What's a Good Revised GRE Score?

ETS Shows How Scores Rank

Scores. Getty Images | Gregor Schuster

When you sign up to take the Revised GRE, one of the only thoughts on your mind is whether or not the score you're going to earn is going to be good enough to get you into the school of your choice whether that's Harvard, the University of Michigan, UCLA, Florida State or the local school of your choice. You want to know what a good Revised GRE score is, and luckily, ETS has published the statistics that explain just that.

Average Revised GRE Scores

The Revised GRE uses a different scoring scale than the prior GRE used, but both scores are accepted up to five years after you take the test. On the new GRE, you can earn anywhere from 130–170 points in 1-point increments on both the Revised Verbal and Revised Quantitative sections. The reasoning behind the score change is that it allows greater differentiation between the highest score earners. On the old score scale (200—800), the 10-point increments didn't distinguish between the brightest and the best quite as succinctly. Someone who earned a 740—800 on the prior Verbal section, for example, was still in the 99th percentile.

The Analytical Writing section did and still does garner test-takers anywhere from 0–6 points in 1/2 point increments. Below, you'll see the average GRE scores for the Revised GRE exam for testers from July, 2013 to June 2016, reported for the 2017–2018 school year.

Average Revised GRE Scores by Intended Major

Good Revised GRE Scores

Most universities do not publish the average GRE scores for all admitted students like they do for the SAT or ACT tests. Some, however, publish admissions statistics per graduate program.

If for instance, you're interested in majoring in an Engineering field in grad school and have a few top schools in mind to which you're thinking about applying, you could go to one of the grad pages for your field and find out the admissions statistics for incoming students. For instance, the average student admitted to Engineering at MIT earned a 750 in the old format, which translates to roughly a 169 in the new format.

ETS, the maker of the GRE, publishes the percentiles of Revised GRE scores so you can see that if you're attending a top tier school, and you'd like to get in, you'd better be thinking about submitting a score in the top 1 - 2 percent of test-takers:

Revised Verbal Top Percentiles:

  • 99th percentile: 169 - 170
  • 98th percentile: 168
  • 97th percentile: 166
  • 96th percentile: 165
  • 94th percentile: 164
  • 93rd percentile: 163
  • 91st percentile: 162

Revised Quantitative Top Percentiles:

  • 97th percentile: 170
  • 96th percentile: 169
  • 94th percentile: 168
  • 92nd percentile: 167
  • 91st percentile: 166

Revised Analytical Writing Top Percentiles:

  • 99th percentile: 6.0
  • 98th percentile: 5.5
  • 93rd percentile: 5.0
  • 82nd percentile: 4.5
  • 60th percentile: 4.0
  • 42nd percentile: 3.5

Good Revised GRE Scores and Admittance

For admittance, your GRE score is not the only thing a university is going to consider.

GRE scores are taken into consideration, but your overall undergraduate GPA, major and minor undergraduate GPA, admissions interview, extracurricular activities, internships, and even publications and field work will all play a part in your admission. However, this exam is still huge. If your GPA is so-so and you don't have much experience, but you'd still like to get into a competitive program, then it's in your best interest to nail the GRE so your score helps mitigate an average application.

How Prior GRE Scores Compare to Revised GRE Scores.