A  GRE score can be interpreted in many ways, what may seem satisfactory to you may not necessarily be good enough to convince the admissions committee of your targeted university. To know whether your GRE score is good enough, it is essential to check the average GRE score required by your targeted university and aim to score within or beyond that GRE score range. Although a good GRE score is going to be a game-changer, there are several other factors to consider when setting your GRE targets. This article will help you understand, what is a good GRE score range, how to interpret a GRE score range percentile and more. However, before we move ahead, it is essential to understand how both the GRE test types are scored. So read on !

Understanding GRE Score Range for General and  Subject Tests

The GRE scores for the subject and general tests are very different. While the lowest total score for the general test is 260 and the highest is 340, the GRE score range for the subject test is 200–990.

Now let’s look at both the tests separately.

Both the quantitative and verbal reasoning sections of the GRE general test have a score range between 130–170 with a one-point increment. The AWA section, however, is scored between the range of 0–6 with a half-point increment. Hence, the sum of both your quantitative and verbal reasoning sections will determine your total score on the GRE general test.

According to ETS’s data that measures the performance of all its test-takers, the average score on the quantitative reasoning section is 153.39 and the verbal reasoning is 150.37. Hence, the total average score sums up to 303 which means 45th percentile. As for the GRE AWA section, the average score is 3.58. 

With regards to the GRE subject test, the average scores are as follows:

  • Biology – 665
  • Chemistry – 689
  • English literature – 542
  • Mathematics – 664
  • Physics – 714
  • Psychology – 619

Hence, one can interpret from this scoring pattern and the data presented by ETS that if you cross the average score, you are well above the average test-taker. To help you further understand, we’ve explained below what percentile do below average, average, good and excellent GRE scores fall under.

What is a Good GRE Score Range Percentile?

After understanding the scoring pattern of the GRE and what are the average scores of test-takers on the quant and verbal section, you may begin to question as to what GRE percentile is desirable? To answer your question, we’ve structured estimated data below in a table that will help you understand the score range and what percentile they fall under.

GRE Score and PercentileBelow Average ScoreAverage ScoreGood ScoreExcellent Score
Percentile25th Percentile50th Percentile75th Percentile90th Percentile
GRE Score292300318329

From the above estimates, we can understand that if your score is in the range of 300 but less than 318, then you have scored better than 50 test-takers out of every 100. Similarly, if you achieve a score of 292 then you have fared better than 25 test-takers out of every 100 of them. Hence, the higher you score on the GRE test, the higher you rank when compared to other test-takers. Looking at the table above, it is clear that if you want to gain a competitive advantage, then a GRE Score range between 318 and 329 is highly desirable, placing you between the 75th and 90th percentile.    

Now that you know what a good GRE score range 2021 is and the GRE score range percentile that is most desirable, you’re in a better position to set your GRE goals. Remember! It is essential to not just set your GRE goals based on these estimates, you must also take into consideration candidacy and what score will give you a competitive advantage.

All in all, it is essential to understand what is a good GRE score and the scoring pattern to help you set your target and prepare accordingly. Without setting the desired goal, you will never be able to guide your preparation in the right direction.

All the best!


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