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GRE Score Percentiles: Everything you need to know

GRE Score Percentiles: Everything you need to know

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Let’s begin this blog with a fact check: GRE percentiles and GRE score ranges are two different things! And before you could fully understand the GRE percentiles, you need to be thorough with the GRE score range for each section of the GRE exam. Let’s dive in.

In this blog:

  1. GRE score range
  2. GRE score range for General Test
  3. What do GRE percentiles mean?
  4. How are the GRE percentile scores calculated?
  5. GRE percentiles for Verbal Reasoning
  6. GRE percentiles for Quantitative Reasoning
  7. GRE percentiles for Analytical Writing Assessment
  8. What is the passing score for GRE?
  9. What’s considered a good GRE score?
  10. GRE percentiles for most common scores
  11. Scaled scores of commonly obtained GRE percentiles

GRE score range

The GRE exam is scored out of a total 340 and is made up of three sections, namely:

  1. Verbal Reasoning
  2. Quantitative Reasoning
  3. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

The total score of 340 doesn’t include the AWA section. The score range for the GRE general test is as follows:

GRE score range for General Test

The combined score range for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections is 260-340. The number of questions that you answer correctly within the stipulated time will determine your performance on the GRE exam. Before you check your GRE percentiles, you should know the following terms:

Raw Score: is the score of the number of questions that you have answered correctly.
Scaled Score: is the raw score converted between the GRE score range of 130-170.

In the GRE General Test, your raw score (determined by the number of questions answered correctly) is converted to a scaled score which is then used to calculate the percentile rank of your score. The table below can help you determine the percentile rank of your GRE score.

GRE section GRE score range Point increment Student average score
Verbal Reasoning 130-170 1 150.37
Quantitative Reasoning 130-170 1 153.66
Analytical Writing Assessment 0-6 0.5 3.6

 

Suggested Reads:
GRE exam: pattern, fees, questions and more

GRE exam dates 2023

What do GRE percentiles mean?

The GRE percentiles are a way of measuring your performance on the exam relative to other test-takers. They indicate the percentage of candidates whom you’ve outperformed. In simple terms, the GRE percentile score tells you about the percentage of test-takers who have scored below you. It is an important metric which universities and colleges use to evaluate applicants at the time of admissions.

For instance, if you score in the 90th percentile, it means that you performed better than 90% of the test-takers, while only 10% of them scored higher than you. A higher GRE percentile score indicates your better performance on the GRE exam. Additionally, a high GRE score percentile can also enhance your chances of being admitted to a program of your choice. But, how exactly is the GRE percentile score calculated?

How are the GRE percentile scores calculated?

ETS, the conducting body for the GRE exam, uses a process called equating to derive GRE percentile scores. Equating ensures that the scaled score is consistent and fair for evaluation purposes. However, ETS does not disclose the exact methodology used for equating.

GRE raw score and scaled score

No. of questions answered correctly GRE scaled score
0-5 130-135
5-10 135-140
10-15 140-145
15-20 145-150
20-25 150-155
25-30 155-160
30-35 160-165
35-40 165-170

Overall GRE Score Percentiles

GRE percentiles for Verbal Reasoning

GRE score range Verbal Reasoning
130-135 1-3
135-140 3-11
140-145 11-26
145-150 26-46
150-155 46-68
155-160 68-86
160-165 86-96
165-170 96-99

GRE percentiles for Quantitative Reasoning

GRE score range Quantitative Reasoning
130-135 1-2
135-140 2-7
140-145 7-19
145-150 19-37
150-155 37-56
155-160 56-73
160-165 73-86
165-170 86-96

GRE percentiles for Analytical Writing Assessment

Analytical Writing Assessment score GRE writing score percentiles
0-1 No rank
1.5 1
2.0 2
2.5 7
3.0 17
3.5 42
4.0 59
4.5 82
5.0 93
5.5 98
6.0 99

Also Read:

How to register for the GRE?

When is the right time to take the GRE?

What is the passing score for GRE?

The GRE exam does not have a specific passing score. Instead, candidates are evaluated based on their scores in the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning section (excluding the Analytical Writing Assessment section), with a minimum possible score of 260.

What’s considered a good GRE score?

In terms of what is considered a good GRE score, anything above 310 is generally regarded as a strong score. It is considered to be a safe score to win admission to your desired program and university abroad. To know more about what makes a good GRE score, read here.

Also read: GRE strategies to score 320+

GRE percentiles for most common scores

It can be challenging for students to find out their GRE percentiles based on their scaled scores. However, understanding the conversion from scaled scores to percentiles can help. Below are the most common scaled scores and their corresponding percentiles for your reference.

Scaled scores of commonly obtained GRE percentiles

GRE percentiles Verbal reasoning Quantitative reasoning Analytical writing
GRE 50th percentile ~151 ~154 ~4.0
GRE 60th percentile ~154 ~158 ~4.0
GRE 70th percentile ~156 161 ~4.0
GRE 80th percentile ~159 ~165 ~5.0
GRE 90th percentile 162 168 ~5.0
GRE 99th percentile 170 6.0

Note: The highest score of GRE’s Quantitative Reasoning section comes under the 98th percentile.

The GRE exam forms a crucial part of your college application, and a good GRE score can improve your chances of admission substantially. With over 30 years of experience and expertise, we’ve developed and evolved a simplified teaching methodology for GRE preparation that has helped our students achieve a 320+ year-after-year. Experience Jamboree’s focused test prep with a free GRE demo class. Book a class now !

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