Decoding the GRE Score Range

The GRE score range is a confusion point for some test takers. Test takers who have taken the test prior to August 1, 2011 are used to the broad GRE score range of 200-800. The GRE revised general test score range, in contrast, might seem difficult to understand.

Let’s understand the GRE score range:

Section Score Scale
Verbal Reasoning 130-170, in one point increments
Quantitative Reasoning 130-170, in one point increments
Analytical Writing 0-6, in half point increments

If you examine the score scale, the maximum of 170 in both sections means you can score a potential score of 340 in the exam. Weird numbers, aren’t they? However, if you look at the score range from a percentile rank perspective, the 130-170 scale makes a lot more sense.

On the old 200-800 GRE score range, scores were given in ten point increments. This meant that the differentiation among high scorers was very negligible. For example, if you take a look at the verbal reasoning concordance table, a score of 800 would fetch 99 percentile while a score of 740 would also fetch the same rank. In the new GRE score range, the one point increments offer a lot better differentiation for test takers with high scores.

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Additionally, the GRE score reports for applicants who have taken the test prior to August 1, 2011 include verbal and quantitative scores on the 200-800 score scale along with estimated verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning scores on the 130-170 score scale.

For more information related to scoring, visit the FAQs section of the ETS website.

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