Nov
7
2011

# New GRE Scores: Scales and Percentiles

ETS, the GRE test maker, just released several tables for score conversion from the old GRE to the new GRE.  We know you have been eager for this information, and we’re happy to share this with you, along with some analysis.

Since the new GRE launched in August, only score ranges have been available to test takers – and those ranges are based on the old 200-800 scoring scale.

Here’s how the new GRE scores will work:

• Starting November 8th, new GRE test takers who took the exam in August and September will begin receiving their official scores on the new 130-170 scoring scale. Official scores will continue to roll out to test takers through November.
• The full score reporting schedule from ETS is available here, and breaks down as follows:
 Computer-based revised General Test Dates Approximate Score Report Mailing Dates and View Scores Online Dates August 1, 2011 – September 8, 2011 8-Nov-11 September 9, 2011 – October 2, 2011 10-Nov-11 October 3, 2011 – October 15, 2011 17-Nov-11 October 16, 2011 – November 18, 2011 1-Dec-11 November 19, 2011 – November 28, 2011 8-Dec-11 November 29, 2011 or later 10 – 15 days after the test date

Here are the score concordance tables comparing old GRE scores and new GRE scores.  And here is the full breakdown of scaled scores to percentile scores on the new GRE.

Also – check out ETS’ new Excel tool where you can put in old or new GRE scores and calculate predicted GMAT scores. There’s also a Flash version. ETS continues to pursue business school admissions committees aggressively. 600+ business schools, included a majority of top programs now accept the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT.

Some observations on the new scores:

• The new scoring scales follow a normal distribution with 150 as the mean for both math and verbal. The old 200-800 GRE scores were really skewed as the mean drifted over time.
• On the old test, low verbal scaled scores matched with high percentile scores while high math scaled scores matched with low percentile scores. Before, ~620 on the math side and ~455 on the verbal side of the test were both 50th%ile. ETS has realigned the scaled score-to-percent scores for the new GRE so that a 150 Quant and a 150 Verbal are the new 50th percentile.
• An 800 on the quantitative section on the old GRE corresponds with a score of only 166 on the new test.  So, getting a perfect math score on the old test only puts you in the 94th percentile on the new test. ETS has made the math content harder on the new GRE to allow for differentiation of high scoring candidates for quant-intensive programs like business school, engineering and the physical sciences.
• On the verbal side of the old GRE, you were already in the 99th percentile with a 730.  With the new test and the new scores, 99th percentile on the quant side is a 170, and on the verbal side a 169 or 170 puts you in the 99th percentile.
• Getting just a couple more questions correct will lead to a big percentile increase on this test. A 155 is 69th percentile on both the math and verbal sides of the new GRE; a 157 (getting another question or 2 correct) is 77th percentile on both sides of the new GRE.

Our team will be attending a follow-up score interpretation session with ETS on November 15th.  More information coming soon.  Please reach out us on Facebook or Twitter if you have questions about scoring on the new GRE.

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Lee is Director of Graduate Programs at Kaplan Test Prep. He graduated from Cornell University with a concentration in international and comparative relations and a minor in literature. He has been teaching and tutoring for Kaplan since his college days. After Cornell, Lee worked for famed value-investor and philanthropist Irving Kahn, running his non-profit organization, The New York City Job and Career Center. Lee graduated from business school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a lead organizer of the MIT-Sloan Private Equity Symposium and received honorable mention and publication for his thesis on CPG strategy. After MIT, Lee worked in corporate finance for American Express before rejoining Kaplan. He had a nearly perfect score on the old GRE, and has spent countless hours analyzing the new GRE. Still an active GRE instructor, Lee has helped thousands of students, and has won numerous awards for his teaching and tutoring.

• henry Onweliazu

I wrote GRE on Dec 5th, 2011 and I scored 288 (141Quant. and 147verb.). Please help me to calculate my percentile, also which schools in US might take this score for admission?

Henry, just look at the tables posted above. For the verbal section you are in the 36th percentile, which means that 36% of the people who took the test between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2010 scored below 147. This just means that the data with which ETS computed the percentiles are the scores of all examinees who tested between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2010. For the math section you are in the 16th percentile. If you think you could score higher, I would definitely encourage you to retake the test. What I find interesting is that the percentile ranks will not be updated until July 2012. They want admission officers to use this scale which will hopefully help them make admission decisions more easily.

• Gina @ Kaplan

Henry, Andreu’s advice is spot on. Regarding which schools might take your current scores, you’ll want to do some research on the schools and programs you are interested in to determine their averages and requirements. That will give you a better sense of whether your scores are competitive.

• Unknown

i wrote by GRE on Nov 5th 2011 and i got a range of 290-390 for verbal and 270-370 for quantitative. How will i calculate new score

• Jfermaestre

I’m an international student pretending to study in the US. My GRE scores: verbal: 155, quant: 157, AW: 4.5 Do I have any chances of admission if interested in a master’s program in Information Sciences??

• Gina @ Kaplan

Hi Jfermaestre, take a look at the percentile tables here: http://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_guide_table1a.pdf. Once you have a sense of where you stand, you’ll want to research the average scores for schools and programs you are interested in. This will give you an idea of whether your scores are competitive.

• Egreene

You provide a few percentiles that match particular new GRE scores. But what is needed is the full table of score/percentile relationships, or a formula by which they are calculated.

Prof. E. Greene
MHB Program
USC
egreene@usc.edu

• Gina @ Kaplan

Hi Prof. Greene, the links to the concordance and percentile tables are contained within the post (The paragraph that begins with “Here are the score concordance tables…) The full table of score and percentile relationships is available there. Thanks!

• Gina @ Kaplan

Hi Luisebauluz, according to the ETS, these scoring tables will be standard until they are updated in July 2012. Congratulations on your strong quant score, and good luck on your applications!

• MB

I took a GRE practice test yesterday and the instructor told me that I could get my score from it online, but he did not explain how to find it.

• http://www.kaptest.com/gre Gina Allison @ Kaplan

Hello MB, you should be able to log in to your syllabus at http://www.kaptest.com and view your score. If you have any questions or challenges, feel free to email me at gina.allison@kaplan.com

• http://www.kaptest.com/gre Gina Allison @ Kaplan

Thanks for reading our post. Feel free to post a question or comment about the post topic and we’ll be happy to reply. -Gina

• Rathnaakhila

Hi …I’m Akhila..I have doubt reagarding GRE score card.Can I get my score card of 2 yrs back.Can you please suggest me how to apply it.

• Univstudent

Is there a chart that shows the correspondence between the number of questions answered correctly and the score it equates to?

• Gina @ Kaplan

Hi, thanks for your question. ETS has not provided that kind of breakdown. The reason could be that it is not just the number of questions you answer correctly that earns points, but the difficulty level of each section that contributes to your score. -Gina

• Ptlptl123

Hi, i am an international student, i recently took my gre and got 306( 149-v, 157-q). Is it a good score for mechanical engg?? According to the scale given by ets my score would me 1190. I feel it is unfair to compare with this old scale as the pattern and type of questions are really tough in new gre. Even the percentile list was taken on the basis of old gre test takers.

• Gina Allison

Hello,and thanks for your comment. Whether it is a good score for mechanical engineering depends on the average scores and requirements of the schools and programs you are applying to. Have you researched your intended schools’ score requirements? That is the first important step in determining whether your score is as high as you need to be a competitive applicant.

The ETS is planning on updating the percentile ranks on the concordance table in July. In the meantime, the conversions are provided to assist you if there is a school or program that still gives their requirements according to the old scoring scale. http://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/concordance_information.pdf

• http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CCPXWG6O4LGMBSH7MHBRYNWKUU X R

this is such bs! a 150 in math is now only a 43%!!!! ETS lies to people, plain and simple…it is not 50% at all!!! So your nice little 630 on the old scale now makes you look like a complete dunce..

• Gina @ Kaplan

Hello X R – the good news, though, is that a small improvement in your score, from a 150 to a 151-152, will make a big difference in your percentile. Schools will still look at scores on the old scale in their equivalent percentiles, as the new scoring scale is still catching up and equating. In fact, as the new test and scale gathers more information, the percentiles will continue to be adjusted, just as they were with the previous iteration of the test. At the core, though, a well-rounded application, including your strong score, will be your best ticket into the graduate school of your dreams. -Gina

• Julia

Hi,
I am international student and I have taken old GRE test in Nov. 2010. I got 790 in Quantitative and 330 in Verbal sections. I am going to apply for several universities including UF and Virginia tech university but there is no minimum requirement for GRE on their website so is there any way to figure out if I am qualified for those schools or I have to re-take my GRE? I am also wondered if it is easier to get a good score in new GRE compared with the old one or not.
Thanks

• riya

i got a score of 157(Q)+142(V)=299. should i write the exam again? i want an admission to a reputed engineering college.

yes you should write exam again any score less than 300 is useless

• Aqua

I got a score of 149V and 168Q.How are my chances of getting into top universities for MS in electrical engineering?Will I be considered for scholarship?

• Seichi

Hi all, i am international student. i took gre in Nov, 2012. Verbal 141 (12), Q 147 (31), AW 3.0 (11). Can i enter graduate school as an engineering?

• abilash

HI i Score VERBAL-141 & QUANTITATIVE- 148….but my university requires minimum 70 percentile for application…do you think i should take the test again…how much should i score to get 70 percentile

• Gina @ Kaplan

Hello Abilash – Take a look at this chart: http://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_guide_table1a.pdf. The 70th percentile in Verbal is a 156-157, and in Quantitative is 156-157. Give yourself an ample amount of time to re-prep and raise your scores to that level before re-taking the exam. If your university requires a minimum 70th percentile, you want to be at or above that level in order to be a competitive applicant. Best of luck!