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What is a Good GRE Score?

Updated on 20 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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Did you know thousands of students appear annually for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)? In 2021-22 alone, 341,574 students finished all three measures of the GRE. The figures might seem lesser than anticipated, but this was the output after the universities eased the criteria for GRE due to the pandemic. 
With the pandemic restrictions lifted, GRE remains an integral part of the admission process of several universities. Colleges like McGill University, the University of Manchester, the University of Oxford, and the University of Cambridge are among the renowned institutions requiring GRE test scores.
GRE has been popularized as a standardized test critical for admission to graduate studies in foreign institutions. You will also notice certain universities accepting GRE scores for business programs like MBA. 
Gaining a spot in these universities starts with securing a good GRE score to stay ahead of the competition. Stay with us as we discuss what is a good GRE score and understand all the vital aspects of the examination.

Don't Miss : GRE Exam Benefits

Recommended : GRE Exam Preparation Guide | Sections in GRE Exam | GRE Study Materials

Suggested : GRE Cutoff for US Universities | GRE Score for Stanford | Harvard University GRE Cutoff

GRE Marks Distribution

A total of six sections for 340 marks make up the basic structure of the GRE. You will have sufficient time to finish these six sections, with a 10-minute after every part to help you prepare for the next session.

Here is a detailed illustration of the GRE marks distribution along with the sections and time provided for each part.

Name of the Section

Total Questions

Total marks

Time Duration

Analytical writing

Two tasks:

  1. Analyzing a given issue
  2. Analyzing a given argument

6 (score is measured in half-point increments)

30 minutes

Verbal Reasoning

40 questions (2 sections with 20 questions each)


35 minutes

Quantitative Reasoning

40 questions (2 sections with 20 questions each)


35 minutes

Unscored section



Not fixed

Source: ets.org

Based on the marking structure, you can get a GRE max score of 340 + 6 if you score full marks in analytical writing. 

How are GRE Scores Calculated?

Before diving into the details of the ideal range of GRE scores, let's look at the logic behind calculating GRE test scores.

The analytical writing section uses a 6-point holistic scale to rate the quality and relevance of your essay. The grading system involves a trained rater and an e-rater scoring engine and averages out scores if they lie close to each other. If the e-rater's scoring varies too much from the rater's, the latter is asked to submit another score. The second score of the rater is combined with the first to figure out the average. 

Seeing how the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections carry the maximum weightage, they are subjected to a uniform grading system. There are two kinds of scores, as defined by the GRE organizers.

  • Raw score, based on the number of correct answers. One mark is awarded for every correct answer.
  • Scaled score, obtained after equating your raw score from all corresponding sections.

The equating process accounts for the variations in the difficulty of tests taken at different points in time. Doing this ensures your score is on par with your peers who took the examination earlier. 

GRE is an adaptive test designed to scale with the candidate's knowledge and ability. If two students receive the same average raw scores in two sections, the student who has encountered more challenging questions will get a higher scaled score.

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Average Sectional Score Range

After seeing the maximum scores awarded for each section, it might naturally invoke your curiosity about what is a good average GRE score. In line with the scores of previous years' applicants, here is an estimation of average GRE scores that might help you qualify for your ideal university.

Section of the Test

Maximum Score

Average score

Analytical Writing



Quantitative Reasoning



Verbal Reasoning



7 Globally Renowned Universities & Their GRE Cut-Offs

Most institutes use GRE to assess your critical thinking abilities, verbal reasoning, approach to problems, and grasp of English. A high GRE score helps showcase your value as a candidate to some of the most renowned universities in the world.

Some of the top-rated universities, according to QS rankings 2023, that accept GRE scores are as follows:


QS World Ranking 2023

GRE Cut-off Score (Verbal and Quantitative)

Recommended GRE Score

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Above 80 percentile

Above 85 percentile

Stanford University


No cut-off specified


Oxford University


No cut-off in place.


Harvard University


Above 80 percentile 

Above 85 percentile 

Imperial College, London


156 in verbal reasoning

158 in quantitative reasoning




161 in quantitative reasoning

161 in verbal reasoning


ETH Zurich


Not specified


Source: topuniversities.com

So, what is a good GRE score out of 340? Based on the table, it is safe to assume that a score of around 320 will be sufficient to land you under consideration by top universities. 

Recommended : How to Send GRE Scores to Universities?

Recommended GRE Scores for Top Disciplines

Depending on the competition, specific courses may require higher scores than others. Here is a list of popular subjects and the ideal GRE scores to increase your chances of securing admission.

Name of the Subject

Recommended Scores


328 (Minimum 162 in Quantitative Reasoning)



Aeronautics and Astronautics




Clinical Science


Computer Science




Tips to Boost Your GRE Score

Given that the GRE has six sections, you should brush up on several basic concepts to improve your chances of reaching the 320+ GRE score range. Polish your skills in data interpretation, elimination, vocabulary and more to stay prepared and answer the questions rapidly.

Along with brushing up on your knowledge, here are some tips to help you plan your preparation better.

  • Solve as many question papers as you can. Repeated practice will give you an idea of the question patterns and increase your solving speed. It will also help you understand where you stand and convince you to work harder to achieve your desired score.
  • Browse through resources from ETS and leverage the ETS official guide to gain familiarity with the examination's pattern.
  • Choose a time to study without distractions and use it to focus on the study materials.
  • Pay special attention to topics that pose a challenge to you. Practice them more to get comfortable with different types of questions. 

Admittedly, the day of the test can be nerve-wracking. But as long as you stay focused and recall your preparation, you can ace the test and complete the first step to gain admission to your desired university!

Know More : GRE Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Final Thoughts

Carve out a tailored plan to make the best of your GRE preparations and emerge among the top rank holders of the examination. Scores of 320+ will put you at the top of the pile of candidates, provided your profile supports your performance.

A good GRE score is also ideal for getting noticed by admission committees of different universities. With cutthroat competition for subjects like finance, computer science, aeronautics, and chemistry, your GRE scores can be one of the ways to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Don't wait any longer! Start your preparation now and stick to the study plan that helps you without making you feel too stressed.

Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

PTE Eligibility

PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

PTE Exam Pattern

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good GRE score?

For most institutes, a good GRE score lies near 320, with 160 in quantitative and verbal reasoning.

What is a good GRE score out of 340?

Any score over 320 is sufficient to be considered for top global universities. 

What is a good GRE score for engineering?

Top engineering schools like MIT are keen to consider students who score above 320 on GRE.

What is a good average GRE score?

With the minimum score being 130 and a maximum of 170 for each section, a score around 150 is a good average GRE score.

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.