What You Should Know

“Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.” Charles Caleb Colton

Is this difficult exam something you are considering? If you are pondering the possibilities of grad school in the field of psychology, this test will likely be in your future. As one helpful stepping stone in your career path, it is something worth examining.Here are some quick answers to the questions you will inevitably have:

General Info

Q: What is the GRE Psychology Subject Test?
A: The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) Subject Test for Psychology is an exam used by graduate schools to gauge an applicant’s knowledge and abilities in psychology beyond the General GRE score. You will be submitting these scores, along with undergraduate work, letters of recommendation, and your other qualifications to prove you are an excellent candidate for a psychology program.

Q: Who should take the GRE Psychology Test?
A: Graduate school applicants seeking placement in a psychology program.

Q: Why should I take it?
A: Not all schools will require the subject test (although a majority do) but it can help you stand out from other applicants. The sub-scores can indicate your strengths and may be used for placement purposes.

Q: Where can I take it?
A: Testing centers are found worldwide. Check the Test Centers and Dates schedule.

Q: When can I take it?
A: Tests are administered in October, November, and April. See the Test Centers and Dates schedule.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: $140 ($160 for locations outside of the U.S.)


Q: How will I be graded?
A: You will receive a total score on a 200-990 scale, in 10-point increments. You will also receive sub-scores on a 20-99 scale, in one-point increments. Subscores will be in the categories of experimental psychology and social psychology.

Q: What is a good score?
A: The average score for examinees from 2007-2010 was 609, with mean sub-scores of 61. For psychology programs, the average minimum score required on the subject test is 650.

Q: When will I receive the results?
A: Scores are mailed approximately six weeks after the test. They are also available online at this same six-week point. Scores will be mailed to you and up to four graduate institutions of your choosing.

Q: Can I take it more than once?
A: Yes. You may take it as often as it is offered. Keep in mind large score increases are not common and score reports will include results from all tests over the past five years. A higher score does not wipe out any lower ones from the view of potential schools.

Sign me up

Q: How do I register for the test?
A: You can register online or via mail. Additional information for health-related needs.

Maybe it’s not so terrible after all. Some studying. A bit of money. A little time. With some preparation and a No. 2 pencil, you are well on your way to grad school.

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