There is certainly no rule anywhere (barring the rules options you mention) that the GM needs to tell you anything about the behavior of spells (or monsters, or...), and they usually won't, so the real question at hand is "well but can I look it up/know it myself?" We will proceed with that new question.
While by the Pathfinder rules, there are specific ways to learn about spells, the rules themselves are silent on the acceptability of meta-gaming - the acting on player instead of character knowledge about monsters, spells, and so on.
This ends up being a playstyle decision that different groups see differently. Unfortunately, they don't always bother to say it out loud because everyone thinks "their experience" must be normative. And also, this is a topic groups tend to feel strongly about.
Many groups explicitly or tacitly expect no metagaming, or at least for your metagaming to be politely concealed. Gaming groups with more of a focus on immersion, world exploration, acting in character, etc. may tend towards this expectation. "Your character wouldn't know that" and acting plausibly in the game world is more important than "winning."
Note that in this case the GM isn't going to tell you what the e.g. spell does because your character doesn't know it.
Many groups are fine with metagaming. Although "looking it up at the table" may stretch even these groups' patience, gamist-oriented playstyles often consider "player ability" via knowing these things to be a key part of the game and tolerate or encourage metagaming. "Winning" is more important than other concerns.
Note that in this case the GM isn't going to tell you what the spell etc. does because that's cheating and making it easy for you; you need to up your game and read the books more.
Unfortunately, there's not a lot of options in the middle here, and groups that have some people doing one and some doing the other will tend to fight about it. Some folks metagaming disrupts the non-metagamers' fun more than the other way around, so arguments around this get heated.
In shared campaigns like Pathfinder Society, it's impossible to stop people from doing it, so it tends to have at least some metagamers in it. As a result most PFS play isn't very simulationist or narrativist. (Those wishing to complain about my use of GNS terminology can direct their concerns to /dev/null.)
However, a lot of older edition play - like a West Marches campaign might tend towards - is much more invested in exploratory play and can have a dim view of metagaming.
But then how?
Then how the heck do you ever know to sunder a limp lash or cut off a hydra’s head or use shatter on a demilich? Aren’t these an insoluble trick problem?
No. One, your character could be trying out of the box solutions more generally. Does that seem kinda da solid? Maybe you can hit it... but it’s also an opportunity to play smarter. Research opponents. Ask somebody. “Hey magic sage I got choked out by this black energy whip what could I have done about that?” Also, if you are a fighter without high Spellcraft, maybe a party member should be making those checks and helping you out... Old school sandbox campaigns (like West Marches style) often want you to do real in-world problem solving and consider looking it up lazy cheating.
So you should have a discussion with your group about the appropriateness you all find for metagaming so that you all have a happy agreement.