Average scores on the Graduate Record Examination® (GRE®) are usually around 500 for the verbal and quantitative sections and about 4 in the writing section — the writing section is scored differently from other parts of the exam. The average total on the GRE® is usually about 1040. When you are considering average GRE® scores, you may also do well to consider the average scores for the school to which you are hoping to gain admittance. In many cases, the average GRE® scores at the leading institutions are much higher than the averages for all test takers. No matter where you are planning to apply, however, you may have the best chance of acceptance if your scores are higher than average.
When you take the GRE®, it consists of three different test categories. These categories or sections include verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing. You may consider average GRE® scores based on the averages for each test section as well as the score on all three sections combined. Average scores change, however, as they are calculated based on the test scores earned in the particular year.
The GRE® scores on the verbal section of the test are based on a range from a low of 200 to a high of 800. Usually, average test scores on this section come in at about 500, and in some past years, average test scores were around 457 or 460. This test is scored in 10-point increments.
As far as the average GRE® scores on the quantitative reasoning section are concerned, the scale again ranges from 200 to 800. The average score is usually between 500 and 600. In some years, for example, averages on this test have been in the 586 to 590 range. Like the verbal section, this part of the test is scored in increments of 10 points.
The writing section differs from the other parts of the GRE®, as the scoring isn’t in 10-point increments. Instead, this test is scored in increments of a half point. The scale for this test is 0 to 6 instead of 200 to 800. Average GRE® scores on this section of the test are usually around 4.
While average scores may be acceptable for some educational institutions, earning above-average scores may boost your chances of getting into the school of your choice. In fact, some of the most highly selective schools may expect you to score far above the averages that are based on all test takers. For this reason, you may do well to learn the expected GRE® scores for the schools in which you are interested.