GRE Subject Tests: How to Prepare

The Science GRE Subject test includes about 100 multiple-choice questions covering course material usually taught in the second and third years of college physics classes. You will receive subscores for the following four categories: Electromagnetism (which evaluates your understanding of how electrical charges move and their strength), Classical mechanics (which determines your ability to calculate solutions to simple mechanical equations), Electricity (which assesses your knowledge of how electricity travels from one point to another) and Gravity (which determine your ability to understand how gravity works on the surface of the Earth). The test also tests your spatial reasoning skills and memory.

For those who have completed the Science and Math test administered by the College Board, it is fairly obvious that some of these subjects are covered in the GRE test. For students who have not yet taken a math class, however, the question becomes, “What areas of study do I need to prepare for the GRE subject test?”

If you are not already taking a math course, the first thing you should do is to enroll in one. Although you may be tempted to go with the introductory course to get you started, that is not always a good idea. Most introductory classes, including the ones offered by most community colleges, do not teach enough math to prepare you for the GRE subject test. You should therefore look into enrolling in a course that has been designed especially for people who have not taken advanced courses in math and science.

Once you have taken a math class and are feeling confident in your knowledge of math concepts, the next step is to select a good test preparation software. Many free tools exist online, but these may not be sufficient to prepare you adequately for the GRE subject test. To ensure that you take the most difficult test possible, invest in a high quality math software product that is designed for test prep.

Some of the best tests to prepare for include the SAT or ACT math test, the GRE, and even the GRE Writing test. These are the tests that are often required for entry level positions at universities and colleges. For example, the College Board requires candidates applying to the undergraduate division to take both the SAT and the GRE prior to admission. If you have never taken a GRE, it is recommended that you take a practice test in advance before applying to a university.

Another way to prepare for the GRE subject test is through the use of a practice test that is specifically designed for GRE test takers. Although this method of preparation can prove effective for some individuals, it is not appropriate for everyone. For example, if you have taken courses in physics in high school but feel that you do not have enough experience with the concepts used on the test, you should consult with an instructor to determine whether you should take a GRE practice test or take a standard physics course instead.

You should also consider taking courses that cover these subjects and topics that have a bearing on your GRE subject test. For example, if you plan to take a course in electromagnetism in college, taking introductory physics courses such as electromagnetism and electrodynamics will give you a basic understanding of the concepts associated with these topics. Similarly, if you plan to take a course in electromagnetism in college and are taking a math course, taking a course on electromagnetism will give you a solid foundation for your GRE.

Finally, do not forget to make sure that you understand what type of materials you should use in your test. Although it is not necessary to bring your own graphing calculator, it is highly recommended that you bring a graphing calculator in your testing lab so that you can get an idea of how your performance affects your results. If you do bring a calculator to a test, keep in mind that you may not receive the highest score possible, so it is better to be prepared than it is to have a lower score.