If you want to make it into the college/university of your choice for your higher studies, then you need a good GRE score. The scoring is done in two parts — cumulative of Quantitative, Verbal and Analytical Writing and a percentile ranking. The percentile ranking gives you an overview of your performance in comparison with the candidates who have previously taken the exam.
Through the course of this article, we will tell you the GRE score range of each section, what factors influence your score and what might be considered an excellent, good, average and below average score.
The GRE Score Range
|Quantitative Reasoning||130 to 170 (one point increment)|
|Verbal Reasoning||130 to 170 (one point increment)|
|Analytical Writing||0 to 6 ( half point increment)|
Do note, besides helping you gain admissions in universities, your GRE scores are also used for scholarships considerations and course placement. So, make sure you prepare well for the exam and obtain scores that land you a scholarship.
Now let’s look at certain other factors which also influence your GRE score:
- Program choice – Universities will want to check if you are pursuing your PhD or Master’s degree. Naturally for the PhD candidates the GRE cutoff score expected is much higher when compared to the MS degree candidates. There is a very simple logic behind this — there are fewer seats available for PhD programs when compared to a Master’s degree.
- Discipline – Similarly the following disciplines like Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, etc., tend to have various expectations for GRE scores. These streams would require you to have higher Quantitative scores. Likewise, if you are a humanities candidate, the admissions committee will expect higher scores in the Verbal section.
- Competitiveness of the Program – The more selective your program is, the higher your GRE score will have to be for you to gain admission into the college. Such programs only expect the best candidates.
- Your entire application – The admissions process doesn’t rest solely on your GRE scores. The other aspects of your application are — a clear and concise SOP (Statement of Purpose), LOR (Letters of Recommendation) from renowned individuals from their field and an exemplary CV mentioning your relevant work experience, research work, etc. All of these play a vital role apart from the GRE score to get admitted in the program of your choice.
You would now be curious on what exactly is considered a good GRE score. Let us gain more perspective about the same below.
What is a Good GRE Score?
You would by now have gained a good understanding of what the GRE score is and the significant role it plays in gaining admissions to the university of your preference. Although there is no definitive answer to what a good GRE score is, there is a range of scores within which you must fall for getting admitted into some of the top universities. To put it in simple terms, any percentile above 75 in a section can be categorized as very good. This means you should have scored 161 or higher on the Quantitative section and 157 or higher in the Verbal section.
We have generally categorized the score ranges as follows :
Excellent score – If you have scored in the range mentioned below in these categories then rest assured you will obtain admissions in the best universities in the US.
Above Average/Good score – These scores mentioned in the table will place you among the top 25% of test takers and you will still have a good chance of getting admitted to the top universities, provided you have a great profile.
Average/Modest score – The below scores would place you among the top 50 % of test takers. Although you might not be able to gain admissions in the Ivy League universities, you would still have a good chance to get admitted in the non-Ivy League colleges. These scores are still not so bad and are pretty modest. Here it is crucial that you build a strong profile so that you have higher chances of getting into the course you desire.
Below Average score – These scores are likely to place you among the remaining 50% of test takers. While these scores are not deemed too good, you can get admissions in universities which are not considered Top Tiered or excellent. You can strive to create your own niche by taking up the different programs offered in these colleges. The alternative would be to retake the GRE exam to help boost your chances of getting a higher score.
|Verbal Reasoning||151 or below|
|Quantitative Reasoning||152 or below|
|Analytical Writing||3.5 or below|
The GRE scores are generally used as a means by the admissions committee to determine whether you are well suited to pursue their studies at their campus. We hope that this article helped shed some light on what is a good GRE score. Now, start your preparation and ace the exam. Good luck!
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