Unaware of what GRE score percentiles are? Worry not, we are here to help you understand it. Getting an overview of GRE score percentiles is equally important as understanding the GRE scoring pattern. Hence, through the course of this article, we will give you a detailed explanation of score percentiles for the GRE general and subject tests. 

GRE Scores

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is an admission requirement for graduate programs in India and abroad. This exam has three sections — Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing, and Verbal Reasoning. The GRE Analytical Writing Assessment section is scored on a range of 0 to 6, in half-point increment. On the contrary, the score range of GRE Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning is 130 to 170, in a one-point increment. Besides, your scores in Verbal and Quantitative sections contribute to the final GRE score. 

Here is a table that will give you a quick overview of the GRE scores and an idea about the GRE scoring pattern.

GRE SectionsScore Range
Verbal Reasoning130-170 (in 1 point increments)
Analytical Writing0-6 (half point increments)
Quantitative Reasoning130-170 (in 1 point increments)

To determine your final score, the ETS GRE first calculates the raw scores (based on the number of questions that you answer correctly in your GRE test). Once the raw scores are calculated, it is then converted into a scaled score. The conversion is done through a process called equating, which is based on the difficulty level of the questions attempted by you. Besides, some questions may have more weightage than others, since the GRE test is a section-level computer-adaptive test (for Quant and Verbal). 

The Analytical Writing section is scored in a different way. Your response to the two tasks —  Analyze an Issue and Analyze an Argument —  are scored by one trained rater, and  an e-rater. Your final score is calculated by taking the average of these two scores. If the two scores don’t match, another trained rater rechecks the essays, and the average of scores submitted by both the human raters are your final score. 

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GRE Score Percentiles

Test your knowledge with these GRE questions.

1 / 3

How many numbers between 0 to 100(both inclusive) are perfect squares?

2 / 3

Brandon’s criticism of the main character  in Gone With the Wind is too ----------------------------- to be acknowledged without  more research.

3 / 3

According to futuristic writings in the 1960s, robots would soon drastically reduce crime. With night vision and the ability to detect the chemicals involved in ballistics, such robots could be programmed to paralyze anyone roaming the street at night with a gun: virtually all criminals fit that description. These criminals would be incapacitated and thus unable to resist an easy arrest. 

Which of the following, if true, most strongly indicates that the logic of the prediction is flawed?

Your score is

The average score is 40%

0%

GRE Score Percentiles for the General Test 

Your GRE total score percentile helps you compare your scores to other GMAT aspirants. The percentile scores indicate how competitive your scores are. Let’s consider an example to understand better: A percentile score of 99, indicates that 99 percent of test-takers scored less than you in a specific GRE section. However, keep in mind that the GRE percentiles vary from section to section, even for the same score. There are several GRE percentile calculators available online which help you estimate and predict your percentile. You will have to input your scores in the Verbal and Quant sections and click on submit to find your corresponding percentile scores.

The GRE score percentiles 2021 for the general test are as follows: 

Verbal Reasoning Percentiles:

Verbal Reasoning  Percentile RankVerbal Reasoning Score
96-99165-170
86-96160-165
68-86155-160
46-68150-155
26-46145-150
11-26140-145
3-11135-140
1-3131-135

Quantitative Reasoning Percentiles:

Quantitative Reasoning Percentile RankQuantitative Reasoning Score
86-96165-170
73-86160-165
56-73155-160
37-56150-155
19-37145-150
7-19140-145
2-7135-140
1-2130-135

Analytical Writing Percentiles:

ScorePercentile Rank For Analytical Writing
6.099
5.598
5.093
4.582
4.059
3.542
3.017
2.57
2.02
1.51
1.0No Rank Available 
0.5No Rank Available 

As you can see, from 0.5 to 1.0 there are no ranks available. This is to indicate that none of the candidates have scored below 1.5 in the analytical writing section.

GRE Score Percentile for the Subject Test

The GRE subject test is offered for four subjects— Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. Each of these subject tests are scored between 200 to 990, which increases by a ten-point increment. The sub-scores of each section in the GRE subject test is scored between 20 to 99, which increases by a one-point increment. The sub-scores are also taken into consideration while calculating the total GRE score of the subject test. 

The GRE score percentiles for the subject test are as follows: 

Score Chemistry Mathematics Physics Psychology
900-98096-9994-9781-95
800-90077-9675-9464-8199
700-80050-7756-7547-6472-99
600-70024-5036-5628-4736-72
500-6006-2415-369-2814-36
400-5000-62-151-93-14
300-400No Rank Available 0-20-11-3
200-300No Rank Available No Rank Available No Rank Available No Rank Available 

Yet again, you will notice there are no ranks available for the scores from 200 to 300, this indicates that none of the candidates have scored less than 300 in any of the subject tests. 

GRE Cut-Off for Top Universities

Now that you have an idea of what GRE percentile scores are, let’s take a look at the GRE scores cut off for the top universities in the world. 

Business SchoolGRE Cut Off Score 
University Of Virginia Darden School Of Business323
UC-Berkeley Haas School Of Business325
Stanford Graduate School Of Business329
Carnegie Mellon Tepper School Of Business321
Yale School Of Management 329
Harvard Business School 328
UCLA Anderson School Of Management 328
NYU Stern School Of Business323
Dartmouth Tuck School Of Business319

What is a Good Score Percentile on GRE?

A good percentile on the GRE exam varies depending on the school you choose and program you apply for. Besides, the percentile scores change within the sections of the exam too. Hence giving  an exact answer to the question what is a good percentile score on GRE is not ideal. However, many degree programs abroad set 50th to 60th GRE percentile benchmarks, which means you have to perform better than at least 50 to 60% test takers who appeared for the test. 

What Percentile Should You Aim For?

As mentioned above, the percentile you should aim for depends on the programs and colleges you apply to. Try to aim for a higher percentile than your target school’s preferred benchmark. Most of the schools don’t prefer applicants who score less than 50th percentile. Hence, try not to put yourself in that bottom percentile, if you wish to pursue higher studies in a top university. 

How to Improve the Percentile Scores?

A good score percentile can only be achieved through proper preparation. Hence, here are some free online resources that will help you prepare well for the exam. 

We have given you a detailed overview of the GRE score percentiles for the year 2021. Now that you understand what a score percentile is, start your preparation and aim for a good score! 

FAQs

  1. Is 75th percentile a good score?
    A percentile score of 75 means you’ve scored more than 75% of test takers. However, whether this is a good score entirely depends on the course and university you wish to apply to.
  1. Where can I find my percentile score?
    You can find your percentile score in your official GRE report.
  1. What is the validity of the GRE score?
    The GRE score is valid for 5 years from the date of the test.
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