Kamis, 21 Juli 2011

Dare to Take a Chance in GRE?

Studying abroad had always been a dream of mine since I was a little child. I thought it would be a great experience to live in an entirely different environment with different culture. Not to mention, it would also be really cool to show off to friends and family. To accomplish that, I decided to take a GRE test required for application to this one University in Germany. I have already done my IELTS with adequate result. I would need GRE with the subject of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology.

So I checked the GRE website and found out that the test would have about one hundred and seventy five MCQs, divided into three sections. There would be problem-solving questions too. And each section would have a question in methodology, possibly statistics. Darn it! I hate statistics.

As I mentioned before, the GRE test is divided into three sections. The first one, BIOCHEMISTRY will take about 36% from the whole test.
1. Chemical and Physical Foundations
* Thermodynamics and kinetics
* Redox states
* Water, pH, acid-base reactions and buffers
* Solutions and equilibria
* Solute-solvent interactions
* Chemical interactions and bonding
* Chemical reaction mechanisms
2. Structural Biology: Structure, Assembly, Organization and Dynamics
* Small molecules
* Macromolecules (e.g., nucleic acids, polysaccharides, proteins and complex lipids)
* Supramolecular complexes (e.g., membranes, ribosomes and multienzyme complexes)
3. Catalysis and Binding
* Enzyme reaction mechanisms and kinetics
* Ligand-protein interaction (e.g., hormone receptors, substrates and effectors, transport proteins and antigen-antibody interactions)
4. Major Metabolic Pathways
* Carbon, nitrogen and sulfur assimilation
* Anabolism
* Catabolism
* Synthesis and degradation of macromolecules
5. Bioenergetics (including respiration and photosynthesis)
* Energy transformations at the substrate level
* Electron transport
* Proton and chemical gradients
* Energy coupling (e.g., phosphorylation and transport)
6. Regulation and Integration of Metabolism
* Covalent modification of enzymes
* Allosteric regulation
* Compartmentalization
* Hormones
7. Methods
* Biophysical approaches (e.g., spectroscopy, x-ray, crystallography, mass spectroscopy)
* Isotopes
* Separation techniques (e.g., centrifugation, chromatography and electrophoresis)
* Immunotechniques

The second section is CELL BIOLOGY (28%). The questions would no doubt be about cellular biology and the technology surrounding the imaging of it.
1. Cellular Compartments of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes: Organization, Dynamics and Functions
* Cellular membrane systems (e.g., structure and transport across membrane)
* Nucleus (e.g., envelope and matrix)
* Mitochondria and chloroplasts (e.g., biogenesis and evolution)
2. Cell Surface and Communication
* Extracellular matrix (including cell walls)
* Cell adhesion and junctions
* Signal transduction
* Receptor function
* Excitable membrane systems
3. Cytoskeleton, Motility and Shape
* Regulation of assembly and disassembly of filament systems
* Motor function, regulation and diversity
4. Protein, Processing, Targeting and Turnover
* Translocation across membranes
* Posttranslational modification
* Intracellular trafficking
* Secretion and endocytosis
* Protein turnover (e.g., proteosomes, lysosomes, damaged protein response)
5. Cell Division, Differentiation and Development
* Cell cycle, mitosis and cytokinesis
* Meiosis and gametogenesis
* Fertilization and early embryonic development (including positional information, homeotic genes, tissue-specific expression, nuclear and cytoplasmic interactions, growth factors and induction, environment, stem cells and polarity)

The third section is MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS (36%)
1. Genetic Foundations
* Mendelian and non-Mendelian inheritance
* Transformation, transduction and conjugation
* Recombination and complementation
* Mutational analysis
* Genetic mapping and linkage analysis
2. Chromatin and Chromosomes
* Karyotypes
* Translocations, inversions, deletions and duplications
* Aneuploidy and polyploidy
* Structure
* Epigenetics
3. Genomics
* Genome structure
* Repeated DNA and gene families
* Gene identification
* Transposable elements
* Bioinformatics
* Proteomics
* Molecular evolution
4. Genome Maintenance
* DNA replication
* DNA damage and repair
* DNA modification
* DNA recombination and gene conversion
5. Gene Expression
* The genetic code
* Transcription/transcriptional profiling
* RNA processing
* Translation
6. Gene Regulation
* Positive and negative control of the operon
* Promoter recognition by RNA polymerases
* Attenuation and antitermination
* Cis-acting regulatory elements
* Trans-acting regulatory factors
* Gene rearrangements and amplifications
* Small non-coding RNA (e.g., siRNA, microRNA)
7. Viruses
* Genome replication and regulation
* Virus-host interactions
8. Methods
* Restriction maps and PCR
* Nucleic acid blotting and hybridization
* DNA cloning in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
* Sequencing and analysis
* Protein-nucleic acid interaction
* Transgenic organisms
* Microarrays

All these informations, I got from http://www.ets.org/gre/subject/about/content/biochemistry.

I would have to prepare the materials for months before I'm ready to take the exam. So If I wanted to take it in February, I would have to start studying ... now?