Cracking the GRE Biochemistry Subject Test

The GRE Biochemistry subject test is primarily based on three primary content areas, namely, biochemistry, cell biology along with Molecular Biology & Genetics. Here Biochemistry takes up 36% of the exam while 28% is covered by cell biology. The final 36% is made up of molecular biology and genetic questions.

Here are a few things you want to keep in mind when preparing for GRE Biochemistry Exam –

Concepts may Overlap

When you are studying for your Biochemistry subject test, you will find that the three classifications provided cannot be independent of each other. This means that some of the questions may be relevant for more than one of the three content areas. That said, the scores of these three sections will be provided separately along with your total score.

Topics Covered

Under the Biochemistry section you will be asked questions related to –

  •  Chemical and physical foundations
  • Catalysis and binding
  • Biomolecules
  • Major metabolic pathways
  • Bioenergetics and regulation
  • Integration of metabolism

Under cell biology and molecular biology, you will need to study about –

  • Cellular compartments of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes,
  • Cell surface and communication
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Protein synthesis, processing and cell division
  • Motility and shape
  • Differentiation and development

For the molecular biology and genetic sections, you must master concepts in –

  • Genetic foundations
  • Genomics
  • Chromatin and chromosomes
  • Genome maintenance
  • Gene expression
  • Gene regulation in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes
  • Bacteriophages
  • Animal and plant viruses

Do not Get Over Confident

While the subject test is based on concepts that you may have studied in your under-graduate program, make sure you do not let your over confidence get the better of you. Invest significant time before your GRE to prepare for this exam, since you may find that many of the concepts you thought you knew, you aren’t too clear about. A thorough revision can only help you score better. Go back to your older text books that will have chapters on most of the topics that are a part of your syllabus.

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When preparing for this exam, remember that you are now going to appear for an objective test. However, your study approach can be the same as how it would be for a subjective exam, with the exception of needing to focus on details a lot more. Biology as a subject demands a lot of reading and learning and to be able to solve MCQ type questions, you will need to get into the depth of the subject.

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