Share this post

If you’ve ever dreamt of donning a graduation hat while embarking on a journey to academia’s shining heights, you’ve probably come across the term ‘GRE’. Yes, it’s a standardised test to enter the realm of higher education. But wait, not all graduate programmes treat GRE scores the same way. 

Let’s look at GRE score comparison in more detail. We’ll talk about how different graduate programmes use GRE results in admissions choices, and we’ll give you some pointers on how to get the most out of your GRE score.

In this blog: 

  1. GRE score range
  2. How is the GRE score calculated?
  3. What is a good GRE score?
  4. How do graduate programs view your GRE score?
  5. Tips to maximise your GRE score
  6. Conclusion

GRE score range

GRE test takers are scored in three sections: 

  1. Verbal Reasoning 
  2. Quantitative Reasoning
  3. Analytical Writing 

The table below represents the GRE score range of each GRE section: 

GRE section  Questions GRE score range  Increment point
Verbal reasoning 27 130-170 1 point
Quantitative reasoning 27 130-170 1 point
Analytical writing  One essay task “Analyse an Issue” 0-6 0.5 point 

Note: If an applicant does not attempt any GRE questions, he or she will receive a No Score (NS).  

How is the GRE score calculated?

Deciphering GRE scores is similar to solving a complex puzzle. Taking the raw score (tally of correct answers) from your verbal and quant sections, is transformed into a scaled score based on GRE score range i.e. 130-170. Then, with the help of the GRE score calculator, test-takers can easily calculate their score.

On the other hand, for your Analytical Writing Assessment, an experienced human rater evaluates your essay on a six-point scale, assisted by the ETS-created e-rater. If their ratings agree, your final GRE AWA score is determined; otherwise, a second human assessment is used.

What is a good GRE score? 

The answer to this question cannot be very explicit. Aspiring test takers should undoubtedly strive for top performance on the GRE. However, a myth persists in graduate school admission circles, implying that a student’s GRE score alone dictates the fate of their application. It is critical to understand that the GRE is only one piece of a larger mosaic. Elements such as research, professional experience, and published works have significantly more sway in graduate school applications than the GRE score alone.

Also read: Know everything about a good GRE score

How do graduate programs view your GRE score?

GRE scores are weighted differently by different graduate programmes. Some programmes may prioritise the verbal component of the GRE, while others may prioritise the quantitative section. Some programmes may also take your GRE subject test scores into account.

Also read: Role of GRE in graduate school admissions

To understand how students perform in a particular year, ETS provides a mean score based on the desired graduate major fields. 

Major fields  Quant Verbal  AWA
Business  157 152 3.7
Education  148 150 3.8
Engineering 160 151 3.5
Humanities & Arts 151 156 4.1
Law 153 156 4.2
Life Sciences 150 151 3.8
Physical Sciences 160 152 3.5
Social & Behavioural Sciences 152 153 4.0

But what to look for in securing admission in a specific program? 

  1. Examining the mean GRE scores for your desired program will be helpful for you. This practice will enable a direct comparison between your scores and those of fellow applicants, providing a clear target range to strive for, thereby enhancing your prospects of securing admission. 
  2. The ultimate stride involves a bit of digging into your program’s level of competitiveness. Your primary focus should revolve around seeking out reliable sources that showcase program or school rankings. As you delve into your research, remember these broad pointers: 
  • Programs with a competitive edge expect high GRE scores, particularly in sections closely tied to the program’s domain.
  • Generally, programs exhibiting high levels of competitiveness require GRE scores that place candidates in the 90th percentile or beyond in sections pertinent to their field, and in the 75th-80th percentiles or above in sections of lesser relevance. 
  • For programs that exhibit lower levels of competition, your aim should be to meet or surpass the average GRE scores specific to your discipline. 

Tips to maximise your GRE score

If you plan to take the GRE, there are a few things you may do to maximise your GRE score:

First and foremost, ensure that you are well-prepared for the exam. This includes taking practice examinations and studying the information covered on the GRE.

Second, attempt to get the highest possible GRE score– the GRE full score is 340. This will increase your chances of admission to the graduate programmes in top universities of your choice.

Third, concentrate on your strengths. If you scored well on the verbal component of the GRE, make sure to emphasise that in your application materials. If you are weak in the quantitative component, you should try taking a GRE subject test in a subject in which you excel.

Remember, your GRE is only one component of your graduate school application. Your GPA, letters of recommendation, and personal statement will all be taken into account by admissions committees.


If you don’t receive your desired score in the first go, don’t be scared to reattempt the GRE. Most graduate programmes accept multiple GRE scores, so you can take the exam as many times as you need to earn the best possible score.

The GRE is a challenging test, but it is definitely possible to ace it if you are well-prepared. Jamboree Education can assist you no matter where you are in your GRE preparation! Schedule a free consultation with one of our experts today for customised advice, free materials, or a trial class. Book now!

Share this post