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What is a Good GRE Score?

Have you recently taken the GRE, or do you intend to soon? Then, you must be well conversant with the process of GRE score interpretation. How do GRE percentiles work? What does your IQ and capacity for success indicate from the GRE?

This blog will provide you advice on how to set a GRE goal score based on the programs you’re applying to, explain how to interpret GRE scores using averages and percentiles, and look at what GRE scores reveal about your intellect, your capacity for success, and your chances of admission.

What GRE Score do you Need?

A “great GRE score” could change from one person to the next and from one university to the next. For certain students, a score of 310 can be respectable, but it might not be sufficient for other pupils. Even though it can be difficult to provide a perfect response to the question, the following are some variables you may take into account when determining what, for you, represents a high GRE score.

  • Create a list of the colleges you intend to apply to.
  • Look at the usual GRE results for particular institutions.
  • Instead of looking at your overall score, most universities look at your verbal and quantitative results individually. Universities will place greater emphasis on your verbal score if you are applying to humanities programs; on your quantitative score if you are applying to science or math programs. So, pay attention to your scores based on the kind of program you wish to enroll in.
  • Try to get at least two points higher than the top score after finding the universities with the highest average scores. Higher scores are possible, and the better it is for you.

Excellent GRE results are also taken into account by universities when determining your eligibility for financial help or scholarships.

How to Read GRE Averages and Percentile Scores

The GRE’s Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning parts are each graded on a scale from 130 to 170, with each section’s scores being given in one-point increments. The lowest you may score is 130, and the best is 170 on this scale. The scoring range for the Analytical Writing (AW) portion is substantially lower, ranging from 0.0 to 6.0 in half-point increments. An above-average score is often regarded as an “excellent” score for all three GRE parts.

According to 2018 ETS statistics, the following are the current average GRE scores for each component, rounded to the closest entire point for Verbal and Quantitative:

  • Speech: 150
  • Quant: 153
  • AW: 3.50

Percentiles, in addition to average scores, may show you how your GRE results stack up against those of other test-takers. A percentile tells you what proportion of test-takers you outperformed in a particular area.

A high percentile indicates that you performed better than most test-takers, which is advantageous for graduate programs. A low percentile indicates that many students have achieved higher scores than you, which is less favorable for you.

Here is a summary of the most recent GRE percentiles and what they mean for your exam performance:


Verbal Score

Quantitative Score

GRE Score Interpretation








Very Good












Below Average






132 and below

134 and below

Very Poor

*Predicted score or range of scores (exact percentile unavailable).

**The highest percentile for the Quant segment is the 96th percentile, indicating that a greater proportion of test-takers obtained a perfect score on Quant than Verbal.

Here are all current percentiles for each potential AW score for the Analytical Writing component of the GRE, which is assessed differently from the two major GRE sections above:


AW Score

GRE Score Interpretation








Very Good











Below Average






Very Poor


1.5 and below

Here are some examples of excellent GRE scores in specific disciplines to give you an idea of the score you should strive for based on the subject you want to pursue.

Analytical Writing:

The maximum score for the analytical writing portion, which is scored separately from the quantitative and verbal sections, is 6. A minimum score of 4 might be considered acceptable in analytical writing.

GRE Score Needed for Pursuing Different Fields


Do you intend to complete your MBA abroad? Various B colleges accept GRE results in different ways. However, you must obtain a minimum score of 320 to be admitted to the best B schools in the US. However, a score of at least 330 should be sufficient for anybody hoping to apply for admission to Ivy League universities.


You should be able to get into the best institutions with a total score of at least 325. For MS, though, even a score above 300 is acceptable.


For someone seeking admission to a nursing program, a GRE score between 305 and 316 might be regarded as an excellent score.


Universities will give your Quants score more weight than your Verbal score. Aiming at least 160 on the Quants part should be sufficient if you want to pursue an engineering degree. However, you must strive for at least 166 to be admitted to the best colleges.


Again, many variables affect this. However, a score of about 310 should be sufficient for admission to a Ph.D. program.

To Get A Scholarship:

Scholarship eligibility is not primarily based on GRE performance. Good GRE scores will undoubtedly be beneficial, though. Aim for a score greater than the institution you are applying to’s average. And that ought to be sufficient to secure you a scholarship along with other elements.

The Concept o GRE and Analysis

1. The Concept of Percentage

The percentile strategy used by colleges is another crucial consideration you want to remember. What percentage of all GRE test takers you scored higher than may be calculated using the percentile concept. As a result, if your score is in the 25th percentile, you outperformed 25% of all test-takers.

The average or 50th percentile score is 150 on the verbal and 152.6 on the quantitative tests. The analytical writing portion receives an average grade of 3.5. Generally speaking, the Quant scores are more significant than the Verbal scores. For instance, a score of 165 is 89th percentile for quants while in the 96th percentile for verbal.

Therefore, any score that is higher than the median of the 50th percentile can be regarded as above average. However, you can strive for at least the 75th percentile to achieve a “good” score.

Being a competitive exam, your performance cannot be determined by your score. Your eligibility is determined by comparing your score to those of other test-takers.

To put things in perspective, the top 30 American colleges accept scores up to the 80th percentile. It’s important to note that the 80th percentile is not the sole factor determining whether or not your application will be accepted.

2. Understanding GRE Scores 

The Importance of Context: A broad overview of how to interpret GRE results is provided in the two charts above and their “GRE Score Interpretation” columns. Ultimately, how well your GRE score fits the requirements of the schools you’re applying to will determine how excellent it is. Context is essential for interpreting GRE results because of this.

Your Verbal score will probably be far more significant than your Quant score if you apply to a humanities school, such as English, history, or a foreign language. On the other side, your Quant score will be significantly more critical than your Verbal score if you apply to a graduate program in a science or math-related fields, such as physics, engineering, or computer sciences.

3. What role does the AW score play, though? 

Usually, your AW score will be the least significant of the three GRE scores you receive. Most institutions will give far more weight to your other GRE scores and any personal statements and/or statements of purpose you provide with your application rather than the AW score, even if others, like Creative Writing MFA programs, may place more emphasis on it. You must establish a GRE objective score to determine a decent GRE score for you, depending on the graduate schools you are applying to.

4. What Does Your GRE Score Tell You About Your IQ?

Many people question if their GRE results have any bearing on their IQ. There isn’t any direct relationship between a GRE score and IQ. A high GRE score indicates more about your aptitude for the test than your degree of intelligence.

One option is to prepare for the GRE and take it again with a higher score. Since intelligence is thought to be inherent and unchanging, you cannot prepare for an IQ exam or any other test to evaluate intellect. Still, you can and should study for the GRE.

5. Why is it that the GRE reflects a person’s level of intelligence?

Additionally, the GRE only evaluates one skill—abstract analytical thinking. Robert J. Sternberg, a Cornell professor and cognitive psychologist writes in The Atlantic that “some students simply don’t attain excellent GRE results notwithstanding they may be clever and extraordinarily talented.” Therefore, because of its constrained breadth, the GRE cannot effectively assess other crucial aspects of intelligence related to ambition, drive, and creativity.

Finally, we discover that very few, if any, high IQ communities and cultures today accept GRE results as proof of high intellect.

6. What Does Your GRE Score Say About Your Ability?

What does the GRE reveal about your general capacity for success, aside from your level of intelligence? After all, the purpose of the GRE is to forecast your performance in graduate school.

Numerous research were brought together in a 2007 Science magazine piece, which concluded that “standardised examinations, including the GRE, are good predictors of achievement in graduate school.” In other words, the GRE is a relatively reliable indicator of one’s likelihood of succeeding in graduate school.

Despite this conclusion, the research warns of potential drawbacks with its findings, including issues with the GRE’s prejudice against particular categories of individuals and that other success marker, such as motivation, and dedication to one’s work, are also important.

7. What Does Your GRE Score Say About Your Chances of Acceptance?

What do your GRE results tell you about your prospects of admission to the graduate schools you’re applying to? Two primary factors influence this question’s resolution:

  • Is the GRE required for admission to your graduate programs, and if so, what weight do the results have in the selection process.
  • How high are GRE scores desired, advised, or required by your graduate programs?

Factor 1: What Weight is Given to GRE Scores?

Your chances of acceptance will most likely be influenced by how much weight graduate programs give to GRE scores throughout the admissions process.

A poor GRE score (compared to other candidates; see Factor 2 for more information) will decrease your chances of being accepted to a program if the school places a high value on GRE results. However, achieving a high score will boost your likelihood of being admitted.

A high GRE score probably won’t make much of a difference in your chances of admission if a graduate program deems GRE scores irrelevant or less necessary than other application materials, such as your undergraduate transcripts, recommendations, and essays.

It’s preferable to submit your GRE results only if you do well on the test when they are optional (meaning it’s OK if you don’t send any scores in at all) (refer to the percentile charts to get a general idea of what good GRE scores are). It will be best for you not to submit any results if you didn’t perform well on the test, and providing scores is optional for the program. Instead, focus on improving other aspects of your application.

According to factor two, what are GRE scores deemed high for the program?

Your GRE results are the second thing to consider (if test scores are a significant consideration for the school you’re applying to).

The main factor determining whether a GRE score is high is what is considered high for your specific program. Find out if each of your programs publishes information on the GRE scores of accepted candidates by searching for each.

Most graduate schools use one of the following methods to publish GRE results:

  • Minimum (needed) marks,
  • Recommended scores
  • Admissions applicants’ average scores.

The simplest approach to get this information is to perform a Google search for “[School Name] [Program Name] GRE scores” and see what pages connected to the GRE appear.

You should assume that you will need to strive a little higher on the exam to stand out if you’re looking for a doctorate but can only discover GRE score information for the master’s version of the school you’re applying to.


Looking at the big picture and comparing your score to other test takers is the first step in understanding the meaning of your GRE result. Find your Verbal, Quantitative, and AW percentiles by looking up the most recent GRE percentiles. Your GRE score will appear better to graduate schools if your percentile is greater.

It’s time to learn more about the GRE score requirements for the graduate schools you’re applying to once you have a rough understanding of your GRE score meaning. Find any official school pages on Google that detail typical GRE scores, minimum necessary GRE scores, and/or suggested GRE scores to achieve this. 

In the end, while GRE scores are a significant factor in graduate school admissions, they are not the only factor determining the success of your application or your future. What you do with what is provided is entirely up to you.


1. What does a low GRE score mean?
Badness is a relative concept. To put it another way, a score that prevents you from attending the university of your choice might be referred to as a negative score.

2. Is a GRE score of 330 considered good?
Under the condition that you have a solid overall profile, powerful LORs, and outstanding SOPs, a 330 is unquestionably a good enough score to get you into elite colleges.

3. What does a GRE Ivy League score mean?
For instance, the typical GRE verbal and quantitative scores of candidates accepted into the IVY LEAGUE vary from 155 to 166 and 155 to 170, respectively. Many programs require scores in the 160s or the top 10-15%ile.

4. Is GRE score important for Ph.D.?
You can often pursue a Ph.D. without taking the GRE. However, you might be required to submit a general GRE or GMAT score if you intend to study for a Ph.D. in business or management at several anglophone universities, notably in North America and Australia.

5. How much should I study for the GRE each day?
You should study at least four times every week for a total of about twelve hours if you want to get the most excellent GRE score possible. Remember that this sum is predicated on the idea that you have at least a few months to be ready.



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