What is an Above Average GRE Score for Admissions?

GRE entrance exam

The GRE is attempted by candidates who wish to pursue their Master’s degree at some of the top universities in the world. Hence, it is one of the most challenging exams and requires a lot of preparation so that you get a good score. Most candidates wonder what is an ideal GRE score to help gain admissions in the top universities. Let us learn more about the exam and scores below. 

GRE Exam 

The GRE comprises three main sections — Quantitative Reasoning, Analytical Writing, and Verbal Reasoning. Each of these sections has a separate scoring range as you can see mentioned below. 

SectionScore Range
Analytical Writing Assessment1 – 6 with intervals of 0.5
Verbal Reasoning130 – 170 with intervals of 1 (scaled)
Quantitative Reasoning130 – 170 with intervals of 1 (scaled)

The GRE total composite score is a total of your scores in both the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. Your score on the Analytical Writing section is reported separately. The highest possible total GRE score that can be achieved is 340 and the minimum score is 260. What if you get 320? Is 320 a good GRE score? This depends on the programs you are applying to for admissions and the cutoff scores required for each of these programs. For example, if the cutoff score at the program you are applying to is 310, then 320 will be a competitive score but on the other hand, if the cutoff score is higher than 320, then you will need to score higher to have a better chance of gaining admissions. 

Along with your GRE scores, you also receive the percentile scores that help you understand how you have performed in the GRE entrance exam in comparison to the others who have attempted the exam. Below is an example of a list of scores to help you understand how your percentile rank will be along with your total score on the GRE.

Score RangePercentile RankPerformance
320 – 34085 – 99Excellent
300 –32050 – 55Good
280 – 30040 – 50Average
Below 26030 – 40Poor

From the given scores above you can clearly understand which scores t are considered above average and which scores are considered below average. The above tabular column is to give you a general idea about what score ranges help you reach good percentile rankings. It is important to pay more attention to the cutoff scores that are expected from the universities you are applying to so that you prepare well and reach your target score. For example, if the cutoff score is around 310-320, then it is safe to try and score above 320. More so, your GRE scores are valid for a period of 5 years. Once you complete the exam your GRE scorecard will be sent to your mail. The GRE scorecard consists of the following information:

  • GRE Test scores and respective percentile ranks
  • Date of Birth 
  • Gender
  • Contact information
  • Intended graduate major

We hope this article has given you a brief overview of the average GRE scores expected for the admissions process at most universities.

Good Luck!

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