GRE Syllabus and Pattern | Courses, Subjects, Question Types and More


GRE Syllabus

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The “Graduate Record Examination” is the full form of  GRE. It is an entrance exam used to evaluate the candidate’s aptitude for intellectual thinking in the areas of mathematics, analytical writing, and vocabulary. If you’re applying to a Masters's or a Ph.D. program in other countries mainly the USA, GRE scores are almost mandatory test is mainly computer-based.

GRE Syllabus

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GRE Syllabus

As per the GRE exam pattern, the GRE exam now constitutes two formats known as   GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. Details about both format are given below:

  1. GRE General Test

 It includes standards of candidate evaluation process such as verbal reasoning, analytical writing skills, and quantitative reasoning 

  1. GRE Subject Test

It concentrates on a particular subject test based on the candidate’s profile and as per the requirement of the college.

Each unit of the GRE syllabus for both general and subject tests are elaborated below:

GRE Syllabus for Analytical Writing

Analytical Writing targets to test the candidate’s skills and ability to deal with logic and clarity of complex ideas. This section also evaluates whether the applicant is capable enough to write a logical and evidence-based argument, keep alive the idea and take control of the writing flow.

GRE Syllabus for Verbal Reasoning

The verbal reasoning section measures the candidate’s analytical skills, the ability to come to a conclusion, summarize, break down word meanings, and more.

  • Basic Sentence structure: Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives
  • Verb Tense
  • Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
  • Pronoun Agreement
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Modifiers
  • Parallelism, etc.

GRE Syllabus for Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning section tests the ability to understand quantitative information, apply mathematical concepts of geometry, algebra, statistics, etc., analyze and interpret quantitative information, solve mathematical problems, etc. Some of the topics covered under this section of the GRE exam are:

  • Percentage
  • Number properties
  • Profit and loss
  • Order of operations
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Linear equations
  • Lines and angles
  • Probability Statistics: Average, Median, Mode, Range, Standard deviation
  • Coordinate geometry
  • Quadratic equations
  • Speed, distance, and time
  • Simple and compound interest
  • Circles Triangles, etc

GRE Syllabus for Subject Test

GRE syllabus for Subject Test consists of the following subjects

GRE Syllabus for Biology

The test consists of approximately 190 five-choice questions related to Biology. The topics include:

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology(16–17% of questions)
  • Organismal Biology(33–34% of questions)
  • Ecology and Evolution (33–34% of questions) 

GRE Syllabus for Chemistry

The test consists of approximately 130 multiple-choice questions related to the four fields into which chemistry has been traditionally divided

  • Analytical Chemistry(15% of questions)
  • Physical Chemistry( 30% of questions)
  • Organic Chemistry(30% of questions)
  • Inorganic Chemistry(25% of questions)

GRE Syllabus for Literature in English

Each edition of the test of this subject includes approximately 230 questions on, poetry, essays, the short story, the drama, the novel, biography, criticism, literary theory and the history of the language.

  • Literary Analysis(40–55% of questions)
  • Cultural and Historical Contexts(20–25% of questions)
  • Identification(15–20% of questions)
  • History and Theory of Literary Criticism(10–15% of questions) 

GRE Syllabus for Mathematics

The test of mathematics consists of 66 multiple-choice questions approximately, taken from courses generally studied at the bachelor's level.

  • Algebra(25% of questions)          
  • Calculus( 50% of questions)
  • Additional Topics(25% of questions)

GRE Syllabus for Physics

The test of this subject contains 100 five-choice questions roughly. It is based on materials like diagrams, experimental data, graphs, and descriptions of physical situations.

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

GRE Syllabus for Psychology

The exam on this subject contains 205 multiple-choice questions approximately. Each question has five choices from which the candidate has to choose one option which he thinks is correct. This includes the following Topics :

  • Lifespan Development (12–14% of questions)
  • Cognitive(17–24% of questions)
  • Biological(17–21% of questions)
  • Clinical and abnormal(15–19% of questions)
  • Social(12–14% of questions)
  • Measurement and Methodology(15–19% of questions)