How does GRE figure test scores?

  • The GRE is an adaptive test. This means that the second part of each section reflects your score on the first. If you do well, you will receive harder questions and can receive a higher total score. If you do poorly in the first section, you will not get the tougher questions that bring high scores.
  • Unlike the GMAT, GRE is adaptive by the section only, not by the question. It means if you do well on the first Quantitative section, you will get a harder second Quantitative section.
  • The GRE composite score ranges from 260 to 340.
  • Again, the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the GRE are adaptive which makes the scoring process slightly different. Depending on your performance in the first part of either section, you will receive either easier or more difficult questions in the next.
  • First, the raw score, that is, the number of questions answered correctly against the number of questions, will be computed. Then, this score will be recomputed in consideration of the level of difficulty of the questions you answered.
    • The process also considers minor fluctuations from test to test. This scaled score is the final score the test-taker will receive and will fall within a score range of 130 to 170, in 1-point increments, for both the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections.
    • For the Analytical Writing section, each essay is reviewed by two readers, who grade them on a scale of 0-6. The readers will grade the essay as a whole, taking into account its organization, succinctness and the general quality of argument put forth by the writer. Then, the two readers’ scores are combined and averaged. The average is rounded up to the nearest half-point decimal and the result is the single score the test-taker receives.

When can I view my scores?

  • At the end of the exam, you will be asked if you want to see and keep your score or not. If you answer "yes," you are given your score immediately on your computer screen and it is entered into your ETS record. If you answer "no," you are not given your score and no score is entered.

How long does it take to receive a score report?

  • Requested score reports are sent to schools within 10-15 days after the exam. All non-cancelled GRE testing administrations will be listed (and usable) in your ETS record for 5 years.

After I view my scores can I cancel reporting them to ETS?

  • No.

How do I report my scores and what are the costs?

  • At the end of your GRE administration, you will report your scores to ETS, and you can choose to submit your scores directly to up to four institutions without additional cost. For any additional score reports, the cost is $23 per report.

Can I send my multiple choice scores without the writing scores?

  • No.

How long are my GRE scores valid?

  • Your GRE scores are valid for five years. At this time, it is not possible to order score reports from a GRE administration prior to July 1, 2003.

Can I request that my Analytical Writing Assessment be re-evaluated?

  • You can have your AWA re-evaluated within six months of your GRE administration. It costs $55 and entitles you to have your essays read by different testing professionals. Your scores will be available in about four weeks. Please find instructions for having you AWA re-assessed on

Which scores are reported if I test more than once?

  • All released GRE scores will be reported to your chosen institutions.

If I report multiple scores to a college will they take my best score or an average?

  • At this time, admissions departments will tend to favor one of the following two approaches to multiple GRE scores:
    • 1. Evaluate all scores and put emphasis on score increases (meaning that several, similar scores would be detrimental to your application), or
    • 2. Evaluate all scores and choose the highest score in each section. Taking an average of the scores is uncommon.

Who can see the essays I wrote?

  • If you choose to send your GRE scores to ETS, your essays will be distributed to any and all programs for which you apply.

What if I cancel a score and later decide to reinstate it?

  • You can request that ETS reinstate a cancelled score within 60 days of your test date for a fee of $30.

GRE Score Distribution

  Scaled Score Verbal Reasoning % Quantitative Reasoning %  
  170 99 99  
  169 99 98  
  168 98 97  
  167 97 96  
  166 96 94  
  165 95 92  
  164 93 90  
  163 91 88  
  162 89 86  
  161 86 83  
  160 83 81  
  159 80 77  
  158 77 74  
  157 73 71  
  156 69 68  
  155 65 64  
  154 61 60  
  153 57 56  
  152 53 52  
  151 49 48  
  150 44 43  
  149 40 39  
  148 36 35  
  147 32 31  
  146 28 27  
  145 24 23  

GRE Analytical Writing Assessment Score

  AWA Writing Score Writing %  
  6.0 99  
  5.5 96  
  5.0 92  
  4.5 73  
  4.0 49  
  3.5 30  
  3.0 11  
  2.5 6  
  2.0 1