How is the GRE Scored?

What is a good GRE score?

Three scored sections

Before discussing what a good GRE score is, we need to know how the GRE is scored in the first place. The GRE is broken down into three sections, and each has its own individual score. The three sections are

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  1. How is the GRE scored?
  2. What is a good GRE score?
  3. What is the average GRE score?
  4. How long are GRE scores valid?
  5. How do I improve my GRE score?
  6. Read our GRE students' reviews
  7. GRE Exam - Section by Section
    1. Verbal Reasoning Section
    2. Quantitative Reasoning Section
    3. Analytical Writing Section

How is the GRE scored?

The reasoning and quantitative reasoning scores range between 130 and 170. Within that range, scores are given in one point increments. An analytical writing score is given from zero to six in half-point increments.

Both the verbal and quantitative sections are normally distributed with an average score around 150 points. Your raw score is the number of questions you answered correctly out of the 40 questions from each of the Verbal and quantitative sections. This raw score is then transformed into a scaled score, anywhere between 130 to 170, through a method known as equating.

Equating is how to calculate GRE scores by making the scores precise and balanced for all the students taking their tests in more than 1,000 GRE test centres globally. For GRE Analytical Writing section, the 2 tasks are scored by one skilled rater and an e-rater, a computerised program used by the ETS.

What is a good GRE score?

A “good” GRE score isn’t so much about what score you manage to achieve, but rather the score you need to get into your desired school. Of course, the higher the score you earn, the better chance of getting into your dream grad school.

However, there are common baselines that can tell you what scores are considered a good GRE score and which scores will put you in the top 10% of test takers. See the percentile table above.

What is the average GRE score?

The average GRE scores in each category are 150 on verbal reasoning and 153 on quantitative reasoning. The average analytical writing score is 3.5. These scores are calculated from over 1.7 million test takers throughout the year.

Even if your overall GRE score is considered average, there is still a chance you might get into your desired program. Schools may value one part of your overall GRE score higher than the other. Each school is different, so it is best to aim for the highest score you can on every section.

How long are GRE scores Valid?

GRE scores are reportable for 5 years following your test date.

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