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GRE Chemistry Test: All You Need to Know

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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The GRE Chemistry test is a specialized test that measures a person's knowledge and skills in a specific field of study. It is a part of the overall GRE examination that is offered in four different subjects: Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. The examinations are only conducted at authorized ETS centers globally. The test contains around 130 multiple-choice questions. The GRE chemistry exam is approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes, as in the case of other subject tests. 

The test is administered in a paper-based format and is intended for students who are planning to pursue graduate programs or get admitted into business schools. The test is scored on a scale of 200-990, with a minimum score of 200 and a maximum score of 990. There is no negative marking in these tests. Every score is dependent upon the number of questions that have been correctly answered within the given time frame. The number is converted to a scaled score via the equating procedure. This takes care of minor difficulty-related variations for diverse testing editions. There are also sub-scores in the Physics and Psychology tests. The number of questions that have been correctly answered for every content area and the number answered correctly on the entire test contribute towards each sub-score. The test is offered three times a year in September, October, and April.

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Structure & Syllabus of the GRE Chemistry Exam 

The GRE Chemistry Test covers the following content areas: 

  • Analytical Chemistry: 15%
  • Inorganic Chemistry: 25%
  • Organic Chemistry: 30%
  • Physical Chemistry: 30%

The core curriculum usually includes the following: 

  • Analytical Chemistry- Data Acquisition and Use of Statistics, Solutions and Standardization, Heterogeneous Equilibria, Homogeneous Equilibria, Environmental Applications, Instrumental Methods, and Radiochemical Methods. 
  • Organic Chemistry- Functional Groups, Structure, Bonding and Nomenclature, Reactive Intermediates, Reaction Mechanisms, Special Topics, and Organometallics. 
  • Inorganic Chemistry- General Chemistry, Ionic Substances, Covalent Molecular Substances, Concepts of Acids and Bases, Metals and Semiconductors, Chemistry of the Main Group Elements, Special Topics, and Chemistry of the Transition Elements. 
  • Physical Chemistry- Quantum Chemistry and Applications to Spectroscopy, Thermodynamics, and Dynamics. 

How to prepare for the GRE chemistry exam 

Here are a few GRE chemistry exam tips that will help you.

  1. Do not skip questions: Answer every question since the GRE chemistry examination does not come with any negative marking. Tailor your preparation strategy in a manner where you do not end up skipping questions. 
  2. Subcategories are vital- Delve deeper into the subcategories of every content area. For example, in analytical chemistry, some of them are radiochemical methods, homogeneous equilibria, and others. Narrow down all sub-topics and categories while preparing.
  3. Use study materials: Get the right textbooks, study guides, and practice tests for better preparation. The official GRE website should also be examined closely in this regard. 
  4. Practice, practice, practice: Take as many practice mock tests as possible. This will help you familiarize yourself with the questions and manage your time better. 
  5. Stay organized: Track your progress and create a study schedule that covers all vital topics. 
  6. Avoid procrastination: Prepare in advance as much as possible. You need time to cover all crucial material in this case. 
  7. Undergraduate coursework matters- The coursework for the bachelor's program, including assignments, notes, and other material, is a good preparation resource.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some good books to study for the GRE chemistry exam?

Some of the best options include the following: 

  1. "Cracking the GRE Chemistry Subject Test" by Princeton Review
  2. "Barron's GRE Chemistry" by Neil Jespersen
  3. "Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach
  4. "Organic Chemistry" by Paula Yurkanis Bruice
  5. "Inorganic Chemistry" by Gary L. Miessler and Donald A. Tarr

What is the grade weightage of the subject section in GRE chemistry?

The examination has four content areas, namely, Inorganic Chemistry (25%), Analytical Chemistry (15%), Physical Chemistry (30%), and Organic Chemistry (30%). 


Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

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PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

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Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.