GRE Test Results


How Your GRE Test Results Determine Your Future

How Does a Graduate Degree Help You?

A majority of students across the world prefer studying abroad due to the high quality of education in American Universities. There is a lot of competition among students seeking admission to universities, but not everyone is successful in getting admitted. Once they prove their ability and aptitude in the exam, it becomes easy for them to be admitted to colleges and universities. Hence, it is a very crucial factor in determining your progress and a better future. The rules and regulations for each university vary, but the main consideration is getting a good score in order to get into a university of your choice. Your test results determine your eligibility for admission to a graduate program. Many schools and universities have established cut-offs for admissions while others directly use GRE as the main criteria for admission. Your results act as a stepping stone to your future and make you acceptable for admission to graduate school and also increase your chances of financial aid and grants.

Most of the US and UK universities require this test as an assessment tool. Your results are required as part of the admission process and they provide a common platform for comparison with other test takers. The requirements for the test results not only differ from university to university but also within departments of universities and colleges. A particular stream of study related to languages and arts may require only the verbal scores of the exam, while Math and Science programs may need your quantitative scores. Your results may also help you in getting a scholarship in the form of financial aid or fee concession. Your career might depend on how well you score in the tests. The test results assess your overall skills and capabilities that you have acquired throughout the course of studies. This test is not related to any specific area of study.

The Scoring Process for GRE

GRE is conducted as a computer-based test and also a paper-based test. In locations where there is no computer connectivity, it is conducted as a paper-based test. Your scores are determined by the number of questions answered in each section and your performance in the time given. Your performance in the first section determines how the second section will be presented to you. Within each section, the number of questions answered contributes to the final score. A raw score is calculated for both the sections. The raw score is converted to a scaled score through a method called equating. This method takes into consideration the tests taken at different periods of time as well as difficulties in questions due to the section-adaptive test. Thus, a scale score determines the same level of performance regardless of when the test was taken or which section was answered.

The exam consists of three major sections, the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing sections. The Unscored section and Research section also form part of the exam, both of which are unscored.

  • The Verbal and Quantitative sections have a score scale of 130-170 with one-point increments.
  • The Analytical Writing section has a score scale of 0-6 with half-point increments. In the Analytical Writing section, the two essays are scored on a 6-point scale each by 2 examiners. If the scores differ by more than a point, then a third examiner has to determine the scores. The final scores on each essay is averaged and rounded up to the nearest half-point interval and a single score is given in the Analytical Writing section.

The test's result includes a total score, and separate scores for the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing sections. If you have not answered any question in a test section, you will earn a No Score in that test section.

Different Methods for Viewing the GRE Scores

The test dates and score reporting dates can be viewed on the official website, www.ets/org.gre. For the paper-based test, the scores will be sent to you within 6 weeks after the test. ETS sends your scores to 4 universities of your choice, the cost of which is part of your registration fee. Your test scores are cumulative and are valid for a period of 5 years. The current scores as well as the previous scores of the past 5 years are included in your cumulative score report. The scores can be viewed:

  • Online: You need to create your My GRE account to know your scores. This option is free of charge.
  • Mail: You can request to have your scores sent by mail.
  • Phone: This can be done by payment of $12 by credit/debit card and only if you have tested in the past 5 years. You have to contact the test centers and give certain information such as registration number/social security number/confirmation number, test date, birth date, institution code and information code.

Sending Scores as Part of Admission Process

The scores can be sent to your preferred institutions. ETS provides this option and this is part of your registration fee. Some of the features are:

  • You can send either the General Test scores, or the Subject Test scores, or both scores, but you cannot send the scores of only one specific test date.
  • All scores earned by you in 5 years prior to the year you tested in will be sent to 4 universities.
  • For the computer-based General Test, you can designate 4 universities of your choice at the test center. For the paper-based General Test, you can choose the graduate schools of your choice at the time of registration or on your admission ticket correction stub. You will have to pay $27 for the scores to be sent to each recipient at a later date.
  • Since November 2011, score reports sent to universities include your name, address, e-mail address, phone number, intended graduate major, scores and percentile scores.

Requesting for Additional Score Copies

Copies of score reports to be sent to score recipients can be requested at an additional fee of $27. This will be done 5 days after your call. Scores have to be reported before you request additional copies of the score cards. Universities that receive scores via CD get the score reports approximately twice a month. There are 4 ways of requesting for score copies i.e., by phone, fax, mail and online. Starting since December 2011, the results are officially reported 10-15 days after the test is conducted.

The score report consists of the following:

  • Names of the score recipients.
  • Name of applicant.
  • Test dates.
  • Percentile scores.
  • Sectional scores.

Along with the test scores, the percentiles are also included as a factor for determining your candidature for the admission process. Percentile scores signify the number of test takers who have scored less than you in the past three years. The percentile scores keep varying and there is no standard score for determining this. Rather than the test scores, it is the percentile scores that form the basis for admission to graduate programs. The General Test measures reasoning skills, critical thinking skills and skills related to effective communication. Although scores are required by institutions for the admission process, examinees can also use them to work out their personal educational plans.