The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is an exam to be taken if you are applying for graduate and postgraduate degrees in universities across the globe. Most universities lay emphasis on a good GRE score to get into their programs. So, wondering what is a good GRE score? In this article, we will discuss everything about GRE scores. To begin with, we will give a brief of how the GRE scores are divided amongst Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. 

GRE Score Range 

The GRE scores for both, the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning, range from 130 to 170. The Analytical Writing on the other hand, ranges from 0-6. While the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning scores increase by one-point increments, the Analytical Writing increases only by a half-point increment. 

The maximum score for Analytical Writing is 6, whereas the minimum score is 2. Besides, the maximum GRE score is 340, whereas the minimum GRE score is 260. However, the GRE cut off for each university differs, hence, you should check that before you apply to the institutions of your choice. Moreover, the GRE score range for the subject test ranges from 200 to 900, which increases by a 10-point increment. 

Percentile Rank 

The GRE scores are also calculated by converting them into percentile ranks. Percentile ranking denotes how you have ranked in comparison to the other candidates. If your GRE score is 170 in each of the components (Verbal and Quant), your percentile rank would be 99. This indicates that you have performed better than 99 people who have taken the test. Similarly, if your score is 165 in each of the components, your percentile rank would be 96. 

Good GRE score

Now that you have understood the GRE scoring scheme, let’s move onto what would be considered a good score? We have formulated a table for you to decipher what would be a good GRE score, an average GRE score and poor GRE score. 

  1. Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning


Score range  Percentile Rank  Performance 
320- 340  85- 99 Excellent 
300-320 50-55 Good 
280- 300 40-50 Average 
Below 260 30-40 Poor 
  1. b) Analytical Writing 
Score range  Percentile Rank  Performance 
5.0- 6.0    92 – 99 Excellent 
4.5- 5.0  80- 92 Good 
3.5 – 4.5 38- 80 Average 
2.0- 3.5 1- 38 Poor 

As you can see, a score of 300 and more accounts for a good GRE score. An average GRE score would range anywhere from 280 to 300. And, since 260 is the minimum GRE score, anything below 260 will not guarantee you  admission in the university of your choice. 

However, these GRE scores vary from university to university. It also differs depending on the course of your choice. Hence, it is essential to make a note of the GRE scores set by the university for the course you want to apply to. This will not help ease your preparation process, but also provide you clarity when you set your target score.

GRE Score Card 

Once you have completed the GRE exam, you will receive a GRE score card or report. The score card is also directly sent to the institutions you will personally authorise.  According to ETS,  the score card consists of the following: 

  1. Contact Information 
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Gender 
  4. Intended Graduate Major
  5. GRE Test Scores and respective percentile ranks
  6. Authorized recipients 

However, the score card sent to the institutions does not provide any personal information. It will include your contact information, your intended course, and the GRE test scores. It is important to note that the GRE score is valid for five years. 

GRE Score Calculator 

The GRE score can be roughly calculated on the basis of the questions you’ve gotten right. This is also known as your raw score. The Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning consists of  40 questions each. So, the highest raw score would be 40, provided you get every single question right. These raw scores are then converted to the score range of 130 to 170. The conversion takes place on the basis of the difficulty rate of each question. Since the GRE is an adaptive test, the difficulty level increases with each section. As an example, if you manage to get 30 questions right in Verbal Reasoning, you are likely to score 160 in the GRE test. 

We have given you a comprehensive overview of what qualifies as a good GRE score. Once you acquaint yourself with the GRE scoring scheme, and prepare and plan your test accordingly, it is only a matter of time before you ace the test!

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