Interpreting The Unofficial GRE Scores

Understanding the GRE score is an important part of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) process. These scores are crucial as they are an important factor in determining admissions to graduate school programs. Before you interpret your scores, it’s important to learn how to access the non-official GRE scores.

Accessing Unofficial GRE Scores

Test-takers can see their unofficial scores following the GRE. The test-taker can cancel the scores at any time if they are not satisfied with their score. The test-taker can send unofficial scores to as many institutions as they wish, provided the scores are satisfactory. The test-taker also has the option to access their unofficial scores online by logging in to their account at the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Interpreting the Unofficial Scores of the GRE

The GRE comprises three sections: analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. The Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing sections score between 130 and 170. Analytical Writing scores range from 0-6. Understanding the percentiles is crucial in understanding the scores. They represent how the test-taker performed compared to other test takers.

Verbal reasoning and Quantitative reasoning sections use a system of scaled scores. This converts raw scores to scaled scores. Scaled scores are between 130 and 170 with a 1-point increment. The number of correct answers and difficulty of the questions determine the scaled score. A higher score in the section indicates greater proficiency.

The scoring system for the Analytical Writing section is 0-6 with increments of half-points. Analytical scoring is based on an essay’s communication, critical thinking, and analytical writing. It was evaluated by two independent reviewers. An Analytical writing score that is higher indicates greater proficiency in critical thought and written communication skills.

Unofficial GRE scores can also be interpreted using the percentiles. The percentiles are a measure of the test-taker’s performance compared to others who took it within the last three years. For example, if a test taker scores 80 on the Verbal Reasoning portion, that means they did better than 80% who took it in the same time period.

Next steps after viewing unofficial GRE scores

The test-taker must interpret the unofficial GRE scores and determine if they are adequate for the graduate program. Graduate programs usually require a minimum score for both the Quantitative and Verbal sections. Some graduate programs may require that you meet a certain minimum score requirement for the Quantitative and Verbal sections.

If scores are not satisfactory, test-taker has the option to retake GRE. You may take the GRE up to five more times in one year. But, you must allow at least 21 days between each attempt. Note that not all graduate programs will consider the highest score. Others may use average scores.

Unofficial GRE scores can be used to determine a test-taker’s ability and readiness to enter graduate school programs. These scores give valuable information about the test-taker’s ability to think critically, write analytically, and use quantitative reasoning. To interpret the scores accurately, it is important to fully comprehend the percentiles and scaled scores. The test-taker may choose to retake it if they aren’t satisfied with their score.


  • camdynelliott

    Camdyn Elliott is a 35-year-old educational blogger and school teacher. She has been writing about education for nearly a decade, and her work has been featured on sites like The Huffington Post and The New York Times. Camdyn is the founder of the education blog Education Week, and she is also the author of the book "How to Teach Like a Pro: A Guide to Effective Teaching Methods for College and Career Students."

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