Exams Know-how

GRE Biology Test: How to Prepare for GRE Biology in 2024?

Rohan Deshmukh

Are you planning to appear in the GRE 2024 test and study a graduate program in biology at the best colleges abroad? Well, the foremost step for you is to qualify for the GRE Biology test with the best competitive score. The GRE biology exam is typically made up of many multiple-choice questions mostly from your undergraduate Biology course. To get started with the preparations you must have a proper schedule and an in-depth understanding of the GRE Biology syllabus and exam pattern.

Here we bring you a complete guide to the Biology test syllabus including the best GRE Biology books with their price range, to kickstart your GRE Biology 2024 preparation.

  Table of Contents:

  1. Overview of GRE Biology Subject Test
  2. GRE Biology Syllabus
  3. How to Prepare for the GRE Biology Subject Test?
  4. Best Preparation Books for GRE Biology Test

Overview of GRE Biology Subject Test

  • GRE subject test Biology is opted by students to pursue a master's degree in Biology at the best universities abroad
  • The Biology paper for GRE generally has around 180 multiple choice questions that will take up to 2 hours and 50 minutes to solve.
  • The GRE subject test biology is structured of three parameters i.e. Cellular and Molecular Biology (33-34%), Organismal Biology (33-34%) and Ecology & Evolution (33-34%). 
  • Some of the questions are based on laboratory results, experiments, diagrams or experimental results that are grouped together at the end of every text. 
  • The number of questions you answer correctly in the exam gets converted into a number of 200 to 990 point scale as an overall along with a sub score in each of the three parameters. The subscores are reported as 20 to 99 point scale in the paper.

A Complete Guide to GRE Preparation 2024 

Now that we have an overview of the GRE Biology exam, let us now have a close look at its syllabus:

GRE Biology Syllabus

The GRE Biology test consists of multiple-choice questions. For every question, you will have five response options from which you have to pick the right one. 

As per ETS, the test yields three subscores with the total score. The detailed syllabus of the Biology paper is given below:

Cellular and Molecular Biology (33-34%)

  1. Cellular Structure and Function (16-17%)
  • Biological compounds
  • Enzyme activity, receptor binding, and regulation
  • Cytoskeleton: motility and shape
  • Cell cycle: the growth, division, and the regulation including the signal transduction.
  • Major metabolic pathways and regulation
  • Membrane dynamics and cell surfaces
  • Organelles: structure, function, synthesis, and targeting
  • Microscopy, separation, and immunological methods

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  1. Genetics and Molecular Biology (16-17%)
  • Genetic foundations
  • Genome maintenance
  • Genome sequence organisation
  • Chromatin and chromosomes
  • Gene expression and regulation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
  • Recombinant DNA methodology
  • Gene expression and regulation: effects
  • Immunobiology
  • Bacteriophages, animal viruses, and plant viruses

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Organismal Biology (33-34%)

  1. Animal Structure, Function, and Organisation (10%)
  • An integration and the control mechanisms of nervous and endocrine systems.
  • Metabolic rates (temperature, body size, and activity)
  • Behaviour (communication, orientation, learning, and instinct)
  • Exchange of the nutrients or salt or water, gas, and energy with the environment.
  • Internal transport and exchange.
  • Support and movement systems.

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  1. Animal Reproduction and Development (6%)
  • Reproductive Structures
  • Meiosis, gametogenesis, and fertilisation
  • Early development (e.g., polarity, cleavage, and gastrulation.
  • Developmental processes for example induction, differentiation, determination, morphogenesis, and metamorphosis.
  • External control mechanisms (e.g., photoperiod)
  1. Plant Structure, Function, and the Organisation, with an Emphasis on Flowering Plants (7%)
  • Organs, tissue systems, and tissues
  • Water transport, including absorption and transpiration
  • Plant energetics (e.g., respiration and photosynthesis.
  • Phloem transport and storage
  • Mineral nutrition

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  1. Plant Reproduction, Growth, and its Development, with an Emphasis on Flowering Plants (5%)
  • Meiosis and sporogenesis
  • Gametogenesis and fertilisation
  • Meristems, growth, morphogenesis, and differentiation
  • Reproductive structures
  • Embryogeny and seed development
  • Control mechanisms (e.g., hormones, photoperiod, and tropisms)
  1. Diversity of Life (6%)
  • Protista
  • Archaea
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • Animalia with emphasis on major phyla
  • Plantae with emphasis on major phyla

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Ecology and Evolution (33-34%)

  1. Ecology (16-17%)
  • Environment/organism interaction
  • Population ecology
  • Community ecology
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Ecosystems
  1. Evolution (16-17%)
  • Genetic variability
  • Macroevolutionary and microevolutionary processes
  • Evolutionary consequences
  • History of life

The various types of questions which have been asked from the subscores are distributed in the paper. The GRE Biology questions are not set aside and are labelled separately in the test.

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How to Prepare for the GRE Biology Subject Test?

To prepare for the GRE Biology is the crucial aspect in excelling in the test. A student becomes flawless after practising regularly for the exam. Some test methods and a good knowledge of an effective GRE Subject Test biology suggestions will help you in confronting the paper with more convictions and get the highest scores.

Considering your revision notes and some previous year's GRE biology prep, there are a number of ways that will prepare you for the GRE Biology test. Here are some of the recommendations that you must keep in mind while preparing:

  • Follow the official GRE booklet provided for the test. This will get you an idea of what you can expect through the exam.
  • Go through some GRE biology prep books, it will help you in preparing for the exam.
  • Practice the previous year's GRE Biology papers. This shows you which type of questions are generally asked in the exam.
  • Search for various types of study material and GRE biology book as it is a collection of your every question.
  • You can also appear in some online GRE tests to know where you stand. 

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Best Preparation Books for GRE Biology Test

The following is the list of some best GRE biology prep book that will help you in facing the GRE Biology Subject Test:

Book Name 

Average Price 

Campbell Biology by Jane B. Reece

15.00 USD 

Kaplan GRE Subject Test

6.36 USD

GRE Biology Test Secrets Study Guide

38.61 USD

Sterling Test Prep GRE Biology Practice Questions

35.95 USD

Cracking the GRE Biology Test by Princeton Review

34.81 USD

Sterling Test Prep GRE Biology: Review of Cell and Molecular Biology

33.95 USD 

Molecular Biology of the Cell

21.25 USD

Organismal Biology: Everything You Always Wanted to Know

29.95 USD

The Ecology Book: Big Ideas Explained

18.80 USD

Ecology: Evolution, Application, Integration

42.37 USD

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Frequently Asked Questions About GRE Biology Subject Test

What is the GRE Biology exam structure?

Does Self Paced GRE Biology work?

How do I clear my GRE Biology Test on your very first attempt?

What are the sections included in the GRE Biology Test?

What are the eligibility criteria for the GRE Biology Subject Test?

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