Before you start spending your money on preparation courses and registration fees, there's one slight detail that you should be aware of: make sure you even need to take the GRE. Tons of people out there take the GRE and never realize that they weren't required (or even recommended) to take it. There are two reasons for this:

1. For entry into medical school, business school, or law school, you don't take the GRE. Each of those schools has a unique test that you'll need to take (medical = MCAT; business = GMAT; law = LSAT). So if you're taking the GRE to get into one of those schools, then screw your head on right, take the appropriate test, and become rich.

2. Not all graduate schools require the GRE for admittance. Don't get us wrong, most of the schools require (or at least "strongly encourage") you to take the GRE, but before you sign up, you should look through the application materials for the schools you're applying to and see if it's "required" or "recommended" (you might get lucky). We'll spoil some of the suspense now: the GRE is required for most advanced degree programs, including:

  • Education
  • Psychology
  • English
  • Communications
  • Journalism
  • History
  • Archaeology
  • Music
  • Sociology
  • Math
  • Economics
  • Geology
  • Biology (not med school . . . that's different)
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
In fact, for many of these programs, you'll have to take TWO GREs: the main general one that we talk about in this SYW, and a special "subject test" that will grill you on the specific subject in which you're trying to get your advanced degree. There's even a writing test that evaluates your ability to make original arguments on a particular issue. We're not going to worry about the subject and writing tests for the purposes of this SYW, but if you're feeling particularly anxious, check out the GRE's website for more details.

    SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW learn the basics of the GRE?