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.
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 Sections||Score Range|
|Verbal Reasoning||130-170 (in 1 point increments)|
|Analytical Writing||0-6 (half point increments)|
|Quantitative Reasoning||130-170 (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.
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 Rank||Verbal Reasoning Score|
Quantitative Reasoning Percentiles:
|Quantitative Reasoning Percentile Rank||Quantitative Reasoning Score|
Analytical Writing Percentiles:
|Score||Percentile Rank For Analytical Writing|
|1.0||No Rank Available|
|0.5||No 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:
|300-400||No Rank Available||0-2||0-1||1-3|
|200-300||No 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 School||GRE Cut Off Score|
|University Of Virginia Darden School Of Business||323|
|UC-Berkeley Haas School Of Business||325|
|Stanford Graduate School Of Business||329|
|Carnegie Mellon Tepper School Of Business||321|
|Yale School Of Management||329|
|Harvard Business School||328|
|UCLA Anderson School Of Management||328|
|NYU Stern School Of Business||323|
|Dartmouth Tuck School Of Business||319|
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!
- 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.
- Where can I find my percentile score?
You can find your percentile score in your official GRE report.
- What is the validity of the GRE score?
The GRE score is valid for 5 years from the date of the test.