Details Regarding The GRE Physics Subject Test

GRE Physics Subject Test- A Brief Overview

GRE Physics Subject Test:

To make your GRE score exemplary, you need to work extra hard to get a score that corresponds to the 99th percentile rank or reaches close to it. A high score is one of the best ways to get recruited in reputed institutions. However, to make your college application outstanding, you need to add an extra detail to your GRE score; and that is a subject test score. If you have a knack for Physics, have underwent a three year Physics graduate course and aspire to have a career in Physics, you must consider taking the Physics subject test to get a chance to study Physics in the best colleges and universities in the US. Physics subject test demands an adept knowledge about the subject and it tests the examinees' proficiency in the subject in every possible way.

Contents of GRE Physics Subject Test:

The Physics subject test evaluates your knowledge and skills of fundamental physics and related principles. You will get about a century of multiple choice questions which would test your basic ideas about the laws of physics. It also focuses on bringing out the experience you gained in your three years Physics graduation course and demonstrating how effectively you can use these skills to answer test questions. Following are some fields that are tested in this subject test.





  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Theories of Relativity with Emphasis on Special Relativity
  • Atomic Physics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Laboratory Methods
  • Classical Mechanics

All the above mentioned fields appear in the Physics test in varying amounts. The test takers must also be proficient in certain mathematical processes and their application for solving the questions in this subject. The mathematical knowledge is required to answer some questions that may base themselves only on mathematics under the Specialized Skills category of questions.

Question Pattern of GRE Physics:

The Physics subject test contains questions that can be illustrated by pictures, diagrams of circuit set-ups, lens diagrams or geometrical figures, etc. The questions may also depict graphical demonstration of facts and data that you have to interpret to find the correct answers. The questions can ask for a direct answer, where you have to provide a logical conclusion to a certain event (say in light of the given car velocity you might have to pick the option that best represents the fate of a ball thrown outside the moving car), or they may be tricky and ask you to calculate an answer based on the given information. Each question contains five multiple-choice options, out of which you have to pick only one correct answer. You will receive a single scratch paper for each question sheet. Click at http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/GRE/pdf/Physics.pdf and have a better look at a sample test paper for GRE Physics subject test.

Scoring Process for GRE Physics:

You must be well informed about the scoring procedure if you are taking the Physics subject test of GRE. The scoring method involves finding out the raw scores initially and then converting them into a scaled score. The process of conversion is required in order to compare your score with the scores of other test takers of different test editions. Let us see how scores are calculated in the following sub-headings:

  • Calculation of Raw Score: Your raw score in the Physics subject test can be postulated by subtracting 1/4th of the total questions answered incorrectly from the sum of total questions answered correctly. This initially shows the test takers' raw score. This raw score is then converted into a scaled score.
  • Conversion of Raw Score: The raw score is converted into a scaled score that ranges from 200 to 900. This conversion is done by a process called equating. It is a statistical method that helps in comparing test takers' scores with other test takers of different test editions. The scaled score of the Physics subject test is always a three-digit number where the last digit is rounded up to a zero. Physics subject test's scaled score varies between 200 and 900.

You must remember that your scaled score in Physics subject test of GRE cannot be compared with other subject tests (say Chemistry) as different subject tests measure different skill levels and knowledge. Remember that your target is scoring high in this subject test, as low scores might not be accepted by many colleges. Hence, you should consider preparatory classes or guide books in case you feel that you cannot manage on your own.




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