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Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Subject Exams

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General and Subject Tests are taken by individuals applying to graduate schools. Cape Cod Community College administers the GRE Subject Exams only.

The GRE Subject Tests are paper-based tests in seven subject areas. Subject tests measure achievement in specific subject areas and assume undergraduate majors or extensive background in those disciplines. Testing time is 2 hours and 50 minutes. The Subject Test Fee is $150.00.

For additional information about the GRE Subject Exams, including exam dates, visit


Web: Register online using a credit card/debit card. Payment by e-check (drawn against U.S. bank accounts only) and PayPal is also accepted.

By Mail: Complete the paper-based testing registration form in the center of the GRE Registration Bulletin and mail it with your payment to the address provided on the form. You can download the forms. Please allow up to three weeks for processing your admission ticket.

Test dates and registration deadlines are also listed on the back cover of the registration bulletin or at

Test Preparation Material

Individuals who register for a Subject Test will be mailed a free practice book for the specific test. Each practice book contatins a full-length practice test and answer key, test-taking strategies, list of content topices covered in the test, and detailed test specifications. This material can also be downloaded.

Subject Exam Descriptions

The test consists of approximately 170 questions and is intended for students who are interested in graduate programs in biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology, along with related programs such as microbiology and genetics. The questions are distributed among three sub-score areas: Biochemistry (36%), Cell Biology (28%), and Molecular Biology and Genetics (36%).

The test consists of approximately 194 questions that are distributed among three sub-score areas: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Organismal Biology, and Ecology and Evolution.

The test consists of approximately 130 questions designed to cover much of the content of the chemistry courses completed by students before the middle of the senior collegiate year. The questions are classified approximately as follows: analytical chemistry (15%), inorganic chemistry (25%), organic chemistry (30%) and physical chemistry (30%).

The test consists of approximately 230 questions on literature in English from the British Isles, the United States, and other countries. It also contains a few questions on major works, including the Bible, in translation. Factual questions test a student's knowledge of writers typically studied in college courses. Interpretive questions test a student's ability to read passages of poetry, drama, fiction and nonfiction prose perceptively; such questions may address meaning, use of language, form and structure, literary techniques, and various aspects of style.

The questions are classified as follows: literary analysis (40 -55%); identification (15-20%); cultural and historical contexts (20-25%); history and theory of literary criticism (10-15%). In addition, the literary-historical scope of the test is as follows: continental, classical, and comparative literature through 1925 (5-10%); British literature to 1660, including Milton (25-30%); British literature 1660-1925 (25-35%): American literature through 1925 (15-25%); American, British, and World literatures after 1925 (20-30%).

The test consists of approximately 66 questions and is intended to measure both the knowledge of the content of undergraduate mathematics courses for mathematics majors and the mathematical abilities traditionally expected of those who intend to seek a graduate degree in mathematics. In addition to the usual sequence of elementary calculus courses, the examinee should have had mathematics-major courses in abstract algebra, linear algebra, and real analysis that require students to demonstrate the ability to prove theorems and create counterexamples. The questions are classified approximately as follows: calculus (50%), algebra (25%), and other topics (25%). The other topics may include: discrete mathematics and algorithmic processes, differential equations, topology and modern geometry, complex analysis, probability and statistics, logic and foundations and numerical analysis.

The test consists of approximately 100 questions, most of which relate to the first three years of undergraduate physics. Topics include: classical mechanics (20%), electromagnetism (18%), atomic physics (10%), optics and wave phenomena (9%), quantum mechanics (12%), thermodynamics and statistical mechanics (10%), special relativity (6%), and laboratory methods (6%). The remaining 9% of the test covers advanced topics such as nuclear and particle physics, condensed matter physics, and astrophysics.

The test consists of approximately 205 questions drawn from courses most commonly offered at the undergraduate level. Most of the questions are distributed between two sub-score areas: Experimental Psychology (40%), including learning, language, memory, thinking, sensation and perception, and physiological/behavioral neuroscience; and Social Psychology (43%),includingclinical and abnormal, lifespan development, personality and social. The remaining 17% of the questions test other topics, predominantly measurement and methodology, and also history, industrial/organizational and educational psychology. The test's total score includes the questions in all three categories.