What is an average GRE score?
The GRE, or Graduate Record Exam, is a required test for people wishing to enter Graduate School. The GRE is made up of two distinct tests — the General Test and any Subject Tests you wish to take. Many people won’t need to take any Subject Tests, but some areas of study will require it.
The General Test is made up of three parts — verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing. The verbal and the quantitative tests will produce a separate score between 200 – 800. Scores on the analytical writing test are reported in 0.5 point increments on a scale from 0 to 6.
The Subject Tests measure knowledge of specific concepts related to graduate study in a given field — these tests also produce a score of between 200 – 800.
Different Grad Schools will require different minimum scores and will have different requirements in terms of Subject Tests and the like.
In truth, the most important part of your GRE in terms of admission to Grad School is your scores on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE and not the Subject Test you’re asked to take. In order to do well on the verbal and quantitative sections, you should score 550 or above on each test. This will almsot guarantee your score is acceptable for many PhD programs, not to mention Master’s programs. As Master’s degree programs are less competitive than Doctoral, lower scores (let’s call it 450 – 500 on each of the tests) is often acceptable. Scores of less than 450 on either one of the tests will cause trouble when it comes time to apply for Grad School.
Average GRE Score
Depending on what school you’re looking for, average GRE scores fluctuate. Let’s look at an up and coming University like the University of North Texas. This school’s average quantitative GRE scores have gone from 417 just four years ago to 565 this past term. This shows that a smarter and more qualified pool of applicants is applying to UNT and that your score should be somewhere around that new average of 565 quantitatove in order to be competitive. Look at the GRE scores for the specific schools you’re applying to an aim for something near that.
What Is a Good GRE Score?
According to experts on GRE testing, there is no official “good score” or “minimum score” for acceptance into Grad School or a PhD program.
In theory, any score you make above 550 for verbal and 700 for Quantitative is way more than acceptable — so shooting for these big numbers should be your goal.
However, if you earn a lower score on any part of the test but the rest of your Grad School application contains killer accomplishments like experience in the professional world or awesome grades in your undergraduate program, the GRE score simply won’t matter.
Putting together your Grad School application is an arduous process, so you need to manage your time as best you can. If you make a decent score on your GRE (say around 1000 total) there is no point wasting time studying and re-taking the GRE. At this point, you should improve your references, your personal statements, and any extra information your school requires such as a portfolio or body of work.
You should only ever re-take the GRE test if you made a big mistake and your score was significantly lower than you can manage or will keep you from your top school.
This is part of a series of articles about college prep and entrance exam scores. The other posts in this series include:
- What is an Average PSAT Score?
- What Is an Average ASVAB Score?
- What Is an Average MCAT Score?
- What Is an Average DAT Score?
- What Is an Average GMAT Score?
- What Is an Average PSAT Score?
- What Is an Average GRE Score?
- What Is an Average LSAT Score?
- What Is an Average ACT Score?
- What Is an Average SAT Score?