This is a GRE Subject test that has been specifically designed to test your knowledge of the fundamental principles of Physics. Through the exam you will be tested on whether you can also apply these principles to solve problems… because that’s how future Physicists are made. You have to understand that GRE Physics Test might seem difficult but most of the questions can be answered based on your learning in the first three years of your undergraduate program. In all, around 100 multiple choice questions have to be answered.
Details, details, details
GRE Physics is a 170 minutes’ test where you have to answer these 100 questions. Some of the questions can be found in sets and are about graphs, diagrams, experimental data and descriptions of physical situations.
Like other Subject Test, the scores will be delivered to you around six weeks after the exam date. It is one of the factors you have to consider when choosing your test dates so that you are not late for your applications.
Subjects and their approximate percentage
Let’s have the good news first – ETS gives you a fairly elaborate listing of subjects, topics covered under the subjects and the percentage of questions you can expect on each subject. But please note that most of the questions on the exam will test your knowledge of these subjects to the fullest.
The subjects and their rough percentage in the test
• Classical Mechanics – 20%
• Electromagnetism – 18%
• Optics and Wave phenomena – 9%
• Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics – 10%
• Quantum Mechanics – 12%
• Atom Physics – 10%
• Special Relativity – 6%
• Laboratory methods – 6%
• Specialized topics – 9%
Prep for GRE Physics
• As we have mentioned earlier, this subject exam tests your knowledge to the fullest. That’s why it’s advisable to start preparing early. In fact, it’s a good idea to spread out your prep months or even a year ahead.
• However, it’s perfectly okay to follow smart strategies to ace the test. Remember you don’t have to necessarily understand the material but answer the questions quickly. While preparing, once you have understood the question, look for ways that help you solve it by intuition or any other faster means.
• There is a lot of material you are going to find to prepare for the test. But it can be expansive and you are better off learning formulas that keep showing up frequently. You should rather focus on taking practice tests that will build your confidence.
To give yourself best chance to beat the GRE Physics test, you can take it in April and if need be the one in October. That’s no law of Physics, but definitely makes practical sense to boost your chances.
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