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The GRE

boston college career center

Most graduate schools require scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The GRE comprises two parts:

The General Test
The General Test includes a variety of multiple-choice questions to test your verbal, mathematical, and analytical abilities. It is administered on computer terminals at test centers throughout North America and can be taken by appointment on any one of several days each month.

The Subject Test
The Subject Test includes questions in a specific academic discipline. You choose which Subject Test you wish to take, based on the field of graduate study you intend to pursue. Subject Tests are administered as paper-based tests only. All Subject Tests are offered on specific dates in December and April; about half are also offered on a predetermined date in November. Subject Tests are available in the following disciplines:

  • Biochemistry: Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology 

More information on the GRE is available from GRE Online, the official website of the Graduate Record Examinations.

 

WHEN TO TAKE THE GRE


Ideally, you should take the GRE in the spring. November is generally the last chance to take the General Test before the first application deadline. Book your seat early, because popular days and times fill up fast. If you think you did not do well on the General Test, you can cancel the scoring immediately after the test and take it again.

 

TEST PREP


Several test-preparation resources are available, including books with GRE practice questions and test-prep courses. Most schools consider only your highest GRE score, but others take lower scores into account.