GRE Scores Percentiles Rank and Rating

GRE Test Score

GRE conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service) is required for admission to most post-graduate courses in the universities in the US, US territory and Canada. GRE is a general aptitude test. The exam tests skills of candidates in math, English and analytical writing. GRE test is offered in a computer adaptive testing format conducted by selected testing centres. Paper based testing formats are available in testing centres where the computer based test format is not available.





The test score is used as a measure of the candidate's ability to do well in a postgraduate school. Depending upon the post graduate school, the score varies from being the most vital factor for selection to being the must have factor, regardless of the scores earned in the test. Every graduate school has a different requirement of what constitutes a "good" score in GRE. It is therefore good to score high marks in this test to make yourself a competitive candidate for graduate school admissions. During the admission process, your class work, your GPA, research experience, GRE General test scores, GRE subject test scores, anything can be more important than the GRE scores. Therefore first thing you should do is research the average scores required for the admission in the specific graduate schools, departments or degree programs you are interested in. Then you should start your preparations accordingly to match those scores to get admission. Apart from gathering the GRE exam information, you should also be aware of the nature of GRE test scores.

General Test GRE Scores

General test GRE scores are divided into three sections namely verbal, quantitative and analytical writing. The revised Verbal section is graded on the scale of 130 – 170 in 1 point increment. This part basically grades your vocabulary and consists of 20 questions which you have to finish in 30 minutes for each section, with two sections per test. Quantitative section is also graded on a scale of 130 – 170 in 1 point increment. This test consists of 20 questions which you have to complete in 35 minutes for each section, with two sections per test. AWA section contains two essays – Issue based and argument based. The grades in this section vary from 0 to 6. The two essays are read by two readers and graded on a scale varying from 0 to 6. The readers grade the essays on the basis of overall quality of the essay. If the scores are within a range of one point then the average is considered, else another reader reads and grades the essay.

GRE Test Score Percentile Rank

In addition to the scaled scores, you also get percentile rank. It is very important to understand what test score percentile rank is. Your percentile rank is a comparison of your scores with the other candidate's scores over the past three years. Based on the various percentile scores, it is clear that verbal section is difficult than quantitative section. If you get same scores in verbal as well as quantitative section, GRE percentile rank in both the section is going to be different. During admissions, colleges give more importance to your GRE test score percentile. Through this percentile, they are able to judge your performance as compared to other test takers.

GRE Test Score Rating

Your GRE test score is rated on the basis of his percentile rank. Every graduate school has its own individual policy to rate your scores. For example if your percentile rank is 95 then your GRE test score rating is considered better than the 95 percent of the test takers. The highest test score percentile rank, a candidate can achieve is 99th. An average GRE percentile in a section is 50 when you achieve 500 in that particular section. An average percentile rank means that 50 percent of the candidates have scores more than you and 50 percent candidates have scores lower than you. A GRE percentile rank below 50th percentile is bad score while a score percentile more than 90th is a good percentile. Some schools may require only general test and other schools may require GRE subject test scores for rating. For the detailed information on GRE test score rating for the specific courses, you should contact the academic department of the schools.

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