GRE Scores

Understand GRE scores

Pursuing a successful college career in the USA begins with getting admission in a renowned college of the country. If you want to study in a premiere college, then you will have to take the GRE. The GRE is a test designed to analyze the knowledge that you have gathered in high school and how well you can apply it. It will also examine your critical and analytical skills. Thus, thescores that you receive provide not only an analysis of your knowledge, but also carry an indication of how well you will perform in college. Hence, it is essential that you understand the scoring system used by the ETS and also learn to analyze yourGRE scores. 

Understanding the GRE Scoring System

The GRE is a computer adaptive examination. In other words, the difficulty level of the examination increases depending on your performance level in a particular section. If you have answered most of the questions correctly in a particular section, then the questions that you will have to answer in the following section will be of an increased difficulty level. Thus, thescores that you receive on answering such section adaptive questions will represent your knowledge correctly. The method of calculating yourscores is as follows:

  • The first point to remember while solving the GRE question paper is that there is no negative marking. Hence, you should try to answer all the questions. The total score that you receive will be the sum total of all the correct answers that you have provided in the test.
  • This total score that you receive in each section is given separately. In other words, the scores that you receive in Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis sections will be mentioned separately, but on the same scale. The Analytical Writing section is scored separately and on a different scale.

The conversion of raw score to scaled score and subsequently, the calculation of your percentile rank have been discussed in the following section of the article.

Understanding GRE Score Conversion

The methods used to convert your raw GRE score into scaled score, which will finally indicate your percentile rank, are as follows:

  • The score that you can receive for each section of the GRE is converted to a scale of 130 to 170 with 1 point increment for each section. Hence, the maximum and minimum 'scaled score' that you can achieve for each section of GRE is 130 and 170 respectively.
  • The 'scaled score' that you receive is now converted to a 'percentile rank'. This 'percentile rank' is calculated comparing your score with those of others appearing for a similar test. For example, if your percentile rank is 40 then it means that 60% students have scored more than you and the remaining 40% have scores less than you.
  • The percentile rank for each section of the GRE is mentioned separately in your score card. This is the most important score in your score card.
  • The Analytical Writing Section is scored separately on a scale from 0 to 6. Although, it is mentioned separately yet, it is an essential part of yourGRE scores.

The list above provides not only the marking scheme used by the ETS to score your GRE paper, but also mentions the scores that will feature in your GRE scorecard. However, knowledge of the scoring system is not sufficient if you do not understand what your score represents. In order to help you do so, the different types of GRE scores have been discussed in the following section of the article.

Types of GRE Scores

Once, you have received your score, you will be able to understand how well you have fared in the examination. If you want to know what your GRE scores exactly represent, then check the following list:

  • A scaled score range of 164 to 170 corresponds to percentile rank range from 94 to 99. Any rank from 94 to 99 is considered good and hence, this is can be considered a good GRE score.
  • A scaled score range of 156 to 162 will result in percentile ranks in the range of 72 to 90. This in turn will correspond to an average GRE score.
  • A scaled score range of 144 to 152 means a percentile rank in the range of 26 to 56. This means that the GRE score is not good enough, in other words it's a bad GRE score.

The list above will help you understand your scores better. Depending on them you can also understand whether you have fared sufficiently well or you need to take the test again. Moreover, GRE is all about preparation and taking the examination in a comfortable and stress-free manner. So prepare well and then take the test, so that you can achieve the desired results in the first attempt itself.