Do I Have to Take the GRE Psychology Test for a Master’s in Psychology?

Similar to the GRE subject tests offered in biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, physics, and other areas of study, there is a GRE Psychology exam that is often utilized in the admissions process for graduate school programs across the United States. As a single-subject part of the GRE that measures students’ knowledge particularly in the psychology field, the test can be taken by individuals who are considering applying to a master’s degree program in psychology. While not all Master’s in Psychology programs will require applicants to take the standardized exam, some will recommended or even require students to take the GRE Psychology test. Read on to learn about the GRE in Psychology to determine if this exam will enhance your application for a graduate program.

About the GRE Psychology Test

Within the standardized Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Psychology test is designed to provide a common measure for comparing candidates’ qualifications in the admissions process for graduate level psychology degrees. Many admissions committees will use the GRE scores to supplement undergraduate transcripts, recommendation letters, work experiences, and other criteria to determine whether applicants are prepared to succeed in graduate-level studies. The GRE Psychology test is utilized to indicate the strengths and weaknesses of each student as related to psychology specific content and skills, as well as for placement purposes in certain specializations. Subject tests are administered as paper-based exams at testing centers worldwide in September, October, and April each year.

Structure of the GRE Psychology Exam

In most editions of the GRE Psychology test, there will be around 205 multiple-choice questions that provide candidates five options to choose the best answer. All questions are drawn from the core of knowledge that is typically encountered in undergraduate psychology courses. Questions may require examinees to analyze relationships, apply psychological principles, remember facts, draw conclusions from graphics, or evaluate research designs. Within the exam, completed over two hours and 50 minutes, there are three broad categories that cover experimental science, general psychology, and social science material. Questions ranging from perception and language to personality and statistics can be found distributed throughout.

How to Prepare for the GRE in Psychology

After registering for the GRE Psychology test, online or by mail, and submitting the standard $140 fee, you will need to prepare for taking the examination. It is suggested that you take the time to review notes and old exams from undergraduate psychology courses. If you do not mind spending some extra money, there are a number of test prep books and online examination guides available to prepare for the psychology test. You may also want to speak with your former psychology professors to discover some valuable study tips and perhaps find some assistance in locating a study group. ETS also publishes a GRE Psychology Test Practice Book that you can download for free with sample questions and practice test sections.

Overall, the single-subject GRE in Psychology exam can be a wise choice for students to take in order to impress the admissions committee for gaining acceptance into a Master’s in Psychology degree program. Although the scores may not be mandatory, admissions counselors are likely to consider GRE Psychology exam results favorably when submitted with an application and could give you the best chance of showing your strongest assets to the field.