Who Should take the GRE Psychology Test?

The GRE psychology exam is a subject test designed for those students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology or have equivalent knowledge and are planning to apply for a graduate program in this discipline. The test allows these students to demonstrate knowledge of the field of psychology for consideration in graduate program admissions decisions. Read on to learn more about the GRE psychology test.

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GRE Psychology Test Content

This GRE psychology subject exam tests information and knowledge from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). About 40 percent of the test questions are experimental or natural science oriented, which includes content about the areas of learning, language, memory, thinking, sensation and perception, and physiological psychology/behavioral neuroscience. About 43 percent of the questions are social and/or social science oriented, which covers clinical and abnormal psychology, lifespan development, personality and social psychology. The remaining approximate 17 percent of questions are about general psychology topics. In addition to the overall score on all sections, those who take the test are given a subscore in each of these areas.

Structure of the Test

The GRE psychology subject test consists of 205 multiple choice questions, each with five possible responses for the test-taker to choose from. Some questions rely on the analysis of supplemental data, such as graphs and charts. The test-taker has a total of 170 minutes to complete the exam, which is computer-based. It is scored on a scale ranging from 200 to 800, and these scores can be reported to the schools of your choice.

Deciding Whether to Take the Test

If you are planning to apply for a graduate program in psychology, find out whether admissions to the program requires you to take this subject test. However, even if the test is not required by the schools you’re applying to, a great score on the subject test can help make you a more attractive candidate for admission. Thousands of graduate schools in the United States and abroad accept these scores as part of the overall admissions package. If you’re considering taking the exam, a good first step is to download the official practice test from Educational Testing Service. This will give you a chance to estimate your score and learn how much you need to prepare before taking the official test.┬áIf you feel confident about your ability to get an excellent score on the psychology subject exam, taking the test is a good way to set yourself apart from the crowd. The cost to register for the test is $150, and it is given at locations throughout the United States three times per year.

Planning ahead to take the test in the year before you want to enter a graduate school program is your best bet to get these score in in time for admissions decisions.