Wondering what is a good GRE score for an MS program at a highly ranked university? Want to know what is a good GRE score that can get you into universities such as MIT or Stanford? This article will help you understand what to aim for when you start preparing for your GRE test. Hence, you can then plan your preparations, accordingly, keeping in mind the score that your desired university asks for. Let’s begin by understanding how universities evaluate your GRE scores.
Applying for an MS Program in Engineering with Good GRE Scores
Before you begin setting your GRE goals and strategizing your exam prep approach, it is essential to carry out some research on what are the average GRE score requirements of your desired universities. In case you’re wondering where you can get the data on top-ranking universities and their average GRE score requirements, you can check out reputable organizations such as QS top university rankings to get a fair idea of what are the top universities globally and if you’re looking for data pertaining to the USA then US News and World Report is a better choice to get information on top ranking engineering universities in the country. However, to get access to the university’s average GRE score requirement, you may have to register and pay for the information.
What next after you have the information on top-ranking universities and their average GRE score requirements? You will notice from the information on the sources mentioned above that there is a direct correlation between the rank of the university and the average GRE score required, particularly the quant section. The higher the rank of the university, the greater the average GRE score required. However, you should know that the admissions committee not only looks at your GRE scores to grant you admission into their MS program.
You may be aware that the GRE verbal and quantitative reasoning sections consist of 40 questions each. Hence, the highest possible raw score you can achieve is a 40. Furthermore, these raw scores are converted on a scale ranging between 130 to 170. This conversion depends on how you answer each of the questions. As you answer questions correctly in both sections, the test increases the level of difficulty. Hence, the higher your difficulty level the higher you will score on the test. Let’s dig further into the details on good GRE scores for Engineering.
Good GRE Score in Verbal for MS in Engineering Programs
When it comes to the GRE verbal section, engineering universities pay slightly lesser weightage to these scores and it makes complete sense because a program such as an engineering one may require you to be more equipped with math skills rather than language. Hence, the average GRE verbal score required to get into an engineering program is only 149.
While a score like that in your quant section will not get you a higher rank and will further weaken your application, such an average score on the verbal section will not affect your application significantly. However, this does not imply that you do not study for the verbal section at all.
Good GRE Score in Quant for MS in Engineering Programs
As mentioned earlier, the GRE quant section is what the admissions committee of most engineering universities will evaluate due to the nature of the program. Since you are required to have certain math skills to be eligible for the MS program, you need to gain a higher score in the quant section of the GRE test. While the average verbal score of those intending to study an engineering master’s program is 149, it comes as no surprise that the average quant score is 159. A score of 159 in the GRE quant section translates to the 69th percentile. Hence, you can say you have a good GRE score in quant should you score above the 69th percentile. Furthermore, by gaining a higher percentile you are strengthening your application to the MS program.
Moreover, when you compare average GRE scores required by engineering specializations, these averages will tend to vary. Hence, it is essential that you not only rely on the average score requirement of the program but also take into consideration the average score requirement by specialization. For instance, the average GRE quant score required for an MS in chemical engineering is 161 and that of mechanical engineering is 159. So, now that you are aware of these averages, you are in a better position to set your goals for the GRE quant section.
How Do You Get a Good GRE Score?
The first step to answering this question is to first evaluate your math skills. If you feel you have a strong foundation in mathematics then it is essential you start preparing using the GRE study material available online. However, it cannot be stressed enough that you need to develop a study plan for a duration that you think will be required for you to complete practising the GRE material and stick to it. It is also helpful to enrol into a GRE prep class so that you can learn strategies on how to solve questions in a shorter duration using shortcuts. Remember! The key to acing the GRE is small durations of regular practice rather than trying to study everything at the last moment of your exam.
Now that you are aware of how to set your GRE goal to get a good GRE score, you are in a better position to start your preparation. It is better to do thorough research on what your targeted universities require when it comes to GRE scores rather than simply aim for a higher score. Moreover, GRE scores aren’t the only criteria that universities use to evaluate an application. Hence, you do not want to spend all your energy on it.