Copyright

How GRE Scoring Works

How GRE Scoring Works
Coming up next: Registering & Preparing for the GRE

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 The GRE
  • 0:48 Grading & Scoring
  • 2:07 Score Reporting
  • 4:29 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth has been involved with tutoring since high school and has a B.A. in Classics.

Standardized testing is all about the numbers, and your score is the most important number of all. In this lesson, you'll learn all about scoring on the GRE.

The GRE

The GRE revised General Test is a standardized test taken by students applying to graduate or business schools. It's not the only thing that schools consider, but it's an important part of your application.

If you remember the standardized tests you took to apply to college, the GRE should look pretty familiar. But one part of it will seem very different: the scoring. On the GRE, scores are reported on a scale that's totally different from the SAT or ACT, and you'll also have to navigate a complicated system of score reporting called ScoreSelect.

In this lesson, we'll break it down so you can understand how you're scored and how to get those scores to schools once you have them.

Grading and Scoring

The GRE revised General Test has three subject areas: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning.

Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning are both graded by machine. The machine counts up the total number of correct questions to get a raw score and then adjusts the score for difficulty level through a process called equating. The final equated score is reported on a scale from 130 to 170, with 170 being perfect.

The Analytical Writing test consists of two essays, so it can't be graded by a machine. For each of the two essays, one human reads it and gives it a score from 0 to 6 in half-point increments. Then, the essay gets plugged into a computer program called an e-rater.

The e-rater is a program that double-checks the human score for your essay. It scores the essay and compares its score to the human score. If they're basically the same, then the first human score is your final score. If they disagree, then a second human reads the essay and your score is the average of the two human-given scores.

Your final score for the entire section is the average of the scores for both essays.

Score Reporting

That's how the actual scoring works, but once you get your scores, you still have to worry about sending them to your schools.

The GRE has a score reporting process called ScoreSelect, which lets you manage your GRE scores and score reporting in detail. To break it down, here's a timeline of what options you have and when.

Immediately after you take the test, you'll be given two options:

  • Cancel your scores without seeing them and go home with no record that you ever took the test.
  • Accept your scores and see your unofficial Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning score.

If you choose to cancel, then there's nothing more to say. You won't see your scores and they won't be recorded anywhere, and they won't be sent to anyone. You'll just carry on your life as if you'd never taken a test at all. If you choose to accept your scores, here are your options:

  • View your scores and go home without designating any recipients. They'll be on your permanent record, and you can send them later, if you like.
  • Designate up to four recipients and choose whether you want to send them just your most recent scores or all the scores from every GRE you've ever taken.

The four score reports that you can send on test day are included in the fee for your test, so you won't have to pay anything extra for them. This is the only opportunity you'll have to send any GRE scores without paying an extra fee. So, if you have schools you're sure about, take advantage of it.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support