How is the GRE Scored?

How is the GRE scored

How is the GRE scored? GRE score is measured on a scale of 130-170 points with one point increments for verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. The analytical writing section is scored on a scale of 0-6 points with half point increments.

GRE test score is the initial need of the grad schools allowing international students. The Quantitative and Verbal Sections are each out of 170 points making the highest possible score on the GRE a 340. 

Let’s start with the basic GRE exam structure:

GRE General Test

The GRE is a computer-delivered format test conducted over 160 countries including the USA, UK, and Germany. 

Also, the GRE paper-delivered test is available for areas where the computer-based is not available.

Moreover, the content structures are set for the two formats.

It assesses the student’s skills in Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing domains.

Basic GRE Test Structure
Exam duration4 hours (including breaks)
FormatMulti-stage test (MST), a computer-based format allows students to navigate forward and backward within each test section
Number of SectionsSix including a research and experiment section
Scoring130-170 for Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning(with one-point increment) 0-6 for Analytical Writing (with half-point increment)
BreaksA 10-minute break after the third section, and one-minute break after each section
Verbal ReasoningTwo 30 minute sections with 20 questions each
Quantitative ReasoningTwo 35 minute sections with 20 questions each; provided an on-screen calculator
Analytical WritingOne section with two 30 minute tasks- analyze and issue and analyze an argument

When you appear for the GRE general test, you will be awarded a percentile rank along with the score.  

PercentileVerbal ScoreQuantitative ScoreGRE Score Interpretation
90th162*166Very Good
25th144-145*147*Below Average
1st132 & below134 and belowVery Poor

 “*” Exact percentile unavailable

As for the Analytical Writing section, which is scored differently from the two main GRE sections above, here are all current percentiles for each possible AW score:

Besides, Analytical writing is scored differently from the two main GRE sections. The table below shows the current policies for each possible AW score:

PercentileAW ScoreGRE Score Interpretation
92nd5.0Very Good
17th3.0Below Average
2nd2.0Very Poor
1st1.5 and below

To figure out what a good GRE score is for you based on the graduation programs you’re applying to, you’ll need to set a GRE goal score.

Our guide on what is a good GRE score out of 340? can explain to you more about this.

Till now, you’ve come across the structure and scoring percentile of the GRE general test. Now, let’s move into the GRE subject-wise test.

GRE Subject Test

The GRE subject test assesses your knowledge in a specific field of study. Being a paper-based test, it showcases your expertise in the subjects. 

The subject tests being offered currently are Biology, Biochemistry, Literature in English, Cell and Molecular Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Psychology.

The GRE subject tests are the paper-based tests delivered three times a year. Furthermore, scoring involves two steps:

These scores can be obtained using the formula below:

Number of correct answers minus (-) Number of incorrect answers

The raw (or formula) GRE score is further converted to a scaled score through the process of equating. This accounts for variations in difficulty levels across different test editions.

The scale of GRE Subject Test scores: The total GRE Subject test score ranges between 200 and 990, in 10-point increments. Additionally, the subfields yield subscores.

Moreover, the subscores help you identify the strengths and weaknesses and may be used for guidance and placement purposes.

How understanding the GRE scoring criteria is beneficial?

Of course, understanding the scoring process of GRE helps you to quest for a perfect GRE score. In addition to this, it also allows you to do a few more things:

  • Focus on the task at hand.
  • Set up a plan of attack
  • Determine your strengths and weaknesses
  • Practice your pacing strategy

Finally, the GRE scores are important in international grad school admissions.

If you are the one planning to take the GRE test and seeking for the best online GRE test prep resource, contact us at any moment.

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