What are GRE Scores?
A student’s GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score is the result of a standardized test that is usually required to be admitted in any graduate schools in the US and other English speaking countries worldwide. The test will determine an individual’s capability in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing without focusing on any specific subject.
As a student, it is important that you understand your GRE scores and how it can increase your chances to get into the school of your choice. This is a comprehensive guide that will help you understand your GRE scores.
How Is The Test Scored?
There are three score scales reported on the Revised GRE Test Scores.
|Verbal Reasoning||130-170, in 1-point increments|
|Quantitative Reasoning||130-170, in 1-point increments|
|Analytical Writing||0-6, in half-point increments|
Calculating score points may vary depending on the kind of test you’ve taken. GRE provides two testing systems: the computer-based and the paper-based GRE tests.
Computer-based test is a section-level adaptive exam. In this test, the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections are divided into several levels — each of which has a different level of difficulty. The difficulty of the next section depends on your performance on your previous section. The score is based on the total number you scored correctly, which is called the raw score.
When the raw score is computed, it will then be converted to a scale score through a process called equating. This process determines minor differences on the results on different test editions and test sections. The given result is considered as your final GRE score.
For the analytical writing section, the final score is determined by comparing the score given by a trained reader and the score evaluated by the computer software. If the two scores agreed, it is considered as the final score. But if not, a second trained reader will evaluate the essay, and the average score of the two human readers will be the final score.
- Paper-based GRE
In the paper-based test, the verbal and quantitative reasoning results are simply computed by determining the total correct number of answers, known as raw score. And similar to computer-based, the raw score is converted to a scale score through a process called equating. This process determines minor differences on the results on different test editions. The given result is considered as final GRE score.
For the analytical writing section, the final essay score is determined by comparing the essay scores given by two trained readers. If the scores agreed, it is considered as the final score. But if there’s a difference of more than one point on the scale, a score from a third trained reader will be obtained.
Importance of GRE Scores for College Applications
GRE scores play a vital role in getting into college and obtaining financial help. School committees use your GRE scores to determine whether you are a great addition in their program or not. Generally speaking, the higher the GRE scores, the better.
Weight of GRE Scores in School Admissions
Every school has different ways in interpreting and using GRE scores. Some schools, especially the top performing universities, require applicants to have high GRE scores, at least on 80-90th percentile.
But there are also some colleges that accept applicants with average GRE scores. So if you get GRE scores that are on 50-75th percentile, there is still a chance for you to get considered into an institution and obtain financial aid. However, the program or school that will be given to you may not be the one you want. Only the good GRE scores will help you enhance your opportunities to land into better graduate programs.
Prepare and Achieve Good GRE Scores
It’s true that your eligibility for college admission and financial aid is not determined by GRE scores alone. In fact, some colleges don’t consider GRE ratings at all. However, this doesn’t mean that you should take your GRE lightly or forget about achieving above-average ratings. GRE scores are essential as they help university committees gauge your general skills. It is very important to prepare for the test and achieve the required percentile of the school of your choice.
Your best chance of getting into the college you want can be achieved by having good GRE scores and exemplary credentials.