Universities

Is There an Ideal GRE Score?

The GRE is, next to the GMAT, one of the main tests for those who want to do a postgraduate course abroad. The test is divided into three main parts: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Each of these parts receives a separate, gross grade, which is then transformed into the candidate’s final grade. But then the question arises: is there an ideal grade from the GRE? To help you come up with an answer, we have provided some data regarding the test scores. Check out!

In all, the GRE has 3 hours and 45 minutes. As we said earlier, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning receive a raw score, which means one point for each correct answer. The raw score is then transformed into a scaled score, which takes into account the difficulty of different editions of the test. Along with the overall score, test participants also receive percentage ratings for each test score, the percentiles.

According to TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA, the percentage GRE scores for 2018 were as follows:

Scale score Percentage of Quantitative Reasoning Verbal Reasoning Percentage
170 99 97
151 51 43
134 2 1

If the table above shows the result of your GRE, the Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning columns would indicate the percentage of participants that you have exceeded. With these results, you can find out if you scored well on the test.

Just to illustrate, if in the table scenario your scale score was 151 for Quantitative Reasoning, your percentage score would have been 51. This means that you would have done better than 51% of the test participants, which is a score average. If your scale score was 134 on Verbal Reasoning, you would have a percentage rating of 1. This means that you would have outperformed 1% of the other test participants, which is by no means the GRE ideal score.

If you are not satisfied with your score, you can prepare to take the test again. In general, when taking the GRE a second time, the candidate has more confidence and skills to get a better score.

GRE percentage scores

But, after all, what is the ideal GRE grade for you, specifically?

So far we’ve discussed the GRE ideal grade from the percentiles you fit into. But how you will perform compared to the other test participants is not the most important thing to consider. What sets the GRE score ideal, in particular, are the universities you are interested in applying to.

For example, at Stanford, the GRE ideal grade for entering a graduate program varies, on average, between 158 to 166 for Verbal Reasoning and 157 to 168 for Quantitative Reasoning. At Harvard , on the other hand, the GRE scores of admitted candidates range from about 155 to 166 for Verbal and 155 to 170 for Quantitative, with many programs requesting scores in the 160s, or in the top 10-15 percentiles.

Stanford Average GRE Scores

That is, the ideal grade of the GRE is the one that makes you competitive for the selection process of the institution you are interested in.

Is a good GRE score necessary if I have a high GPA?

If you have not reached your ideal GRE grade and do not wish to retake the test, a high GPA may be sufficient for you to be admitted to graduate school. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case and can even limit your options considerably. Most of the time, universities require a good GRE score, in addition to a good GPA.

Assessors generally examine both your GPA and test results, as this provides a deeper consideration of your skills.

For example, a high score on the GRE and a low GPA can mean that, although a student has the critical thinking skills that graduate programs require, he may not be so dedicated to his education because of the low GPA. On the other hand, if your GRE score is low and you plan to trust your high GPA, the university may question your critical thinking skills. So it is best to retake the test in the hope of obtaining a higher score, so that the GPA and GRE reflect your skills and knowledge.