GRE Score

Many graduate schools in the United States and other English-speaking countries require that students seeking admission take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). This test measures analytical writing skills, verbal reasoning skills, critical thinking skills, and quantitative reasoning skills. Accordingly, the GRE does not test any specific field of study; rather, it tests potential graduate students in tasks of a general academic nature.

GRE ScoreDifferent schools use GRE scores in different ways, and this usage varies from school to school, department to department, and program to program. Some schools or programs consider only verbal scores, while other programs might consider only quantitative scores. The GRE is available both on computer and on paper. The computer-based test lasts approximately three hours, while the paper test can last up to four hours. The paper GRE has three scored sections—verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing–with the same number of questions in each section.

  • The analytical writing section of the GRE will instruct you to choose one of two issues and state your perspective on that issue.You will have 30 minutes to complete your writing.
  • Then, using that same issue, you must complete an argument task. You will have 30 minutes to complete this portion of the test.
  • The two verbal sections of the GRE consist of 25 questions per section, and you will have 35 minutes to complete your answers.
  • The quantitative section of the GRE features two subsections with 25 questions each, and you will have 40 minutes to complete each section.
  • One section of each test will remain unscored, but since you will not know which section will be overlooked, you should do your best on all of the sections.

Your GRE scores range from 130 to 170 for both the verbal and quantitative sections, and the analytical writing is rated from 1 to 6. The chart immediately following this section summarizes various universities’ GRE expectations for incoming students.

GRE tests are available all year long at various centers all over the country. Dates and times vary and appointments are necessary. You cannot take the GRE more than five times in twelve months, and you cannot take the GRE more than one time per month.

Average GRE scores of students at well-known universities compared to the average GRE scores of all test takers—How do you measure up?

University

Average Verbal Score

Average Quantitative
Score

Columbia

160

161

Cornell

155

165

Harvard

160

161

Yale

167

162

UCLA

156

162

University of MI

157

164

University of NC

158

160

William and Mary

160

155

Average score of test takers

151

152

In addition, there are a number of subject tests available, much like the SAT. These are offered in October, November, and April of every year. More information is available on the ETS website, subject test section.

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