Important Features Of The GRE Psychology Subject Test

GRE Psychology Subject Test - Importance and Structure

Preparing for a GRE subject test can prove to be a daunting task if you do not have prior knowledge of the structure of the question paper. Moreover, before you start preparing for the test you must know the utility of the examination. If you want to take the Psychology subject test ensure that you have gathered all the required information before you start preparing for the test. The first thing that you must know is the question paper format of this test and it is discussed in the following section.

Structure of Psychology

Subject tests of GRE are held in April, October and November. So you will have to select a convenient date in these 3 months. The registration fee for the Psychology subtest is $130.

These are some basic information about the examination but to fare well in it you must understand the question paper format.

The questions for this discipline of study are taken from the subjects that you would have covered while studying Psychology in your undergraduate years. The question paper covers 3 main topics of Psychology on the whole and they are as follows:

  • In the question paper 43% of the questions are taken from topics dealing with Social Psychology.
  • Questions on Experimental Psychology cover 40% of the question paper.
  • The remaining 17% comprises general questions on Psychology, like the history of Psychology, statistics etc.

The afore-mentioned list broadly outlines the structure of the question paper. If you need an exhaustive list of the syllabus covered in the Psychology paper then click on the following link:

Once you understand the structure and syllabus of GRE Psychology you must understand the marking scheme and it is discussed in the following section.


The score card for this subject test consists of 2 sub scores and 1 total score. The questions on Social and Experimental Psychology result in the 2 sub scores (individually) and are also a part of the total score. The general questions on Psychology form a part of the total score.

An important point to remember is that there is negative marking if you answer any question incorrectly. One-fourth mark will be subtracted from the marks you receive for the correct answers, for each wrong answer. So you must be careful while answering the questions.

The raw score that you receive is converted to a scaled score. The raw score is the sum total of all the correct answers minus one-fourth for all the incorrect answers. The scaled score range is from 400 to 700. This conversion ensures uniformity of the scoring system and makes comparison of scores between different forms of the same examination easier.

The utility of the score received for this subject test  is discussed in the following section.

Importance of Psychology Subject Test

GRE subject tests are often a requirement by many colleges and hence they form an essential part of your admission portfolio. Psychology is often a prerequisite for many colleges if you wish to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology. Subject GRE marks often act as the yardstick based on which colleges give admission to various candidates. For example if there are 2 candidates with equally high GPA and GRE scores but one of them have appeared for GRE Psychology and have scored well, then the second candidate has more chances of getting admission.

If you have appeared for this test and have scored well, then it reflects your knowledge of the subject. It will also convince the admissions authorities of the colleges you have applied in of your intention and seriousness and your admissions application will receive its due consideration. Although, letters of recommendation, high GPA and GRE score are important if you wish to get admission in a premiere college in the USA, yet a high score in Psychology will make the admission process easier. Hence, you should not undermine its importance by thinking it is only an additional paper as the score you get in this test might become the pivotal point of your admission applications.