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GRE scores – What is the total GRE score | How is the GRE test scored?

Understanding your GRE Scores can get a little tricky. GRE scores are associated with percentile ranks and are scored on a scale. You can take either the GRE general or the subject test. Both the tests are scored on a different GRE score scale. The general exam is offered in two formats – computer-based and paper-based. However, the GRE scoring for both formats is similar. GRE subject tests are given at paper-delivered test centers.

The highest total GRE score you can get on the general test is 340. It is calculated by adding up your Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning scores. Generally, a 90th percentile is an excellent score, whereas a 75th percentile is a pretty good GRE score. Thus, anything above the average score of 300, can be considered as a perfect GRE score. However, a good GRE score depends on the institution you are targeting.

Three scores are reported on the GRE General Test:

GRE Sections Score Scale
Quantitative Reasoning130-170 score scale, in 1-point increments
Verbal Reasoning130-170 score scale, in 1-point increments
Analytical Writing0-6 scale, in half-point increments

On the other hand, the Subject test yields a total score on a 200 to 990 scale, in a 10-points increment. Unlike the general test, the Subject test does not have sectional scores.

GRE Scores 2021

Here is a brief overview of GRE scores for General and Subject test (for test-takers):

GRE Scores General Test Subject Test
Total GRE score340200-990
GRE Max Score 340 990
Lowest GRE score260200
GRE score scale130-170 each section 200-990
Sectional scores Yes No

Before moving forward, here is a list of articles on GRE:

This article will help you learn what your GRE scores and percentiles mean, and how to analyze them. Bonus content on GRE scores cancellation and reinstatement policies.

GRE Scores 2021

GRE scores – How the GRE General test is scored?

Your GRE scores are essential for conducting a holistic admission process. It helps in evaluating applicants from different backgrounds on a standard scale.

Generally, if you want to do an MBA, take the GMAT, and if you are still confused about which master’s degree you want to earn, take the GRE general test. Learn the difference between GMAT and GRE.

Three Scores are reported on the GRE General Test:

  1. Quantitative Reasoning score reported on a 130-170 score scale, in 1-point increments
  2. Verbal Reasoning score reported on a 130-170 score scale, in 1-point increments
  3. Analytical Writing score reported on a 0-6 scale, in half-point increments

Your scores on the Quantitative and Verbal reasoning measures reflect the number of questions you answer correctly, as well as the difficulty level of each section.  

The score for the analytical writing measure is calculated based on each essay question (2 essay questions in total). Your Analytical Writing section is scored by a trained reader and a computerized program developed by ETS that can identify essay features related to writing proficiency.

Check out the GRE Syllabus 2021 for General test.

GRE Scores – How the GRE subject test is scored?

The subject test is scored between 200 to 990 score scale, in 10-points increments. You should note that the individual test scales occupies only a portion of the 200 to 900 score range.

The actual range for any subject test is smaller from 20 to 99, in one-point increment.

There are six discipline under subject test:

  1. Biology
  2. Chemistry
  3. Literature in English
  4. Physics
  5. Psychology
  6. Mathematics
GRE Subject TestGRE Score Scale
Psychology200 to 990 score scale, in 10-points increments.

Subscores: 20-99 score scale, in one-point increment.
Chemistry200 to 990 score scale, in 10-points increments.
Literature in English200 to 990 score scale, in 10-points increments.
Physics200 to 990 score scale, in 10-points increments.

Subscores: 20-99 score scale, in one-point increment.
Mathematics200 to 990 score scale, in 10-points increments.
Biology200 to 990 score scale, in 10-points increments.

Sub scores: 20-99 score scale, in one-point increment.

The physics, Psychology, and biology tests also yield sub scores on a 20 to 99 score scale, in one-point increments.

The GRE Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Test was discontinued in December 2016. However, the scores will continue to be reportable for five years following the testing year you tested (July 1–June 30).

Check out the GRE exam pattern 2021 for General and subject test

Total GRE Score – Highest and Lowest GRE score

The total GRE score is calculated only based on your Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning section. The max score that you can get on the quantitative and verbal reasoning is 170, whereas the lowest possible GRE score for both the sections is 130. Thus, the total highest score you can get is 340, whereas the lowest GRE score is 260:

GRE section-wise scoresVerbalQuantitativeTotal GRE Score
Lowest GRE Score130130260
Highest GRE Score170170340
Total GRE score

The total score reported for the subject test is between 200 to 990. Subscores are also reported for Physics, biology, and psychology tests on a 20-99 score scale, in one-point increment.

Did you know 9 out of 10 MBA Admissions decisions are made using a GMAT score?

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Understanding your GRE scores

You should not compare scores from different general test measures directly because each measure is scaled separately. For example, you cannot directly compare your verbal and quantitative reasoning scores.

The same is true for GRE Subject test. As the scores are calculated independently for each test, subject test scores should be compared only with other scores on the same subject test. For instance, a score of 670 on the Mathematics test is not equivalent to a 670 on the physics test .

To measure your relative performance among the measures, you can use the percentile ranks.

GRE score Percentiles – What is it?

A percentile describes the percentage of test-takers who scored lower than you. For example, if you scored 94th percentile, it means that you scored better than 94 out of every 100 test-taker.

General Score Percentile

Here are the GRE score percentiles for Analytical writing, Verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning:

GRE ScoresQuantitative Verbal Score levelsAnalytical Writing
17096996.099
16994995.598
16892985.092
16789984.580
16687974.0.55
16585963.538
16483943.014
16380923.56
16278902.01
16175880.0    –  1.5 
1607285  
1596982  
1586579  
1576275  
1565972  
1555567  
1545163  
1534859  
1524453  
1514050  
1503645  
1493340  
1482936  
1472532  
1462228  
1451825  
1441522  
1431319  
1421116  
141914  
140711  
13969  
13848  
13736  
13625  
13524  
13413  
13312  
132 2  
131 1  
130    

The data is based on the performance of all individuals who tested between July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2019.

Subject Score Percentile

GRE score BiologyLiterature in EnglishPhysicsPsychologyChemistryMathematics
98095
94099869997
90098829794
86094769288
8208969998380
7808062957373
740709855866266
700589448735158
660468540583950
620347332442841
580245923321832
540164616221123
500933915614
4605224938
4202132513
3801621
34031
3001

This data is based on the performance of all individuals who tested between July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2019.

How to analyze your performance based on GRE Scores? 

If you have scored low, you can know where you went wrong by availing of the Diagnostic service. You can use this service to help you understand your performance on questions in the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections. The same service can be used for GRE Subject test sources.

It is free of cost and includes the types of questions you answered correctly and incorrectly organized by the difficulty level, skill, and time spent on each question. You can access this service on your ETS account.

Apart from this, you can also review Analytical writing scores for a fee of $60 within 90 days after your Exam.

This fee can be paid online through your ETS account or by paper check or mail order. You will need to fill this form if you are not opting for online payment.

GRE Score Report 2021

The score report for GRE General and Subject tests are similar.

Your report contains

  • Date of birth
  • Contact information (name, phone number, and email)
  • Gender
  • Intended graduate major
  • Your test scores and the percentile ranks
  • Authorized score receipts or fellowship sponsors and scores that is reported to those institutions
  • The cumulative record of scores reported within the last five years
  • Test dates

Your score report is different from the official report that gets sent to the institutions you select. This report includes your:

  • GRE test scores and associated percentile
  • Intended graduate major
  • Contact information (name, phone, email, address)

Thus, there are two types of score reports – For the Test-taker and the institutions

ETS GRE – Sample of test-taker and official report

Here is the sample of test-taker and official report taken from the ETS official website:

GRE Score Report for Test taker
GRE Official Report

You can send your scores to four institutions for free on the test date. However, if you want to send it to more than four institutions you will be charged $27 per report. Also, if you have taken the GRE multiple times, the Select Score Option allows you to select your scores in the past five years that you want to send to institutions.

Planning to take the GRE? Know the GRE eligibility criteria for 2021.

Cancellation and Reinstatement Policies

Once you have given the test, you will be asked if you want to report (view) or cancel your scores. If you select “Report,” you will view your unofficial quantitative and verbal reasoning scores right away. Once you have chosen the report option, you cannot cancel your scores.

If you decide to cancel your scores:

  • You cannot cancel the score for one section of the test and have the score for the remaining reported
  • Once your scores are canceled, they will not be available for your review online
  • Your canceled scores will not be reported to any score recipients
  • No refund
  • If you want to retake the test after canceling your scores, you must register and submit another test payment
  • At last, do remember that ETS provides you an option to select your score that you want to send out to b-schools, with the ScoreSelect option

If you are having second thoughts after canceling your scores, you can reinstate them within 60 days after your test date through the ETS account. However, a fee of $50 will be charged.

If you decide to reinstate your score:

  • You can pay the fee online or through a paper check or money order
  • Complete and mail the Score Reinstatement form if you are paying by money order or paper check
  • You get four free score recipients while registering for the score reinstatement,
  • Pay $27 per recipient to have scores sent at a later stage, If you do not select score recipients,
  • It will take approx. Two weeks for your scores to be reinstated, and shortly afterward it will be sent to your chosen institutions

Did you know 9 out of 10 MBA admission decisions are made using a GMAT score? Start your GMAT Preparation by registering for our FREE Trial. We can help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. We are the most reviewed GMAT Preparation company on the GMATClub with more than 2000 reviews!

GRE Scores- FAQs

What is a Good GRE score out of 340?

Generally, a 75th percentile is a good GRE score, and a 90th percentile is an excellent one. Thus, a score of 318 and above is good, whereas a score of 329 is an excellent one. Here is a three-step process to determine a good GRE score for you.

What is the total GRE score?

The maximum total score you can get on the GRE is 340 (a 170 each in Quantitative and verbal reasoning, with a 6 in Analytical writing). On the other hand, the GRE subject test yields a total score on a 200 to 900 scale, in a 10-point increment. Unlike the general test, the subject test does not have sectional scores.

What scores are reported on the GRE ?

Three scores are reported on the GRE General Test:
1. Verbal Reasoning: 130-170, in 1-point increments
2. Quantitative Reasoning: 130-170, in 1-point increments
3. Analytical Writing: 0-6, in half-point increments

Can I take the GRE multiple times?

Yes. You can take the General test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous 12-month period. If you have taken GRE numerous times, you have the freedom to select the scores that you want to send to institutions.

How many institutions can you send the GRE score report for FREE?

On the test day, you can send four free score reports to the institutions of your choice. The ScoreSelect option allows you to select a score from all the GRE tests taken in the last five years. This is applicable for both General and subject test.

What if I am not able to take the GRE on the test day?

If you are not able to take the GRE on the test day you will forfeit your test fee. Also, institutions will not receive any information about your absence or about any previous scores you may have on your account.

Will the receipts of my GRE scores get to know about the other score recipients?

No. The score report sent to the institution will not include any information concerning the other score recipients you have chosen.

Can I view GRE scores online?

Yes. After you receive an email notification from ETS, you can view your score online. GRE general test scores are generally reported between 10-15 days, whereas GRE subject test scores take approx. five weeks.

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