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GRE Mathematics Subject Test

What is it?

The GRE Mathematics Test is either required or recommended for applicants to many graduate programs that heavily use mathematics (Mathematics, Statistics, Financial Mathematics, ...). Since the requirements vary between programs, it is best to do you research by reading the admission requirements of 10-20 graduate programs of the kind you consider applying to.

Content

The ETS describes the test content roughly as follows (SU course numbers are added for reference):

  • Calculus (50%): MAT 295, 296, 397
  • Algebra (25%): elementary (high school), linear (MAT 331, 531), and abstract algebra/number theory (MAT 534, 541)
  • Other topics (25%): real analysis (MAT 412), discrete mathematics (MAT 375), probability (MAT 521), complex variables (MAT 513), geometry (MAT 551), combinatorics/graph theory (MAT 545), elementary topology (MAT 562).

This does not mean one has to take all of these courses to do well on the test. The mastery of calculus and linear algebra can yield a decent score. However, supplemental self-study is recommended. Even calculus questions may present a challenge because of the time constraint (one has less than 3 minutes per problem).

Sample Problems

Practice Sessions

Weekly problem-solving sessions are run in Fall semesters as a joint effort of the Mathematics Department and Pi Mu Epsilon honor society. In Fall 2018 the sessions take place Thursday 5-6 in Carnegie 110 (starting Oct 4). Email Xinxuan Wang if you are interested in participating.

Participation

GRE Mathematics Test is offered only a few times a year, so advance planning is important. The registration deadlines are about a month before the test date. See the ETS website for registration, test center locations, and dates.