) and paper-delivered tests.
Ultimately, the choice between the GRE General or GRE subject test depends on your goals, interests, and background. At the end of the day, it comes down to what you want to do with your education. If you already have a specific field in mind that you would like to pursue, then taking the GRE subject test is likely your best option. However, if you are still undecided or exploring multiple areas of interest, then taking the GRE General would be more suitable. No matter which route you decide to take, each can provide tremendous benefits for both your graduate school applications and future career path.