Do you want to take the GRE Subject test in Chemistry? Are you confused as to what the Chemistry test entails? Well, we will discuss the GRE Chemistry Syllabus in the following sections. Before we begin, we will give you a brief introduction to the GRE General test and the GRE Subject test.

The Graduate Record Examination or the GRE is designed for students and young professionals who are seeking admissions at international universities. There are two kinds of GRE exams that you can appear for— the GRE General Test and the GRE Subject Test. 

GRE General Test;

The GRE general test is divided into three components— Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing. The general test assesses you in these broad areas, the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning are scored between 130-170, which increases by a one-point increment. The GRE Analytic Writing is scored between 0 to 6, which increases by a half-point increment. 

GRE Subject Test 

The GRE subject test assesses your knowledge and skills in a specific subject area. The GRE subject test is offered in the following subjects:

  1. Chemistry
  2. Psychology
  3. Physics 
  4. Mathematics

The subject test is scored from 200 to 900, which increases by 10-point increment. 

Now that you know the two kinds of tests in a bit more detail, let’s talk about the GRE Chemistry syllabus.

GRE Chemistry Syllabus 

The GRE syllabus for the Chemistry subject is divided into various components. The components are Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Inorganic Chemistry. The questions are based on these components and the interrelations between these components. Hence, there is no equal weightage allocated to each of the components. The allocated percentages for each component is as follows: 

Components  Allocated Percentages
Physical Chemistry  30%
Organic Chemistry  30%
Inorganic Chemistry  25%
Analytical Chemistry   15%

The GRE chemistry syllabus is as follows: 

Physical Chemistry 
  1. Quantum Chemistry: principles of quantum mechanics, classical experiments, atomic and molecular structure. 
  2. Applications to Spectroscopy: Molecular Spectroscopy. 
  3. Thermodynamics: Statistical thermodynamics, Gibbs and Helmholtz energy, colligative properties, ideal and real  gases and solutions, first, second and third laws, phase equilibria, chemical equilibria, and chemical potential.
  4. Dynamics: photochemistry, solution dynamics, experimental and theoretical chemical kinetics, and liquid dynamics. 
Analytical Chemistry 
  1. Radiochemical methods: Applications and detectors. 
  2. Instrumental methods: Calibration of instruments, spectroscopic method, thermal method, chromatographic method, and electrochemical method.
  3. Solution and Standardisation: Primary standards and concentration terms.  
  4. Environmental applications.
  5. Heterogeneous Equilibria: Chemical preparations, solubility, precipitation titrations, and gravimetric analysis.
  6. Data acquisition and Use of statistics: Statistical considerations and identification of errors
  7. Homogeneous Equilibria: Complexometry, acid-base, and oxidation- reduction
Organic Chemistry
  1. Organometallics: Transition metal reagents and catalysts, lithium organocuprates, preparation and reaction of organolithium reagents, preparation and reaction of Grignard, and other modern main groups.
  2. Reaction mechanisms: Electrophilic aromatic substitutions, eliminations, nucleophilic aromatic substitution, electrophilic additions, nucleophilic displacements and addition, Diels-Alder, and other cycloadditions.
  3. Functional groups: Interconversions of aldehydes, alkyl halides, dienes, epoxides, alkanes,  sulfides, ethers, alkenes, thiols, alkynes, ketones, alcohols, aromatic compounds, amines, interconversion of carboxylic acids and their derivatives, preparations, and reactions. 
  4. Reactive intermediates: Free radicals, benzynes, carbonians , carbenes , chemistry and nature of carbocations, and enols. 
  5. Structure, bonding, nomenclature: Conformational analysis, orbital hybridisation, Lewis structures, systematic IUPAC nomenclature, spectroscopy (IR and 1H and 13C NMR), configuration and stereochemical notation.
  6. Special topics: Asymmetric synthesis, amino acids, acid-base theory, antiaromaticity,  aromaticity, carbon acidity, catalysis, carbohydrates, lipids, macromolecules, molecular orbital theory, nucleic acids, orbital symmetry, peptides, polymers, resonance, and  terpenes. 
Inorganic Chemistry 
  1. Chemistry of the Transition Elements: Physical and chemical properties of the elements and their compounds,  occurrences and recovery, coordination chemistry, and  electronic structures. 
  2. Metals and semiconductors: Chemical and physical consequences of band theory , band theory, structure.
  3. Ionic substances: Radius/ratio effects, ionic radii, lattice geometries, lattice energies.
  4. Concepts of Acids and Bases: Solvent system approaches, Brønsted-Lowry approaches, lewis theory.
  5. Covalent Molecular substances: Bond energies, intermolecular forces, molecular point groups, VSEPR concept, molecular orbital description, Lewis diagrams, covalent and van der Waals radii of the elements, valence bond description and hybridisation.
  6. Chemistry of main group elements: Physical and chemical properties of the elements and their compounds, occurrences and recovery, and electronic structures.
  7. Special topics: Applied solid-state chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, catalysis, environmental chemistry, and organometallic chemistry.
  8. General Chemistry: Nuclear chemistry, periodic trends, and oxidation states. 

We have outlined the GRE Chemistry syllabus, it’s components and what falls under each component. You can also download the GRE Chemistry syllabus pdf from the ETS site for more detailed information. So, dig right in and ace the GRE Chemistry subject test!


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