How Is the GRE Scored?

If grad school is in your plans, you likely have the GRE on your horizon. The Graduate Record Examinations is one of the most important determining factors when it comes to grad school admissions. 

Using the GRE test scores, master’s and doctoral programs set a baseline standard for their applicants. The test includes a range of basic subjects like geometry, algebra, college-level vocab, and data analysis. Overall, the GRE is used by universities to assess your reading comprehension and critical thinking skills at a high level.

Once you take the GRE, you’ll be one important step closer to your dream degree. This is why understanding how the GRE is scored is so important for potential grad school students. 

GRE Score Range

The GRE General Test has a score range of 130 to 170 for two sections called the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. There is another section, the Analytical Writing section, which is scored on a scale of 0 to 6 in half-point increments. The total GRE score is the sum of the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores. This will range from 260 to 340.

GRE Scoring System

The GRE is a multifaceted exam, which is why the final score will include the results of multiple categories. The most important sections to focus on are Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing.

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning category of the GRE features three types of questions: Sentence Equivalence, Reading Comprehension, and Text Completion. 

Every question you get right gets a point. Incorrect and blank answers get no penalty, so answering every question is best. For multiple-choice questions with more than one correct answer, you must mark all of the correct answers to receive credit. 

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE is separated into two sections. Each section has questions that cover skills like Problem Solving, Quantitative Comparison, and Data Interpretation. 

To answer some Quantitative Reasoning questions, you might be required to apply your knowledge of algebra and geometry. Other questions require you to analyze and interpret data from charts or graphs. 

The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections are both scored between 130 and 170, with each question counting for 1 point. 

Analytical Writing

During the Analytical Writing portion, you will write two separate essays that focus on a clear, logical expression of an argument centered around a thesis. Unlike the other portions of the GRE, this section is not graded by a computer but by a human who will evaluate each essay based on a 6-point scale. 

After the grader has given your essays their scores, a computer program will also grade each essay. If the scores are similar, your final score for this section will be the average of the two totals. 

If the scores for either essay are more than slightly different, the essay will be graded by another human, and the average of the two scores given by human graders will be your final score. 

The final scores of your two essays will be averaged, and that number will be rounded to the closest half-point. You can score between 0 and 6 on the Analytical Writing portion. 

What is a Good GRE Score?

The score you will need is dependent on the graduate program you are applying to. But a good GRE score should fall in the 75th percentile or higher. Here is how that would break down:

  • 90th Percentile: 162+ for Verbal Reasoning and 168+ for Quantitative Reasoning
  • 75th Percentile: 157+ for Verbal Reasoning and 162+ for Quantitative Reasoning
  • 50th Percentile: 150 for Verbal Reasoning and 152 for Quantitative Reasoning
  • 25th Percentile: 145 for Verbal Reasoning and 149 for Quantitative Reasoning

Get GRE Ready With Jantzi Test Prep

If you’re preparing for the GRE, you’re not alone. Thousands of students take the GRE every year, and it can be a daunting task to study for on your own. That’s why Jantzi offers expert GRE prep tutoring to help you achieve your target score and get into your dream school.