GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Information
The GRE involves 2 tests, a general test and a subject test. The General Test is the SAT equivalent for graduate school. The subject test is like the achievement/subject tests that you may have taken in high school that were offered by ETS.
NOTE: The GRE General Test will be REVISED starting on August 1, 2011. Please be sure that you are looking at the correct test information when you register and prepare for the GRE. The old and the revised versions will be similar, but there are substantive changes that you will need to prepare for.
General Test: The general test is given on computers. It has 3 sections: Verbal, Quantitative and Analytic Writing. The Verbal Section is similar to the verbal section on the SAT but testing for a higher level of vocabulary. The Quantitative Section is similar to the Math section of the SAT. The problems are actually easier than those on the SAT, but before you get over confident, that is because you have had 4 more years to forget Algebra and Geometry. The Analytical Writing Section consists of two analytical writing tasks: an "Analyze an Issue" task and an "Analyze an Argument" task. The "Issue" task states an opinion on an issue of general interest and asks you to address the issue from any perspective(s) you wish, as long as you provide relevant reasons and examples to explain and support your views. The "Argument" task presents a different challenge - it requires you to critique an argument by discussing how well reasoned you find it. You are asked to consider the logical soundness of the argument rather than to agree or disagree with the position it presents. These two tasks are complementary in that the first requires you to construct a personal argument about an issue, and the second requires you to critique someone else's argument by assessing its claims. The analytical writing section is delivered on the computer, but you may choose to handwrite or word process your essay.
The department strongly recommends that you prepare for these tests rather than taking them blind with the assumption that you will retake them later if you do poorly. Graduate schools do not all simply look at the highest score. Some schools will look at the lowest score and others will average the two sets of scores. If you would like suggestions for preparation please attend the department's fall informational meeting, you can also see either your advisor or Dr. Klitz. If you plan to by a book to help you practice we recommend you by the book of practice tests from ETS (you can buy it from ETS or your local bookstore will often carry it). You will find copies of some sample tests and other preparation materials on the Psychology Department Computers in Dieter-Porter 206. You will also find preparation suggestions and information on the pros and cons of retaking the GREs in some of the books available in the library. The GRE website has a series of reviews and test practice software available for free download. Washington County Libraries also have a series of review resources available (click on the "Testing and Education Reference Center" link, then click on Test Preparation, and then click on GRE). You do have to register online to use this resource, but the registration is a no-commitment registration! These sources are useful supplementary resources, but we recommend starting with the officially sanctioned review materials available through the GRE website.
Subject Test: The subject test is a 2 hour 50 minute standardized test of a single subject. This test is only available in paper and pencil form and is offered on limited test dates each year. If you plan to by a book to help you practice we recommend you by the book of practice tests from ETS (you can buy it from ETS or your local bookstore will often carry it). In general the best way to review for the Subject Test in Psychology is to review a good Introductory Textbook (the one we use is good). Some people also recommend looking at a textbook on the History of Psychology. If you would like suggestions for preparation please attend the department's fall informational meeting, you can also see either your advisor or Dr. Klitz. You will find copies of some sample tests and other preparation materials on the Psychology Department Computers in Dieter-Porter 206. You may also find preparation suggestions in some of the books available in the library.
Registration information and test dates can be found at the GRE website