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GRE : Frequently Asked Questions

GRE » Frequestly Asked Questions

  1. What is the content of the GRE Subject Tests?
    Answer :

    The Subject Tests are offered in 14 different subjects: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Economics; Engineering; Geology; History; Literature in English; Mathematics; Music; Physics; Psychology; and Sociology. The History and Sociology Tests will be discontinued after April 2000. Brief descriptions of individual test content can be found in the GRE Bulletin of Information.

  2. How do I register for the GRE Subject Tests?
    Answer :

    You may obtain a registration form and bulletin of information from IIE. Registration can be completed online or by mail, using the application form found in the GRE Bulletin of Information

  3. How much does it cost to take the GRE Subject Tests?
    Answer :

    GRE Subject Test Fee: US$150

  4. What is the analytical writing section like?
    Answer :

    The analytical writing section consists of two analytical writing tasks: a 45-minute "Present Your Perspective on an Issue" task and a 30-minute "Analyze an Argument" task.

    The "Issue" task states an opinion on an issue of general interest and asks you to address the issue from any perspective(s) you wish, as long as you provide relevant reasons and examples to explain and support your views.

    The "Argument" task presents a different challenge — it requires you to critique an argument by discussing how well-reasoned you find it. You are asked to consider the logical soundness of the argument rather than to agree or disagree with the position it presents.

    The “Issue and Argument” are complementary in that the “issue” requires you to construct a personal argument about an issue, and the “Argument” requires you to critique someone else's argument by assessing its claims.

  5. Is AWA very difficult?
    Answer :

    Those of you who hail from a non-humanities background may not be used to writing essays, but you need not worry about the Analytical Writing Assessment. A few simple strategies will see you through.

    Do remember, AWA tests you on your ability to logically analyse your thoughts and express yourself in simple English without much jugglery of words.

  6. How to get ideas about AWA
    Answer :

    Most examinees worry about how they can put together the right argument for the stand they want to take. The easiest way to list supporting points is by simply asking these questions -- why, what, when and how.

    Next, you list the benefits and drawbacks.

    Once you have this information, you will have enough material to write your essay.

  7. How to organise your ideas about AWA
    Answer :

    Once you jot down your thoughts, segregate them by identifying and arranging the strongest points in descending order of importance.

    To begin with, choose three strong points. Then, choose sub-points to support the main points.

    In this case too, the same process is to be repeated -- you need to ask why, what, when, benefits, drawbacks, etc. Once you have the answers to these questions, arrange them as suggested above.

  8. How to choose sides?
    Answer :

    You will be required to support or refute the statement that has been put to you. Before you make your decision, make sure you have enough reasons to support your stand.

    Remember, you will be marked on the basis of your reasoning power; AWA aims to test your logical reasoning and analytical abilities.

    Example: 'Mobile phones are more of a curse than a blessing' could be the statement given to you.

    Note down your thoughts on both sides of the issue, then choose the argument that has more strength.

  9. Introduction and conclusion in AWA
    Answer :

    After you complete the main part of your essay, you need to work on its introduction and conclusion.
    • The introduction needs to give a gist of the idea presented in your essay. In other words, it should be like the first paragraph of a newspaper report where, if you only have time to read the first paragraph, it gives you a clear idea of what the report is about.
    • A good introduction shows your power of expression and the level of control you have over the language. Since you are expressing your opinion, you may start with, 'I strongly believe a mobile phone is more of a curse than a blessing because it is the root cause of greater inconveniences as opposed to advantages.'
    • Your introduction need not be more than two and three lines.
    • Similarly, you could conclude by stating, 'Thus, in my opinion,' followed by a summarised analysis of the logic you have used to support you position.

  10. What scores are reported?
    Answer :

    Three scores are reported on the General Test:
    • a verbal reasoning score reported on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increments
    • a quantitative reasoning score reported on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increments, and
    • an analytical writing score reported on a 0-6 score scale, in half-point increments.
    If you answer no questions at all in a section (verbal, quantitative, or analytical writing), you receive a No Score (NS) for that section.
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