GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology (REA) w/CD-ROM - The Best Test Prep


REA helps students prepare for success on the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test. Master the test and score higher. Carefully derived from the latest GRE tests, this comprehensive test prep contains 2 practice exams in the book and on TESTware CD-ROM with timed test-taking, instant scoring, and detailed explanations of all answers. The book's comprehensive review targets all topics appearing on the actual test including supramolecular complexes, metabolic pathways, genomics, and more. Follow ...

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REA helps students prepare for success on the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test. Master the test and score higher. Carefully derived from the latest GRE tests, this comprehensive test prep contains 2 practice exams in the book and on TESTware CD-ROM with timed test-taking, instant scoring, and detailed explanations of all answers. The book's comprehensive review targets all topics appearing on the actual test including supramolecular complexes, metabolic pathways, genomics, and more. Follow up study with REA's proven strategies and test-taking techniques.

- 2 full-length practice tests on CD-ROM
- Timed testing and instant and accurate scoring
- Complete explanations to all answers
- Perfect for solo study
- In-depth subject reviews
-- 2 practice exams covering all topics appearing on the GRE test. All exam answers are fully explained.
- Packed with proven strategies and test-taking techniques that get you ready for test day
- Reference list details relevant sources for further study.

REA … Real review, Real practice, Real results.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738604220
  • Publisher: Research & Education Association
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Series: TESTware
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Read an Excerpt


This book provides you with an accurate and complete representation of the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Subject Test. REA’s two full-length practice tests are based on the latest editions of the exam. Our subject reviews are designed to prepare you for the very kind of material you are most likely to encounter when taking the actual test. Our sample tests have been carefully calibrated to match the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Subject Test’s level of difficulty, its format, and, of course, the type and proportional representation of its content. Following each practice test you will fi nd an answer key along with detailed step-by-step explanations designed to help you master the relevant material and score high.


To aid us in meeting our objective of providing you with the best possible study guide for the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test, REA’s test experts have carefully prepared our topical reviews and practice exams. Our authors come armed with specific knowledge of the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test. They have thoroughly examined and researched the mechanics of the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test to ensure that our model tests accurately depict the exam and appropriately challenge the student. Our experts are highly regarded in the educational community. They have taught and conducted scientific research at competitive institutions. They have an in-depth knowledge of the subjects presented in the book and provide accurate questions that will put you in a position to do your very best on the  exam.


The GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test is taken by students applying to graduate programs in biochemistry. Most programs require that applicants submit scores for both the GRE General Test and the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology

Test; together with other undergraduate records, they are part of the highly competitive admission process to graduate school. Both tests are offered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and administered throughout the United States and abroad. You can obtain a test registration booklet from your college or by contacting ETS directly. To determine if you should take the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test, contact the universities you are applying to for admission. For questions pertaining to GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology policies, contact:

Graduate Record Examinations

Educational Testing Service

P.O. Box 6000

Princeton, NJ 08541-6000

Phone: (866) 473-4373

Fax: 1-610-290-8975




Many students qualify for extra time to take the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test. For information on how ETS meets disability needs, contact:

ETS Disability Services

Educational Testing Service

P.O. Box 6054

Princeton, NJ 08541–6054

Phone: 1-866-387-8602 (toll free)

Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Eastern Time (New York)

TTY: 1-609-771-7714

Fax: 1-973-735-1892





The test is usually given three times a year and contains approximately 180 multiple-choice questions, which you must answer in 2 hours and 50 minutes. Each of the 180 questions is worth one point. There is a penalty for wrong answers, which serves to correct for “guessing.” For each wrong answer, one-quarter of a point is deducted from your score. Unanswered questions don’t count for or against you.


REA’s targeted subject review concisely and systematically summarizes the main areas tested on the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test. We have prepared it to help you better grasp concepts that your textbook explores in far greater detail.



Subject                                                                                                             Percent

Biochemistry:                                                                                                    36%

Chemical and Physical Foundations

Biomolecules: Structure, Assembly, Organization, and Dynamics

Catalysis and Binding

Major Metabolic Pathways

Bioenergetics (Including Respiration and Photosynthesis)

Regulation and Integration of Metabolism


Cell Biology:                                                                                                     28%

Cellular Compartments of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes:

Organization, Dynamics, and Functions

Cell Surface and Communication

Cytoskeleton, Motility, and Shape Actin-Based Systems

(Including Muscle Contraction)

Protein Synthesis and Processing

Cell Division, Differentiation, and Development

Molecular Biology and Genetics:                                                                      36%

Genetic Foundations

Chromatin and Chromosomes


Genome Maintenance

Gene Expression

Gene Regulation in Prokaryotes

Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes

Bacteriophages and Animal and Plant Viruses


By studying our review, your chances of scoring well on the actual exam will be greatly increased. It affords you a kind of master checklist for everything you need to know. After thoroughly studying the material presented in the review, you should go on to take

the practice tests. Used in combination, the review and practice tests will enhance your test-taking skills and give you the confidence needed to obtain a high score.




“Don’t worry.” Easier said than done, but rest assured that this book will help you assess yourself as well as the test. As with other GRE subject tests, the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test gauges knowledge that you have gained throughout your academic career. Most of what’s tested on the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test will require you to make use of information you learned in your General Biochemistry courses in college.

We at REA believe the best way to prep for the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test is to replicate the complete GRE test-taking experience. Toward that end, we provide two full-length exams that accurately reflect this subject test in terms of format, content, and degree of difficulty. Our practice exams mirror the latest GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test forms and include every type of question that you can expect to encounter when you take the exam. Following each of our practice

exams is an answer key complete with detailed explanations and solutions. Designed specifically to clarify the material for the student, the explanations not only provide the correct answers, but also explain why the answer to a particular question is indeed the

best choice. By completing both practice exams and studying the explanations that follow, you will isolate your strengths and weaknesses. This, in turn, will enable you to concentrate on attacking the sections of the exam you find to be toughest.

Participate in Study Groups

As a final word on how to study for this test, you may want to study with others. This will allow you to share knowledge and obtain feedback from other members of your study group. Study groups may make preparing for the exam more enjoyable.


Each correct response on both our practice tests and the actual exam earn you one “raw score” point, while each incorrect answer results in a 1/4-point deduction; omitted responses are not counted. Here is a formula for calculating your raw score:

__________    –    (__________   x 1/4) = __________

# of questions         # of questions

    correct                   incorrect

Now use the Conversion Chart on the next page to

determine your scaled score range.

Scoring Worksheet

                                          Raw Score                      Scaled Score

Practice Exam 1                ____________                 ____________

Practice Exam 2                ____________                 ____________



ETS administers three different editions of the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test; therefore, a range of raw scores is associated with your scaled score.

Raw Score                                           Scaled Score

162–180                                              800–860

131–161                                              700–790

101–130                                              600–690

70–100                                                500–590

39-69                                                   400–490

REA’s practice tests emulate every content and formatting aspect of the actual test. Your performance on our practice tests will, of course, only approximate your score on the actual GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test, because ETS uses a computerized statistical formula to weight performance.


Although you will probably have to take both the GRE General Test and the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Subject Test, try to avoid taking them on the same day. Taking any test is stressful, and after sitting for one extremely long standardized test, you will hardly be at your best for a second.

Be sure to register for testing dates several months before the due date to ensure that the graduate schools you designate will receive your scores by the application deadlines. Most schools will not consider an incomplete application. Because the test is not divided into sections, you are completely responsible for budgeting your own time. All the questions are worth the same number of points, so you should not spend too much time on any one item. The GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test attempts to cover a broad range of topics. It is unlikely that you will have complete knowledge of all of them. It is important that you do not spend too much time on questions you find difficult at the expense of working on those that are easier for you.

The time constraints are such that, on average, a little less than a minute is allotted for each question. Thus, it is unlikely that you will have time to answer all 180 questions; however, you can still receive an excellent score without answering all of them. Because the questions are in no particular order, we recommend making a complete sweep through all the questions on the test. Answer the ones that are immediately easy for you

and mark those that you want to revisit. Once you have answered all of the easier questions, you can use the remaining time to go back through the test and work on the harder questions, which require a greater amount of your time. In this way, you will ensure that you have the chance to answer all the questions you are likely to get correct, instead of spending valuable time on difficult questions near the beginning of the test and leaving easy questions at the end of the test unanswered.

The penalty for wrong answers should not deter you completely from guessing. If you have no clue what the answer might be, by all means press on. However, if you can eliminate one or two of the five choices, it is to your advantage to make an educated  guess. Statistically, guessing randomly among the five choices would give you the possibility of guessing correctly 1/5 of the time. (This is what the quarter-point deduction for wrong answers is designed to balance.) Being able to eliminate three of the choices as wrong answers means that guessing between the two remaining choices would give you

a far better chance of being correct.


On the day of the test, you should wake up early (after a decent night’s rest, we hope) and enjoy a good breakfast. Make sure you dress comfortably—in layers— so that you are not distracted by being too hot or too cold while taking the exam. You should plan on

arriving at the test center early. Doing so will spare you the needless anxiety that comes from racing the clock. It will also allow you to collect your thoughts, focus, and actually relax before taking the exam.

Before you leave for the test center, make sure that you have two forms of identification. You will not be admitted to the test center without proper identification. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, Social Security card, birth certificate, passport, and green card.

Make sure you bring at least two sharpened No. 2 pencils, with erasers, to the exam. You may want to wear a watch to the test center; however, only ordinary watches will be permitted. Watches with alarms, calculator functions, flashing lights, beeping sounds, etc., will not be allowed. In addition, neither food nor calculators will be allowed into the examination room.


When you arrive at the test center, try to sit in a seat where you feel you will be comfortable. No breaks are given during the exam. If you need to use the rest room, or if you become ill, you may leave the examination room, but you will not be allowed to make up any lost time.

Once you enter the test center, follow all of the rules and instructions given by the test supervisor. If you do not, you risk being dismissed from the examination or having your GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology scores voided, meaning that they will not be scored.

When all of the test materials have been distributed, the test instructor will give you directions for filling out your answer sheet. You must complete this sheet carefully since the information on it will be printed on your score report. Write your name exactly as it appears on your identification documents and admission ticket, unless otherwise instructed.

Make sure you do not write in your test booklet or on your answer sheet, except to fill in the oval corresponding to the answer you choose. Scratch paper will be provided. You will be marking your answers on side two of your answer sheet. Each numbered row will contain five ovals corresponding to each answer choice for that question. Fill in the oval corresponding to your answer darkly, completely, and neatly. You can change your answer, but remember to completely erase your old answer. Only one answer should be marked. This is very important, as your answer sheet will be machine scored, and stray lines or unnecessary marks may cause the machine to score your answers incorrectly.

Work only on the test section on which the test instructor has instructed you to proceed. You should begin only when instructed to do so, and stop immediately when instructed to stop. Do not turn to the next section of the test until you are told to do so. When all of the sections have been completed, you should remain seated until all of the test materials have been collected.

Good luck on the GRE Biochemistry,

Cell and Molecular Biology Subject Test!

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Table of Contents



Chemical Bonds and Energy Conservation 

Thermodynamics and Energy Conservation 

Potential Energy Curve 

Redox States

Water, pH, Acid-Base Reactions, and Buffers 

Structure of Water 

Acid-Base Reactions 

Concept of Acids and Bases in Relationship to pH 


Biomolecular Structures 

Amino Acids and Proteins 

Structure of Proteins 

Primary Structure 

Secondary Structure 


ß-Pleated sheets 


Tertiary Structure 

Quaternary Structure 

Chemical and Enzymatic Reaction Mechanisms 

Chemical Reaction Mechanisms 




About This Book and TESTware®

About REA's Test Experts

About the Test

Format of the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test

Scoring the Test 

Score Conversion Chart 

Test-Taking Strategies 

The Day of the Test

During the Test

Study Schedule 

First-Order Reactions 

Second-Order Reactions 

Some Factors That Influence Reaction Rates 

Enzymatic Reaction Mechanisms 

How Does an Enzyme Help Lower the Energy/Heat of Activation of a Reaction 

Proximity and Orientation 

Covalent Catalysis 

Strain and Distortion 

Acid-Base Catalysis 

Selected List of Coenzymes and Their Roles in Catalysis 

Classification of Enzymes by the Types of Reactions They Catalyze 







Enzyme Kinetics 

Practical Aspect of Initial Velocity Measurement 

Lineweaver-Burk Plots 

Diagnostic Value of Lineweaver-Burk Plots: Enzyme Inhibition 

Classification of the Types of Enzyme Inhibitors 

Mechanism-Based Inhibitors 

Two-Substrate Reactions 

Sequential Reactions May Be Either Random or Ordered

Ping-Pong or Double-Displacement Reactions 

Antibodies as Catalysts 

Regulation of Enzymatic Activity 

Summary of Regulatory Mechanisms 

Kinetic Models for Allosteric Regulation 

Kinetic Description of Allosteric Interactions: The Concerted Model 

Significance of the Hill Coefficient 


Forms of Conserved Energy in Metabolism 


Reaction That Commits Glucose Metabolism to Glycolysis 

Aldolase Catalyzes the Production of Two -Carbon

Compounds from Fru ,-P 

Triose Phosphate Isomerase 

Glyceraldehyde -Phosphate Dehydrogenase (GAPDH) Reaction 

Phosphoglycerate Kinase Reaction 

Phosphoglycerate Mutase Reaction 

Enolase Catalyzes the Second “High-Energy” Compound in Glycolysis 

Pyruvate Kinase Generates the Second ATP Molecule in Glycolysis 

Summary of Glycolysis 

Pyruvate Metabolism: Formation of Acetylcoenzyme A 

The Tricarboxyclic Acid Cycle (TCA Cycle) 

Regulation of the TCA cycle 

Anaplerotic Reactions for the TCA Cycle 

Oxidative Phosphorylation 

Pentose Phosphate Pathway 

Oxidative Phase of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway 

Nonoxidative Phase of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway 

Glucuronic Acid Oxidative Pathway 

Gluconeogenesis and Glycogenesis 

Summary of Entry Points in the TCA Cycle

and Glycolysis That Can Lead to Gluconeogenesis 

Glycogen Metabolism 



Regulation of Glycogen Metabolism 


Photochemical Consideration of Light Absorption and Energy Generation 

Light Independent Reactions of Photosynthesis: The Calvin Cycle 

Adaptive Photosynthetic Mechanisms 

Nitrogen Metabolism 

Nitrogen Fixation 

Chemical Reactions of Pyridoxyl Phosphate Relative to Amino Acid Metabolism 

Biosynthesis of Amino Acids 

Amino Acids Derived from Oxaloacetate/Aspartate 

Amino Acids Derived from -Phosphoglycerate 




Amino Acids Derived from Pyruvate

Amino Acids Derived from a-Ketoglutarate 

Amino Acids Derived from Phosphoenolpyruvate and Erythrose--phosphate 


Degradation of Amino Acids 


The Urea Cycle 

Nucleotide Structure and Metabolism 

Synthesis of Purines 

Summary of Key Points About Purine Biosynthesis 

Degradation of Purines 

Synthesis of Pyrimidines 

Synthesis of Deoxyribonucleotides 

Regulation of Ribonucleotide Reductase Activity 

Thymine Biosynthesis 

Degradation of Pyrimidines 

Heme Metabolism 

Heme and Chlorophyll Biosynthesis 

Heme and Chlorophyll Degradation 

Lipid Metabolism 

Fatty Acid Biosynthesis 

Elongation of Palmitic Acid 

Formation of Unsaturated Fatty Acids 

Nomenclature and Other Positions Where Desaturases Function 

Arachiodonic Acid and Signaling/Regulatory Molecules 

Cholesterol and Steroid Hormones Are Derived from Acetate 

Fatty Acids Are Stored as Triglycerides 


Fatty Acid Oxidation 

Special Cases to Consider for b-Oxidation of Fatty Acids 


Methods for Cell Disruption 

Mechanical Methods 

Nonmechanical Methods of Cell Disruption 

Separation of Cellular Components by Centrifugation 

Centrifugal Force Required to Pellet Selected Cellular Components 

Purification of Soluble Proteins


Ion Exchange Chromatography 

Hydrophobic Interaction Chromatography 

Gel Filtration Chromatography 

Affinity Chromatography 

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) 

Isotopes Used to Study Biological Systems 

Radioactive Isotopes 

Stable Isotopes 

Relationship of Solute Concentration to Its Absorbance of Light 

Absorbance of Light and the Lambert-Beer Law 

Sample Analyses by Electrophoresis 

Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (PAGE) 

Two-Dimensional Gel Electrophoresis 

Determination of Molecular Mass Using SDS Denaturing Gels 

Western Blot Analysis

Cellular Compartments of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes 

Organization, Dynamics, and Functions 


General Introduction to Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes 



Cell Death 



Cellular Membrane Systems (Structure and Transport) 

Prokaryotic Cells, Plasma Membrane, and Cell Wall 

Eukaryotic Plasma Membranes and Cell Walls 

Membrane Biogenesis 

Membrane Transport 

Inactive Transport 

Active Transport 

Exo- and Endocytosis 


Nucleus (Envelope and Matrix) and Chromosomes 

Prokaryotic Cells—Chromosome 

Eukaryotic Cells—Chromosomes and Nucleus 

Other Intracellular Structures, Including Mitochondria and Chloroplasts 



Specialized Structures and Other Characteristics 

Cell Dynamics 

Cell Surface and Cell Communication 

Extracellular Matrix 

The Extracellular Matrix of Connective Tissue 

Connective Tissue 

The Proteins of Connective Tissue 

The Extracellular Matrix of Endothelial Tissue 

Cell–Cell Interaction 

Binding of Cells to the Extracellular Matrix 

Communication between Extracellular Matrix and Cytoskeleton 

Cell Adhesion and Junctions: Cell–Cell Communication 

Signal Transduction and Receptor Function 

Cell Membrane Receptors 

Second Messenger Systems 

The cAMP Pathway 

The Phosphatidylinositol Pathway 

G-Protein-Associated Ion Channels 

Receptors That Are Enzymes 

Steroid and Thyroid Hormones 

Excitable Membrane Systems 

Cytoskeleton, Motility, and Shape

Actin Filaments 

Actin in Muscle Contraction 


Intermediate Filaments 

Organization of the Cytoskeleton 

Cell Surface Structures of Prokaryotes 

Protein Synthesis and Processing 

Cell Division, Differentiation, and Development 

Bacterial Cell Division 

Eukaryotic Cell Cycle 

Mitosis and Cytokinesis 


Growth Factors 

Meiosis and Gametogenesis 

Fertilization and Early Embryonic Development 



Early Mammalian Development 

From Gastrula to Fully Developed Organism 

Positional Information 

Nuclear/Cytoplasmic Interactions 

Tissue-Specific Expression 


Mendelian and Non-Mendelian Inheritance 

Punnett Square Diagrams 

Transformation, Transduction, and Conjugation 

Recombination and Complementation 

Mutational Analysis 

Genetic Mapping and Linkage Analysis 

Chromatin and Chromosomes 


Translocations, Inversions, Deletions, and Duplications 

Aneuploidy and Polyploidy 



Genome Structure 

Repeated DNA and Gene Families 

Centromeres and Telomeres 

Gene Identifi cation 

Transposable Elements 

Gene Maintenance 

DNA Replication 

The Challenges of DNA Replication 

DNA Damage and Repair

DNA Modifi cation 

DNA Recombination and Gene Conversion 

Branch Migration 

Gene Conversion 

The Genetic Code 


Gene Regulation in Prokaryotes 

Positive and Negative Control of the Operon 

Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes 

Cis- and Trans-Acting Regulatory Elements 

Gene Rearrangements and Amplifi cation 

Bacteriophages and Animal and Plant Viruses 

Genome Replication and Regulation 

Virus-Host Interactions 


Restriction Maps 

DNA Cloning in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes 

Other Uses of Restriction Endonucleases 

Nucleic Acid Blotting and Hybridization 


Sequencing and Analysis 

Protein-Nucleic Acid Interaction 

Site-Directed Mutagenesis 

Answer to Mapping Problem 

Practice Exams 

Answer Sheet: Practice Exam  

Practice Exam  

Answer Key 

Detailed Explanations of Answers 

Answer Sheet: Practice Exam  

Practice Exam  

Answer Key 

Detailed Explanations of Answers 


Installing REA's TESTware®

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

    An ok place to start

    I picked this GRE Biochem study guide because it was the only one at my local store, I've never heard of REA before and would have preferred a Kaplan text if there was one. It's not the best written book, some of the information is difficult to grasp if you are not already partially familiar with the subject matter. There are lots of visual aids in the Biochem section, fewer in the Cell Bio section and very few in the Molecular Bio section. I think this is a good place to begin preparing for the exam but there are LOTS of free online resources that you should use to supplement as well as textbooks. I would have liked example problems in the text but I had to rely on the 2 tests to check my ability to apply the information.
    The testing software isn't as great as they make it sound, the answer explanations aren't always helpful and in both of the tests there are questions with the incorrect answer labeled as correct.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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