The Score Report

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The Score Report

An official GRE score report consists of three parts:

  • A Verbal Scaled Score (on a scale from 130 to 170, in one-point increments)
  • A Quantitative Scaled Score (on a scale from 130 to 170, in one-point increments)
  • An Analytical Writing Score (on a scale from 0 to 6, in half-point increments)

The Verbal and Quantitative Sections

A test-taker’s final scaled score for the both the Verbal portion and the Quantitative portion of the GRE is based on two factors:

  • the number of questions answered correctly within the time permitted
  • the level of difficulty of the questions

Both the Verbal and the Quantitative portions of the test are section-level adaptive, meaning that a student’s performance on the first section of a type determines how difficult the second section of that type will be. The better a student’s performance on the first section, the more difficult the second section. Answering more difficult questions increases the potential for a higher scaled score.

The total number of questions that a student answers correctly on a both sections of a given type is the student’s raw score for that portion of the test. Through a process called equating, which takes into account the difficulty of the questions, the raw scores for both the Verbal and the Quantitative portions are converted into scaled scores on the 130 – 170 scale.

Upon completing the test, students must decide whether to keep or cancel their scores. Students who choose to keep their scores can view their Verbal and Quantitative scaled scores immediately. Students who choose to cancel their scores do not have the opportunity to view those scores at any time.

Percentile Rankings for Examinees
Scaled Score Verbal Quantitative
170 99 99
169 99 98
168 98 96
167 98 95
166 97 94
165 96 93
164 94 91
163 93 88
162 90 87
161 89 86
160 86 84
159 84 82
158 79 79
157 77 77
156 72 74
155 69 69
154 64 67
153 62 65
152 56 61
151 51 56
150 48 53
149 42 49
148 40 44
147 36 40
146 31 36
145 28 32
144 26 26
143 21 22
142 18 19
141 16 16
140 13 12
139 10 10
138 8 7
137 6 6
136 5 4
135 4 3
134 3 2
133 2 1
132 1 1
131 1 1
130 1 1

The Analytical Writing Section

The Analytical Writing score is the average of a test taker’s score on the Issue task and his or her score on the Argument task. Essays are read and scored by two readers, each of whom gives the essay a grade on a scale from 0 to 6. If the two grades differ by less than one point, the average of those two grades becomes the final score for that particular essay. However, if the scores differ by more than one point, a third reader resolves the discrepancy and determines the final score. Once each essay has been assigned a final score, those two final scores are averaged and rounded to the nearest half-point. This number is the test-taker’s overall Analytical Writing score.

Since the essays need to be sent to readers in order to be graded, students cannot view their Analytical Writing scores on the same day that they take the test. Students who choose to keep their scores receive an official GRE score report via regular mail approximately two weeks after their test date. The Analytical Writing score is included in that score report.

The following table lists all of the possible Analytical Writing scaled scores and the percentile rankings assigned to each of them.

Analytical Writing Percentile Rankings for Examinees
Score Levels Percentage of Examinees Scoring
Lower Than Indicated Score
6.0 99
5.5 96
5.0 87
4.5 72
4.0 48
3.5 29
3.0 11
2.5 4
2.0 1
1.5 1
1.0 1
0.5 1
0 0

Almost 90% of test-takers score 3 or better the Analytical Writing scale.