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Before you dive into preparing for the GRE, you probably want to find out what’s a good GRE score. Well, the short answer is we can’t put the finger on just one number, and the long answer is in this blog.

IN THIS BLOG:

  1. How is the GRE scored
  2. GRE score percentiles: Verbal & Quant
  3. GRE Analytical Writing score
  4. What is the average GRE score
  5. What is a ‘good GRE score’

A good GRE score is the one that takes you above the average score mark, but the best GRE score is the one that your target university wants! Besides winning an admit at your dream university, there are fellowships and scholarships for GRE test-takers. To better understand what makes a good GRE score, let’s first understand how to interpret GRE scores.

How is the GRE scored?

A good GRE score is relative in terms of percentile ranks and can tell how you’ve performed compared to other test-takers. The GRE is made up of three sections- Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The Quant and Verbal sections are scored on a scale of 130-170 each, with 130 being the lowest and 170 the highest. The table below highlights the break-up of GRE sections:

Section Name GRE Minimum Score GRE Maximum Score Increment Point
Quantitative Reasoning 130 170 1-point
Verbal Reasoning 130 170 1-point
Analytical Writing 0 6 Half-point
Total 260 340

Along with a specific score, you also get the results of the GRE exam in the form of a GRE percentile score report. The percentile report shows by what percentage you outperformed other test-takers. For instance, if you’re in the 80th percentile, you’ve performed better than 80% of the total test takers.

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The table below is a breakdown of the GRE score percentiles for the Verbal and Quant sections-

GRE Score Percentiles: Verbal & Quant

Scaled GRE Score Verbal Percentile Quantitative Percentile
170 99 97
169 99 97
168 98 95
167 98 93
166 97 91
165 95 89
164 94 87
163 92 85
162 90 82
161 88 79
160 85 76
159 82 73
158 80 70
157 75 67
156 72 63
155 68 59
154 64 55
153 60 51
152 55 47
151 51 43
150 47 39
149 42 35
148 38 31
147 34 27
146 30 24
145 26 20
144 23 17
143 19 14
142 17 12
141 14 10
140 11 8
139 9 6
138 7 4
137 6 3
136 4 2
135 3 1
134 2 1
133 1 1
132 1
131 1
130

The above table shows that the GRE score percentiles differ for the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections. 99 percentile in the Verbal section stands at both the scores 170 and 169, whereas in the Quantitative section, the perfect 170 bears just 97 percentile. This means that while 3% of test-takers get a perfect Quant score, only 1% score a complete 170 in the Verbal section.

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The above data also points to the fact that more GRE-takers perform better in the Quant section than in Verbal. Well, the GRE Verbal section can be tricky, but we’ve untangled it for you. Download Jamboree’s Simplified GRE Vocabulary App and master 1000+ high-frequency GRE words with fun quizzes and easy-to-remember word groups with the App’s highly customisable built-in features.

The Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale of 1-6 with 0.5-point increments. The GRE percentile score for this section is mentioned below-

GRE Analytical Writing Score

Score Percentile
6.0 99
5.5 98
5.0 93
4.5 82
4.0 60
3.5 42
3.0 18
2.5 8
2.0 2
1.5 1
1.0
.5
0

Let’s look at some interesting things in this table–the GRE percentile near the middle score of 3.0 is only 18 percentile, but with a one-point increase to 4.0, the percentile jumps to 60 percentile; another one-point increase and the percentile reaches 93 percentile. A mere 2% of the test-takers score 5.5 and above, and only 2% go below the score of 2.0 in the Analytical Writing section.

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What is the average GRE score?

The average GRE score around the world ranges from 300 to 311, and individually, the Quantitative and Verbal sections have average GRE scores of 153 and 150, respectively. Now that we have all the GRE numbers, let’s find out what makes a good GRE score.

What is a good GRE score?

If we assess the aforementioned data, the average GRE score worldwide comes to around 303.
So, prepare for a score above 303 to surpass the average GRE score mark. To be on the safer side, we recommend you prepare for a 320+ on your GRE.

There is so much to what makes a ‘good GRE score’ depending on the university you are targeting, the program you’re applying to, and your student profile. It’s wise to take cognizance of all these things when deciding on your targeted GRE score.

The answer to ‘what is a good GRE score?’ is that it depends! A good GRE score is relative in terms of percentile ranks and can tell how you’ve performed compared to other test-takers.

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You’ll scavenge the internet to find your target universities and their required GRE scores but will instead get lost in the spiral of unreliable information and generic advice. Get on a call with an expert and know the university and GRE score you should be targeting. Book your 15-minute expert session now!

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