If you are looking for numbers, this question is a tough one. Since the GRE is accepted by graduate schools ranging across disciplines as diverse as engineering, business management and arts, giving you numbers is extremely difficult. What maybe a very good score for one program may barely suffice for the other. Of course the higher you score, the better it is!
The GRE is scored on a 130-170 scale for both quant and verbal sections. Since it is such a small range, even a few points can be the difference between a top school and other lower ranked schools. You ideally should perform well on both the sections to improve your chances of admission to graduate programs of your choice. A good GRE score is simply the one that lands you a seat at the program of your choice.
To determine good GRE scores for graduate programs, look at the programs you are interested in. Do you want to pursue engineering, life sciences or business management? Your GRE score milestone will vary according to the discipline you are interested in. You must also identify the schools of your choice and check the historical data of average scores to get a better understanding of GRE score requirements. Tons of data is available online for research. You can also speak to the admissions office of these schools. Consider this part as your first stepping stone towards a good GRE score.
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Once you have identified average scores at the schools of your choice, prepare a target score. If you are gunning for scholarships or want to make up for an average GPA, you will need higher GRE scores. Make adjustments to your target score accordingly. Make sure your average scores lie in the 50th-99th percentile range to stay competitive.
Of course, you need to keep in mind that GRE scores are not the only factor in admission. Your GPA, personal statements, resume – all contribute towards admission. If you do not have a very strong application, a good GRE score is the only thing that can improve your chances of admission to a leading program.