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What is a good GRE score?

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What is a good GRE score? [#permalink] New post 23 May 2014, 09:53
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The short answer is that a “good” score is different for everyone. But in this post you will get a longer, more comprehensive answer.
Determining what a good score is for you will take some time and research. But if you can identify your target score early in your GRE prep, you’ll be more likely to hit that target since you can focus your study plan accordingly. It’s well worth it! Just follow the steps below to determine your target score…

Identify what is a good GRE score for your program
A good score on the Revised GRE varies significantly by program. For instance, applicants admitted to the top 10 Engineering programs on 2011 had an average GRE quant score of 770. That score is the 86th percentile, about a 161 on the Revised GRE. However, applicants admitted to the top 10 Education programs had an average GRE quant score of 660, 61st percentile, about a 152 on the new GRE. That’s a quite a difference!
Use sources such as the US News and World Report to research the average GRE scores for your particular major.

Identify your target school
Are you aiming for a top 10 school or a top 50 school in your program? Do you have a specific dream school? By answering these questions, you can better determine what type of score you’ll need on the new GRE. Let’s build upon the Engineering example above. Applicants admitted to #1 ranked MIT had an average quant score of 780, while those admitted to #22 ranked Maryland had an average quant score of 740. That’s a 5 point difference on the new GRE scoring scale (163 vs. 158). Clearly, what’s a good GRE can vary from school to school.

Use this GRE scores percentiles chart borrowed from ETS to determine how the averages from previous years compare to the new GRE scoring scale.
You can also use this school finder to help you find and request more information from schools for free.

Talk to current students and the admissions committee

Some schools care more about quant and others care more about verbal. Find out which a target program/school is interested in by talking to the admissions committee and current students. Go to their website and find a contact to email. Let them know you are a prospective student and provide some background about yourself. In many cases, schools will try to connect you with a current student who has a similar background to you. Use that opportunity to learn about the admissions process and the program as a whole.

Aim for a better than average GRE score

The admitted students who perform below average on the GRE may have extraordinary stories, great GPA’s, and/or fantastic work experience. To improve your odds of acceptance, do better than average. But there’s no need to overdo it. If you are aiming for a program that has an average quant score of 155, and you score 160, you likely don’t need to take the GRE again, even if you think you could get 165. You have already demonstrated that you have quantitative aptitude and now it’s time to focus on the rest of your application.

Prep for the GRE with your target score in mind

By researching GRE scores ahead of time, you can determine what areas to focus on for your GRE prep. For instance, if your program is more interested in quant, then spend more time working on quant. We have a quite a few GRE study plans to help you with your prep. They provide options for students preparing for 1 week, 6 months, or anything in between. Keith, one of our customers, recently increased his quant score from 152 to 165 using Magoosh. Read about his GRE experience here We also have a score increase guarantee for those re-taking the exam.


As I mentioned scores depend on your particular target school and program. But in general scores above the 75th percentile in either section are good – that’s a 157 or higher in math and in verbal. Scores at least one standard deviation from the mean are even better, 160 in math and 159 in verbal. And scores two standard deviations from the mean put you in the top 5%, 166 in math and 165 in verbal, at which point your GRE score will certainly not be an impediment.

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Re: What is a good GRE score? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2016, 14:43
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Over the years, one of the most common question I have been asked by my students is, “What is a good GRE score?” I have got to admit that it is still one of the toughest question to answer. A good GRE score range mostly depends on the expectations of the student. The perception of a ‘Good GRE score’ also varies from individual to individual. Same with the universities. Some students might consider University of Michigan as a good college and hence the score required to get an admission there would be perceived as a Good GRE score by them. However, students who are targeting Harvard, won’t perceive University of Michigan as a top college. Hence their idea of a good GRE score range will be much higher. Anyway, according to my experience and perception I would recommend the following slabs as ranges for a good GRE score.

TOP SCORE – These scores will place you among the top 10% of the test takers and get you admissions into the Top US Universities.

163(V) + 165(Q) + 5(AWA) = 328 (GRE Score)

GOOD SCORE – These scores will place you among the top 25% of the test takers and get you admissions into excellent US Universities. And guess what? You still have a shot at Ivy League universities if you have a good and consistent profile.

158-162(V) + 159-164(Q) + 4.5(AWA) = 317-327 (GRE Score)

These scores will place you among the top 50% of the test takers. Though, these scores won’t help your chances of getting into the Top US Universities, you will have a shot of many non-Ivy League universities. These are pretty decent scores and not at all bad. Though you might face some competition if you are applying for highly sought after programs. Make sure that you build up a strong profile.

152-157(Q) + 159-164(V) + 4.0(AWA) = 305-316 (GRE Score)

These scores will place you among the remaining 50% of the test takers. Though these scores would get you admissions in many universities, chances are high that these universities might not be regarded as Top Universities or Excellent Universities by conventional standards. These universities can still offer you unconventional programs and help you build your own niche. Or you can just retake the GRE and aim to boost your GRE scores for a shot at more popular universities.

151(V) + 152(Q) + 3.5(AWA) = 260-303(GRE Score)

Furthermore you may also want to look into the average GRE score required for various fields of studies. Additionally we have suggested a ‘Safe Score’ which is based on standard deviations and can be seen as a pointer for a Good GRE score. This will help you to determine your own target of a good GRE score.


Mean Score - 151(V) + 151(Q) + 3.8(AWA)

Safe Score -158(V) + 158(Q) + 3.5(AWA)


Mean Score - 153(V) + 158(Q) + 3.8(AWA)

Safe Score - 162(V) + 165(Q) + 3.5(AWA)

ENGINEERING -> Comment or revert back for further score info.
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Re: What is a good GRE score? [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2015, 01:59
how to get 310
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Re: What is a good GRE score? [#permalink] New post 13 May 2016, 05:39
Overall 315 will take you to Safer side.

Improvise Adapt and Overcome

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Re: What is a good GRE score? [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2016, 04:47
I want at least 330. Did someone received this score? Is it real?
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Re: What is a good GRE score? [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2016, 22:21
I think 310-340 is a good score. But, it really does depend on the program and etc.
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Re: What is a good GRE score? [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2016, 09:10
We have created a helpbook for approaching SOPs for MiS, it includes research on MIS programs and sample successful SoPs, if you wish to receive a copy please inbox me, kindly don't comment on this post.
Re: What is a good GRE score?   [#permalink] 28 Dec 2016, 09:10
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