Most students put a lot of time and effort into preparing for the GRE – not surprisingly, these students are anxious to see their test results. The typical GRE score report contains a lot of information regarding a student’s performance on the GRE.
Discover what is included on a student’s GRE report and the meaning behind this information:
Basic Information Contained in GRE Test Results
A student’s basic information can be found at the top of their GRE results sheet. This includes the person’s name, address, email, phone number, partial Social Security number, birth date, and gender. Also, the report notes a student’s intended focus of study in graduate school. If a student takes the general GRE, then those scores will be on their report – if the student took a GRE subject test, then those scores will be on the report, as well.
Points Possible on the GRE
In order for students to interpret their GRE test results, they have to know the number of points possible for each section of the test. The GRE has three parts: the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing sections. For the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the test, the scoring scale is 130 to 170 points. These two sections of the test are scored in one-point increments. Students can earn from zero to six points on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE. This section is scored in half-point increments.
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Scores on a GRE Report
Students receive raw scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the test. A raw score represents the number of questions that a student got right. A student’s raw score is then turned into a scaled score. Little variations in the difficulty between different editions of the test are taken into account to compute a student’s scaled scores.
As for a student’s Analytical Writing score, each essay receives two scores – one score is given by a human grader trained to evaluate essays, and the other score is given by a computer program designed to evaluate essays. The average of these two scores is the final score assigned to the essay. As a side-note, if the human grader’s score and the computer’s score are radically different, then the essay is re-scored by two human graders.
Students looking at their GRE results online will notice a section that includes percentile ranks. Percentiles compare a student’s performance with others who took the GRE. For instance, say a student has a percentile rank of 80 for the Verbal Reasoning portion of the test. This means that 80 percent of the individuals who took the exam scored lower on that section than that student. Students are given a percentile rank for each of the three sections of the GRE. This particular GRE result can be helpful for students who are still deciding which schools to apply to.
School Admissions and GRE Results
As students analyze their GRE results online, they should pay close attention to the requirements of the schools they want to apply to. Many universities and colleges post the average GRE scores of the students they accept, which can serve as a guide for students who want to know what type of score they have to achieve in order to be accepted into their preferred school.
Some schools also post the average GRE scores of students studying in specific programs. For instance, a student who wants to go to Harvard could research what GRE score they need to achieve in order to get into the Physics program, the Sociology program, or another program at the school.
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