Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores play an important role in your admissions requirement for most graduate schools in the USA. Those who are setting their sights on top universities must aim for an excellent score.
An Understanding GRE Score
While Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning of GRE is measured on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments, Analytical Writing score is on a 0–6 score level, in half-point increments. GRE scores will reflect your potential to succeed in graduate school. However, the test scores are just one of the several criteria that the grad schools use to evaluate their applicants.
So, What Is A Good GRE Score?
It is obvious that a score of 130 is poor and anything above 165 in Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning is excellent. It may not be possible for every student to achieve an exceptional score that will open up a place for them in an Ivy League grad school. A good score is quite a subjective matter as it depends on the particular grad school that you wish to join. It totally depends on the average GRE scores of applicants to that specific educational institution.
Most grad schools may consider candidates with scores above the 75th percentile in either section. A 157 or higher in math and in verbal may make you an eligible candidate. However, 160 in math and 159 in verbal, which would be scores one standard deviation from mean is certainly better. Scores two standard deviations from the mean (166 in math and 165 in verbal) will put you in the top five percentage applying to grad schools.
How to Find Score Averages?
There are several ways to find out the best score range a university is accepting. Some schools publish the ranges of scores of their past applicants on their website. This information will help you understand where you stand. If they are not to be found on the grad school's website, you can check other online resources. As a last resort, you can get in touch with the admissions counselor. Beware that you may be told that there is no minimum score, if you haven't established a report with the concerned person before you ask about your GRE scores.
Will a High GRE Guarantee Admission?
No. A high GRE score does not guarantee a spot in one of the top grad schools in USA. Make sure that other components of your application are equally strong to get you that spot. Obtain the best GPA (Grade Point Average), write a spectacular SOP (Statement of Purpose), get an amazing letter of recommendation and get as much work experience as possible to increase your chances of admission.
Low scores do not automatically disqualify you from being a prospective applicant for a top university, but they reduce your chances of getting in. Higher your GRE scores better are your chances of getting scholarships, teaching assistant positions and various other opportunities.