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10 Things to know about GRE – Exam Pattern, GRE Total Marks & Score Percentile 

Introduction

It can be difficult to understand your GRE total marks. The GRE (Graduation Record Examination) test that you take when applying to colleges in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Education Training Service (ETS) is the company that administers the GRE. Each year, the GRE can be taken up to five times. This exam type has a five-year validity period. GRE scores are based on a scale and are related to GRE total score percentile ratings.

Introduction

In addition, you have the option of taking the GRE general test or the GRE subject test. Both tests are graded using a different GRE scale. The general test is available in both computer-based test and paper-based modes. The GRE scoring for both types, however, is similar. Subject tests for the GRE are offered in paper-based test locations.

Ten things to know about GRE

1. GRE General Test vs GRE Subject Test

There are several differences between the GRE general test and the GRE subject test, aside from the duration and amount of questions:

GRE General Test

GRE Subject Test

Three sections that are GRE quant, GRE verbal and GRE AWA

No section

It tests analytical knowledge

Tests the knowledge of the specific subject

Topics are:
Biology
Chemistry
Literature in English
Mathematics
Physics
Psychology

Conducted as both computer-based test and paper-delivered test

The exam is only offered in a paper-based format.

Conducted all year long

Conducted thrice a year in April, September and October

Fee: US$226-US$255

Fee: US$150

Question types are MCQ and descriptive or essay questions

Question types: MCQ

Number of questions: 82

Number of questions: 66-230

Duration: 3 hours and 45 minutes

Duration: 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Score range: 260-340

Score range: 200-990

2. GRE Exam Pattern

For GRE General Test:

The GRE test syllabus for both tests is extensive, and each test has a different level of difficulty. For example, the GRE General Test, which includes quant, verbal, and AWA sections, assesses candidates’ analytical abilities, whereas subject tests assess their specific area knowledge.

GRE verbal reasoning, GRE quantitative reasoning, and GRE analytical writing evaluation are the three primary components of the GRE general test. GRE scores are essential entrance requirements for higher education in business, engineering, and many other disciplines. Therefore, the GRE general exam score is accepted in this case. Let us have a look at the GRE exam pattern for the general Test.

Section name Number of Sections Number of questions Sub-areas Types of questions
GRE quantitative reasoning 2 20+20=40 questions Ratio and proportion
Profit and loss
Simple and compound interest
Speed, distance and time
Permutation & combination
Linear equations
Quadratic equations
Sets Theory
Statistics
Powers and roots
Probability
Pipes, cisterns, work, time
Lines and angles
Triangles
Polygon
Quadrilateral
Circles
Coordinate geometry
Order of operations
Volume and surface area
Percentage
Number properties
Quantitative Comparison Questions
Numeric Entry Questions
GRE verbal reasoning 2 20+20=40 questions Reading Comprehension
Text Completion
Sentence Equivalence
GRE analytical writing assessment 2 1+1=2 questions Analyzing an Issue
Analyzing an Argument
GRE exam pattern
For GRE Subject Test:

The GRE subject test is a paper-based exam that is only offered three times a year. Students who want to get a master’s degree in a specific subject should take the GRE subject tests. This GRE exam pattern covers the following topics:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Literature in English

Biochemistry was once included in the GRE subject test, but it was removed in December 2016. In the GRE, students can take more than one subject test; they simply have to pay for each subject they want to take. April, September, and October are the months that GRE subject tests are given. Only in October are Indian students permitted to take GRE subject tests.

3. GRE Syllabus

GRE General Test Syllabus
Section name Number of Sections Number of questions Sub-areas Types of questions
GRE quantitative reasoning 2 20+20=40 questions Ratio and proportion
Profit and loss
Simple and compound interest
Speed, distance and time
Permutation & combination
Linear equations
Quadratic equations
Sets Theory
Statistics
Powers and roots
Probability
Pipes, cisterns, work, time
Lines and angles
Triangles
Polygon
Quadrilateral
Circles
Coordinate geometry
Order of operations
Volume and surface area
Percentage
Number properties
Quantitative Comparison Questions
Numeric Entry Questions
GRE verbal reasoning 2 20+20=40 questions Reading Comprehension
Text Completion
Sentence Equivalence
GRE analytical writing assessment 2 1+1=2 questions Analyzing an Issue
Analyzing an Argument

 

GRE Subject Test Syllabus
Subjects Number of Questions Sub-sections
Biology 190 Cellular and Molecular Biology
Organismal Biology
Ecology and Evolution
Chemistry 130 Analytical Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
English 230 Literary Analysis
Identification
Cultural and Historical Contexts
History and Theory of Literary Criticism
Mathematics 66 Calculus
Algebra (Linear algebra, abstract algebra, elementary algebra, and number theory)
Discrete Mathematics
Real Analysis
Probability and Statistics
Additional Mathematics
Physics 100 Classical Mechanics
Electromagnetism
Optics and Wave Phenomena
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Quantum Mechanics
Atomic Physics
Special Relativity
Laboratory Methods
Specialized Topics like Nuclear and Particle Physics etc.
Psychology 205 Biological
Cognitive
Social
Developmental
Clinical
Measurement/Methodology/Other

4. GRE Test Duration

GRE section name

Duration

GRE quantitative reasoning

1 hour and 10 minutes (35 minutes for each section)

GRE verbal reasoning

1 hour (30 minutes for each section)

GRE analytical writing assessment

1 hour (30 minutes for each section)

Total

3 hours and 10 minutes

The overall time is 3 hours and 45 minutes, including a 30-35 minute break. After completing the first three sections of the six sections, you may take a break. The GRE subject tests are 2 hours and 50 minutes long. It does not have a break, unlike the GRE general test.

 5. GRE Scores

Your GRE scores are required for a detailed admissions procedure. In addition, it helps in the standardization of the evaluation of applicants from various backgrounds.

GRE Scores
GRE General Test Scores

On the GRE General Test, three scores are reported:

  • Scores for Quantitative Reasoning are presented on a range of 130 to 170, with 1 point increments.
  • Scores for Verbal Reasoning are presented on a range of 130 to 170, with 1 point increments.
  • The Scores for Analytical Writing is graded on a scale of 0 to 6, with half-point increments between 0 and 6.

The total number of correct answers given and the difficulty level of each segment are reflected in their Quantitative and Verbal reasoning scores.

Each essay question is used to determine the score for the analytical writing measure (2 essay questions in total). A skilled reader and a computerized tool are developed by ETS that can recognize essay qualities related to writing proficiency score your Analytical Writing portion.

GRE Subject Test Scores

The subject test is graded on a range of 200 to 990 points, with 10-point increments. It’s worth noting that the separate test scales only cover a fraction of the 200-900 point range.  Any subject test’s actual range is smaller, ranging from 20 to 99 in one-point increments.

Psychology

200-990, in 10-points increments.

Subscores: 20-99, in one-point increment.

Chemistry

200-990, in 10-points increments.

Literature in English

200-990, in 10-points increments.

Physics

200-990, in 10-points increments.

Subscores: 20-99, in one-point increment.

Mathematics

200-990, in 10-points increments.

Biology

200-990 score scale, in 10-points increments.

Subscores: 20-99, in one-point increment.

 

6. GRE Total Marks

The GRE total marks are calculated only based on your Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning section. The maximum GRE score for both the quantitative and verbal reasoning portions is 170, while the lowest GRE score for both sections is 130. As a result, the greatest GRE score you can achieve is 340, while the lowest GRE score you can get is 260.

The subject test has a GRE total marks distribution ranging from 200 to 990. Subscores are also reported on a 20-99 score scale, with one-point increments, for Physics, Biology, and Psychology examinations.

However, unlike the SAT and ACT, combining section scores into a single GRE total mark is uncommon. So instead, when submitting your GRE results, you’d publish your three-part scores separately.

What is the purpose of reporting GRE section results separately? It’s usually because most graduate schools are more interested in one section score than the others, and they want to see which one you earned quickly. In addition, grad school programs are more specialized than undergraduate programs, and those reviewing your GRE total marks are usually only interested in the component that most closely ties to the subject matter of your programs.

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7. GRE Total Score Percentile – General Test

The percentage of test-takers who scored lower scores than you is referred to as a percentile. For example, a 94th percentile score indicates that you outperformed 94 out of every 100 test-takers.

GRE Scores

Quantitative

Verbal

Score levels

Analytical Writing

170

96

99

6.0

99

169

94

99

5.5

98

168

92

98

5.0

92

167

89

98

4.5

80

166

87

97

4.0.

55

165

85

96

3.5

38

164

83

94

3.0

14

163

80

92

3.5

6

162

78

90

2.0

1

161

75

88

0.0    –  1.5

 

160

72

85

 

 

159

69

82

 

 

158

65

79

 

 

157

62

75

 

 

156

59

72

 

 

155

55

67

 

 

154

51

63

 

 

153

48

59

 

 

152

44

53

 

 

151

40

50

 

 

150

36

45

 

 

149

33

40

 

 

148

29

36

 

 

147

25

32

 

 

146

22

28

 

 

145

18

25

 

 

144

15

22

 

 

143

13

19

 

 

142

11

16

 

 

141

9

14

 

 

140

7

11

 

 

139

6

9

 

 

138

4

8

 

 

137

3

6

 

 

136

2

5

 

 

135

2

4

 

 

134

1

3

 

 

133

1

2

 

 

132

 

2

 

 

131

 

1

 

 

130

 

 

 

 

 

8. GRE Total Score percentile – Subject Test

 

GRE score

Biology

Literature in English

Physics

Psychology

Chemistry

Mathematics

980

95

940

99

86

99

97

900

98

82

97

94

860

94

76

92

88

820

89

69

99

83

80

780

80

62

95

73

73

740

70

98

55

86

62

66

700

58

94

48

73

51

58

660

46

85

40

58

39

50

620

34

73

32

44

28

41

580

24

59

23

32

18

32

540

16

46

16

22

11

23

500

9

33

9

15

6

14

460

5

22

4

9

3

8

420

2

13

2

5

1

3

380

1

6

2

1

340

3

1

300

1

 

9. GRE Score Report

The GRE General and Subject tests both have similar score reports.

Your report includes the following information:

  • Date of birth
  • Contact information (name, phone number, and email)
  • Gender
  • Aiming for a graduate degree
  • Your test results and percentile rankings
  • Score receipts from authorized scorers or fellowship sponsors, as well as scores reported to such institutions
  • The total number of points reported in the last five years
  • Dates of the tests
  • Dates of the tests

Your score report is not the same as the official report given to the schools you choose. This report includes your:

  • Your GRE results and percentile rank 
  • Aiming for a graduate degree
  • Information about how to contact (name, phone, email, address)

As a result, there are two types of score reports: For the Test-taker and the institutions

 

10. What to do after receiving your GRE total marks?

After you’ve completed the test, you’ll be asked if you’d like to report (see) or cancel your results. You can see your unofficial quantitative and verbal reasoning results right away if you choose “Report.” You won’t be able to change your GRE total marks once you’ve selected the report option.

7.	GRE Total Score Percentile – General Test The percentage of test-takers who scored lower scores than you is referred to as a percentile. For example, a 94th percentile score indicates that you outperformed 94 out of every 100 test-takers. GRE Scores	Quantitative	Verbal	Score levels	Analytical Writing 170	96	99	6.0	99 169	94	99	5.5	98 168	92	98	5.0	92 167	89	98	4.5	80 166	87	97	4.0.	55 165	85	96	3.5	38 164	83	94	3.0	14 163	80	92	3.5	6 162	78	90	2.0	1 161	75	88	0.0    –  1.5	  160	72	85	 	  159	69	82	 	  158	65	79	 	  157	62	75	 	  156	59	72	 	  155	55	67	 	  154	51	63	 	  153	48	59	 	  152	44	53	 	  151	40	50	 	  150	36	45	 	  149	33	40	 	  148	29	36	 	  147	25	32	 	  146	22	28	 	  145	18	25	 	  144	15	22	 	  143	13	19	 	  142	11	16	 	  141	9	14	 	  140	7	11	 	  139	6	9	 	  138	4	8	 	  137	3	6	 	  136	2	5	 	  135	2	4	 	  134	1	3	 	  133	1	2	 	  132	 	2	 	  131	 	1	 	  130	 	 	 	    8.	GRE Total Score percentile – Subject Test   GRE score	Biology	Literature in English	Physics	Psychology	Chemistry	Mathematics 980	–	–	95	–	–	– 940	99	–	86	–	99	97 900	98	–	82	–	97	94 860	94	–	76	–	92	88 820	89	–	69	99	83	80 780	80	–	62	95	73	73 740	70	98	55	86	62	66 700	58	94	48	73	51	58 660	46	85	40	58	39	50 620	34	73	32	44	28	41 580	24	59	23	32	18	32 540	16	46	16	22	11	23 500	9	33	9	15	6	14 460	5	22	4	9	3	8 420	2	13	2	5	1	3 380	1	6	–	2	–	1 340	–	3	–	1	–	– 300	–	1	–	–	–	–  9.	GRE Score Report The GRE General and Subject tests both have similar score reports. Your report includes the following information: •	Date of birth •	Contact information (name, phone number, and email) •	Gender •	Aiming for a graduate degree •	Your test results and percentile rankings •	Score receipts from authorized scorers or fellowship sponsors, as well as scores reported to such institutions •	The total number of points reported in the last five years •	Dates of the tests •	Dates of the tests Your score report is not the same as the official report given to the schools you choose. This report includes your: •	Your GRE results and percentile rank  •	Aiming for a graduate degree •	Information about how to contact (name, phone, email, address) As a result, there are two types of score reports: For the Test-taker and the institutions  10.	What to do after receiving your GRE total marks? After you've completed the test, you'll be asked if you'd like to report (see) or cancel your results. You can see your unofficial quantitative and verbal reasoning results right away if you choose "Report." You won't be able to change your GRE total marks once you've selected the report option.

Cancel the scores

  • You can’t have one section of the test’s score cancelled while the rest of the test’s score is published.
  • Your scores will no longer be accessible for review online once they have been cancelled.
  • Your cancelled scores will not be shared with anyone else.
  • There will be no reimbursement.
  • If you want to repeat the test after your results have been cancelled, you must register and pay for the test again.
  • Finally, keep in mind that ETS offers the ScoreSelect option, which allows you to choose whatever score you wish to send to b-schools.
  • You can have your scores reinstated through your ETS account within 60 days of the test date if you change your mind after cancelling them. However, there will be a $50 cost.

Reinstate the score

  • You can pay the fee by credit card, cheque, or money order.
  • If you’re paying by money order or paper check, fill out and mail the Score Reinstatement form.
  • When you register for score restoration, you get four free score recipients.
  • Pay $27 per recipient to have scores emailed to them later. If you do not choose score recipients, it will take two weeks for your results to be reinstated, and they will be delivered to your chosen universities immediately after that.

Conclusion

On the GRE, you can only get a few questions wrong and still achieve a perfect score, but keep in mind that the GRE is only one part of your grad school application. Students should devote their time to developing a strong application in a variety of areas instead of concentrating all of their efforts on achieving a perfect GRE score. Even if you had the greatest GRE score imaginable, it wouldn’t help you get into grad school if the rest of your application was bad. Similarly, non-perfect GRE scores won’t damage you as much if you have strong college grades, letters of recommendation, and other factors.

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