Scores' Scale for GRE

GRE Scoring System Explained

GRE is one of the most widely accepted admission requirement tests across the world today, for business as well as graduate programs. Conducted by ETS, the GRE revised General Test has no pass or fail criteria; it measures the skills and abilities of the candidates in three core areas, i.e. verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. So how is the GRE test scored and how is it standardized? Read on to find more about the scores' scale and the scoring system.

GRE Scores Reporting and Scales

Though there are differences in the way the test is scored for different versions; the results are represented in three kinds of figures for both versions of the revised General Test, a score each for the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing sections. For any section where no questions are answered, the score is reported as NS (No Score). The test scores are generally valid through five years after the year of testing (July 01 - June 30).





The scores are reported on the following scores scales of GRE:

  • A  scale of 130 - 170 with one-point increment, for the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections.
  • A  scale of 0 - 6 with an increment of half a point for the Analytical Writing section.

The scores scale used in the older version of the test (GRE General Test, taken before August 2011) is slightly different from this:

  • A  scale of 200 - 800 with a ten-point increment, for the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections.
  • A  scale of 0 - 6 with an increment of half a point for the Analytical Writing section.

With effect from November 2011, the revised General Test score reports include the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores on two scales - the previous scale of 200 - 800 (converted) and the new scale of 130 - 170 (estimated).

Test Scoring for the Computer-based GRE revised General Test

The Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the revised General Test are graded depending on the number of correct answers in the functional sections of each measure. Since the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections are computer-adaptive, the subsequent operational/functional sections differ in a measure, based on the candidate's performance.

  • However, within a section, each question is counted for calculating the total score.
  • A total raw score is calculated for each of the two measures, based on the number of correct answers.
  • The raw scores are then equated to scaled scores. The equating process and the scores' scales used are designed to accommodate minor variations in test editions and any differences due to computer-adaptation. Thus, the converted or scaled scores reflect the same level of performance by candidates.

Each essay in the Analytical Writing section is evaluated separately by two readers on a six-point scale. The holistic  scale used here ensures that the answers are evaluated for their overall quality.

  • If there is a difference of more than one point between the scores assigned by the two different readers, the essay is evaluated again by a third reader.
  • The two scores are then used to arrive at the final score for the Analytical Writing section.
  • Also, the scores of this section for the revised General Test are converted on the old scale of the Analytical Writing section; the scores are then rounded off on the 0-6  scale with a half point increment.

For more information on the  scale used for the computer-based test and the overall scoring process, you may check the official GRE website (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores/how).

Test Scoring for the Paper-based GRE revised General Test

For the paper-based version of the revised General Test, a raw score is calculated for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections.

  • The raw score is calculated based on the number of correct answers; each answer getting one point.
  • Through equating, the raw score is then converted to a scaled score. The equating process and the  scale used in the process accommodate any variations in test editions, and provide a scaled score that reflects roughly the same level of performance by candidates.

For the Analytical Writing section, the essays are evaluated and scored in the same way as done in the case of the CBT Analytical Writing section. The final score for the section is converted to be compatible with the previous version of the General Test (before August 2011), and the scale scores are then rounded off on a six point scale.

For a better grasp of the score card, it is important that candidates understand the differences in the test format, the scoring processes, and the different scales used. The official GRE website is the best place to find the most authentic information on this (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores/, http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores/understand/).




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