How Do GRE General Scores Compare to Prior GRE Scores?

Where do you rank on the GRE General Test?

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How Do ​GRE General Scores Compare to Prior GRE Scores?

ETS changed the GRE in a major way as of August 1, 2011. The entire test got an overhaul. New types of questions emerged, and with them, an entirely new set of GRE scores. If you happened to have taken the GRE prior to the change in 2011, or are just doing research on GRE scoring history, here's a look at how the GRE General scores (previously referred to as Revised GRE scores) compare to the old GRE scores from pre-August 2011.

 

Prior GRE Scores

On the old GRE exam, scores ranged from 200-800 points in 10-point increments on both the Verbal and Quantitative sections, with 200 being incredibly low and 800 being the highest score you could earn on each portion of the test. The  Analytical Writing section ranged from 0 - 6 in half-point increments. A 0 was a no-score and a 6 was very nearly unattainable, although a few testers managed to nab that incredible score.

On the previous test, good GRE scores ranged from the mid to upper 500's in the Verbal section and mid to upper 700's in the Quantitative Section. You'd expect that students looking to enter into programs like Yale's school of management and UC Berkeley's graduate school of psychology to be earning in the 90th percentiles and higher. 

A sidenote: GRE scores are valid for up to five years. This is bad news for those of you who tested prior to August 1, 2011.

As of August 1, 2016, your GRE scores are no longer valid and will NOT be considered for admission if you happened to have put off attending graduate school for a while. The good news? Many people find that although the current GRE General Test is quite challenging, the test questions are more relevant to the workplace, graduate school curricula, and real-life experiences, so you may just get a better score the next time you take the exam.

 

GRE General Scores

On the GRE General Test, previously known as the Revised GRE, scores range from 130-170 points in 1-point increments on both the revised Verbal and Quantitative sections. A 130 is the lowest score you could possibly obtain, while 170 is the absolute highest. The Analytical Writing test is still scored from 0-6 in half-point increments just as it was previously. 

One of the benefits of the scoring system on the current test is that one-point scoring system provides better differentiation between those applicants who tended to get lumped into a group at the upper register of the scale. 

Another benefit of the one-point incremental scale is that the difference between a 154 and a 155 on the General GRE does not seem quite as vast as the difference between a 560 and a 570 on the GRE of the past. With the current system, small differences are less likely to be interpreted as meaningful when comparing applicants and large differences will still stand out quite clearly at that upper register. 

GRE Concordance Tool

If you are interested in retaking the GRE in order to apply to graduate school, and are not sure what you might expect to make on the exam, then ETS has you covered when it comes to making comparisons.

They have provided a comparison tool to help generate scores on the previous or current version of the GRE depending on which test you've taken. They have both an excel version of the tool and a flash version if you only need to make a comparison one time. 

Concordance Tables For Comparisons

Similarly, If you'd like to see how your GRE General score compares to prior GRE scores, then check out these concordance tables. Percentile rankings are included, too to give you an even better idea of your rank. 

Revised GRE Verbal Scores vs. Prior GRE Verbal Scores
Revised GRE Quantitative Scores vs. Prior GRE Quantitative Scores

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Roell, Kelly. "How Do GRE General Scores Compare to Prior GRE Scores?" ThoughtCo, Sep. 6, 2016, thoughtco.com/gre-general-scores-vs-prior-gre-scores-3211441. Roell, Kelly. (2016, September 6). How Do GRE General Scores Compare to Prior GRE Scores? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/gre-general-scores-vs-prior-gre-scores-3211441 Roell, Kelly. "How Do GRE General Scores Compare to Prior GRE Scores?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/gre-general-scores-vs-prior-gre-scores-3211441 (accessed January 17, 2018).