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Demystifying GRE Scores: A Guide for High School Students

3 Min Read
July 27, 2023

As a high school student preparing for your journey into higher education, you may have come across the acronym "GRE" and wondered what it entails. The Graduate Record Examination, commonly known as the GRE, is an important standardized test that many graduate programs require for admission. In this blog, we will demystify GRE scores, offering you a comprehensive guide to understanding this crucial component of the graduate school application process.

What is the GRE?

The GREplays a crucial role in applying to graduate school or business school. It's a standardized exam conducted on a computer, consisting of multiple-choice questions. Many universities around the world require the GRE as part of their admission process.

The purpose of the GRE is to provide graduate and business schools with a standardized way to compare applicants and assess their readiness for advanced academic work. Alongside your academic record and other application materials, your GRE score is considered by admissions committees to determine if you're prepared for the challenges of graduate-level studies.

GRE Scoring

When applying to graduate school, the scores that matter the most are your Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning scores on the GRE. These sections are scored on a scale from 130 to 170, with 1-point increments. So, the highest score you can achieve in either Verbal or Quant is 170.

During the test, you will have two 30-minute Verbal sections and two 35-minute Quant sections. There is also an additional section that is unscored or used for research purposes, which can be an extra Verbal or Quant section. Your performance on this section doesn't affect your overall GRE score.

Every question you answer in the Verbal and Quant sections contributes equally to your final score. There is no penalty for getting a question wrong or leaving it blank, so it's a good idea to attempt every question.

For questions that have multiple correct answers, you will only receive credit if you select all the correct answers. There is no partial credit given.

What is a good GRE score?

When it comes to GRE scores, anything above the 50th percentile is generally considered decent. For the Verbal section, a score of 151 or higher is considered good, while for Quantitative Reasoning, a score of 154 or higher is desirable. In the Analytical Writing section, a score of 4.0 or higher is considered good.

However, many graduate schools prefer to see more competitive scores, particularly in the section that relates more closely to your intended field of study. In that case, it's a good idea to aim for scores around 157 in Verbal and 161 in Quantitative Reasoning.

It's important to note that what constitutes a good GRE score can vary depending on the programs you're applying to. Some graduate programs are highly competitive and expect scores in the top 10%. To determine what scores you should aim for, it's essential to research and check the requirements of the specific programs you're interested in.

The GRE is a challenging test, but with dedication, perseverance, and effective study strategies, you can unlock your full potential and perform admirably. Remember, preparing for the GRE is a journey that requires time and effort. Start early, familiarize yourself with the test format, and create a study plan that suits your learning style. Utilize a variety of resources, such as study guides, practice tests, and online tutorials, to enhance your understanding of the exam content and sharpen your skills.