Scaled Score of GRE

What is the Scale of GRE Score?

The GRE is a standardized test that measures your skills and capabilities for handling college level courses. The test scores are used as a basis on which the admission officers of your desired college/university grant you admission. The score is given as a scaled score of a specific range for each section. The scaled score is calculated on the basis of the raw score you earn from the correctly answered questions in the test sections. The raw score is converted into scaled score by using a process named equating. Equating ensures that your scores are comparable with those of other test takers who took a different edition of the test. Equating also helps in postulating minor differences in the difficulty levels of different test sections. Hence, there are some complicated processes involved in the calculation of your marks. We shall discuss those processes under the following sub-headings.

Calculation of Raw Score:

In order to calculate your scaled scores your raw score is calculated first. The raw score is calculated on the basis of the correctly answered questions in the Quantitative Reasoning and the Verbal Reasoning sections. Both these sections contain multiple-choice questions with five options.

Conversion of Raw Score into Scaled Score:

The raw score that you receive is converted into scaled score by the process called equating. Both the quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning sections contain multiple-choice questions that are scored on a  scale of 130-170 with a 1-point increment. It is this score scale, which determines your chance of getting into a reputed college/university. The scaled score of your test is used to allocate you a percentile ranking that reflects your performance level as compared to other test takers of the same test edition. The higher your scaled score, the higher is your percentile ranking. Based on your percentile ranking one can deduce how well/poorly you have performed than other test takers.

Computing the Scaled Score for Essay Responses:

The test comprises of two essay tasks, in the Analytical Writing section, namely an Issue task and an Argument task. These two essay responses are evaluated by two ETS certified readers (ETS or the Educational Testing Service is the organization responsible for administering GRE) who independently mark your essays on a score scale of 0-6 with a ½ point increment. Your essay score is generated by taking the average of the score given by the two readers. There are hardly any discrepancies between the two essay scores. However, in case the two scores differ by more than one point, a third reader evaluates your essay and allocates your deserving essay points on the scale of 0-6. To deliver a more accurate essay result, the ETS uses essay-similarity-detection software to evaluate your essays.

How is Such a Score Important for You?

There are certain implications of the scale in the course of calculating your test score. They are:

  • Uniformity: The scaled score serves as a useful tool to bring uniformity to your skill level irrespective of the particular sections in the specific editions of the test.
  • Quality of Essay: The scaled score given for your essay responses reflects certain essay writing qualities. For example, a scale score of 5.5 in the Argument task essay signifies that your essay has the perfect structure, has answered the essay prompt correctly, has credible logic and evidences to support the argument, etc. On the other hand, an essay score of 2.5 in Issue task might mean that the test taker has serious problems in analysing the essay question or makes frequent errors in sentence construction and provides ambiguous facts, etc.
  • Uniformity in Future Attempts: The scaled score also brings uniformity in the performance of the test takers in their future attempts at GRE. The scaled score ensures least score fluctuation in test taker's score in the future attempts.

The scaled score helps in bringing a parity of test takers' performance in the test. You must work harder for pulling up your scaled score. It is recommended that you take the help of preparation classes if needed, in order to increase your scaled score.