If you are planning to pursue a graduate programme abroad, the GRE exam is your way in. Most of the Universities abroad require you to submit your GRE scores. So, have you been wondering what the GRE cut off scores of your dream universities are? We will answer this question as well as provide information on the GRE scoring scheme. We will also cover the frequently asked question, what exactly is a good GRE score? Keep reading!

GRE Scoring Scheme 

It is important to understand the scoring scheme before you start preparing for the exam. This helps you set target scores or personal goals and work towards them along the way.

The GRE score is divided into two components based on how it is calculated. The first component being scaling scores and the second being percentile ranking. The percentile ranking helps you understand how you have fared as compared to the other candidates. For example, if your percentile rank is 78th, it means you have performed better than 78 percent of the total number of candidates who have appeared for the exam. 

The scoring for each component is as follows: 

  1. Verbal Reasoning – 130-170
  2. Quantitative Reasoning – 130-170
  3. Analytical Writing Assessment – 0-6 

While the scoring increases by a one-point increment for both Verbal and Quantitative reasoning, the scoring increases by a half-point increment for the GRE AWA. As per the scaling scores, the highest total score would be 340, whereas the lowest total score would be 260.  However, are  you still wondering what would count as a good or even an average score? Read on to find out. 

GRE Score Range

The GRE Score Range is as follows: 

GRE Score Ranges based on Performance GRE Verbal Reasoning GRE Quantitative Reasoning GRE Analytical Writing Assessment 
Best GRE Score Range 163 to 170 165 to 1705.0 to 6.0
Competitive GRE Score Range158 to 162159 to 1644.5
Good GRE Score Range152 to 158153 to 1584.0
Average GRE Score Range 146 to 150 150 to 1533.5
Poor GRE Score Range Below 139Below 141Below 3.0 

What is a Good GRE Score?

A good GRE score is important to get into the University of your choice. But how do you determine what is a good score? Any score above 300 would rank you in the 90-100 percentile range, and this would make it an excellent score. A good score would be an average of all the components, which would be 300 or a little over 300 and this would rank you in the 70-75 range. An average score would be anything below 300, as that would rank you in the 50-60 range. These numbers might be overwhelming to process, but keep in mind, your target score should be influenced by the requirements set by the University and the specific programme you wish to apply for. This is where GRE cut off scores come into the picture. These cut off scores help you understand what score will help you seal the deal with the Universities. 

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GRE Cutoff

Test your knowledge on a few GRE sample questions with this quiz!

1 / 3

Question Type: Quantitative Comparison

X = 60

Quantity AQuantity B
“40% of X”40% of what number is “X” 

2 / 3

 The rate at which rails of a train track wear out depends on various factors, including the climate in which they operate, the number of trains that use those tracks every day and the size and the weight of the train that is using it. One of the frequently used mode of transport to the Boston Seaport is the railway with a pair of tracks – one leading into the seaport and one leading away from it. The side leading into the seaport has worn faster, even though each side has virtually carried the same number of trains because the trains that enter the Boston Seaport have to leave invariable due to lack of a shed inside. 

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the difference in the rate of wear of the tracks?

3 / 3


Quantity AQuantity B
Value of “m”Value of “n”

Your score is

The average score is 33%


GRE Scores for Top Universities  

Most Universities abroad have certain guidelines for admission into specific programmes. One such prerequisite is a good GRE score. While there is no official cut off score for the exam set by ETS, most universities have one and they tend to vary as per specific program requirements. The top-ranked Universities expect higher GRE scores in order to admit worthy candidates into their programmes. The GRE cut off for Universities in the US is higher as compared to the rest, hence it is recommended that candidates applying to the US vigorously prepare for the examination. 

The GRE scores required for top universities in the US are as follows:

Top Universities Verbal Reasoning Quantitative Reasoning 
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT)  158                     162
University Of California Berkeley (UCB)154160
Oxford University160+160+
University Of Michigan 154161
Purdue University 158163
Texas A&M University157158-164
California Of Technology (Caltech)149150
University Of Toronto 150150

Universities that have Waived Off the GRE Cut Off Scores in 2022

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of students had to defer their admissions to 2022. This has in turn created a surge in applicants applying to universities in the US this year. Owing to the repercussions on the economy caused by the pandemic, some of the universities have waived off the GRE cutoff scores. Here is a list of the universities who have waived off the scores: 

  1. University of Washington, Seattle
  2. University of Minnesota
  3. New York University
  4. Boston University ( Exempted only for applicants applying to Master of Science and Engineering degree programs)
  5. University of California, San Diego 
  6. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Hopefully, we have provided answers to a couple of questions regarding the scores, scoring schemes, GRE cutoff scores, GRE scores, and top GRE colleges or universities. Moreover, once you have a strong grasp of the fundamentals of scoring schemes for the GRE, setting up a target score and working towards achieving it will be easy. 


  1. How should I choose my GRE target score?

Your target score should take into account the GRE cutoff scores of the various universities you are applying to. Choose a target score that if you succeed in achieving, you should be able to comfortably get through the admissions processes of your preferred schools.

  1. What is the maximum composite GRE score I can get?

The maximum GRE score possible is 340. This takes into account the scaled scores of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections.

  1. Is the AWA score important even though it does not contribute to the final GRE score?

Absolutely. The AWA score will be used by universities to determine your ability to form coherent arguments and articulate your thoughts, and this section should not be neglected.


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