Frequently Asked Questions About the GRE® Tests

General

Where can I sign up to become a GRE® score user?

To begin receiving GRE score reports, sign up for a GRE institution code. Once you have the code, distribute it to your applicants through your usual means of communication. See Become a GRE Score User.

Where can I find the latest information and resources to help me and my colleagues learn more about the GRE® revised General Test?

Review the information in the About the GRE revised General Test section. Visit the GRE Information Center. You can also sign up for the eUpdate newsletter.

Who can I contact to get the additional information I need before deciding to become a GRE score user?

You can contact a GRE advisor by email at gretests@ets.org or by phone at 1-609-683-2002.

What information should I be sharing with prospective applicants?

The official GRE Advisor Kit is a one-stop place where you can view, download and print important information about the GRE tests for sharing with students, including everything they need to know about test registration, preparation, sending scores and more. You'll find helpful resources to share with prospective applicants in the GRE Information Center. You can also direct prospective applicants to our student website TakeTheGRE.com and encourage them to sign up for test-taker news.

What research is available on the GRE® General Test?

The GRE General Test is backed by decades of research. Many reports are available online. Please see GRE Research.

What is The Research Foundation for the GRE® revised General Test?

The Research Foundation for the GRE® revised General Test: A Compendium of Studies is a comprehensive collection of the extensive research efforts and other activities that led to the successful launch of the GRE revised General Test in August 2011. Summaries of nearly a decade of research as well as previously unreleased information about the revised test cover a variety of topics, including the rationale for revising the test, the development process, test design, score scales, automated scoring, validity, fairness and accessibility.

View The Research Foundation for the GRE revised General Test: A Compendium of Studies

What is the price of the GRE revised General Test?

See Test-taker Fees for the GRE revised General Test.

What is the price of the GRE Subject Tests?

See Test-taker Fees for the GRE Subject Tests.

Test Content

What skills does the GRE revised General Test measure?

The GRE revised General Test focuses on the types of skills that have been identified as critical for success at the graduate level — verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing — regardless of a student's field of study. Learn more about the skills measured by the GRE revised General Test.

How does the content of the GRE revised General Test differ from the GRE General Test that was administered prior to August 1, 2011?

The content on the GRE revised General Test better mirrors the types of reasoning, critical thinking and analysis students will face in graduate and business schools, to more closely align with the skills your candidates need to succeed.

The Verbal Reasoning measure places more emphasis on higher-level cognitive skills making it a truer, deeper assessment of their ability to understand what they read and how they apply their reasoning skills. Test takers encounter more complex reasoning, and no vocabulary out of context.

The Quantitative Reasoning measure emphasizes the data interpretation and real-life scenarios test takers will encounter to better gauge their skills. To reduce the emphasis on computation, calculators are available to test takers. Computer-delivered test takers have an on-screen calculator and paper-delivered test takers are provided calculators at the test center.

The Analytical Writing measure did not change dramatically, but new topics were introduced that require more focused responses, reducing the possibility of reliance on memorized materials, so test takers can more accurately demonstrate their skill in directly responding to the task presented.

Learn more about the content of the GRE revised General Test.

How long is the computer-delivered GRE revised General Test?

The total testing time for the computer-delivered GRE revised General test is about 3 hours and 45 minutes, plus short breaks. There are six sections to the revised test:

  • One Analytical Writing section with two separately timed writing tasks
  • Two Verbal Reasoning sections
  • Two Quantitative Reasoning sections
  • One unscored section, typically a Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning section, that may appear at any point in the test

Get more details on the timing and tasks for each section.

How long is the paper-delivered GRE revised General Test?

The total testing time for the paper-delivered GRE revised General test is about 3 hours and 30 minutes, plus short breaks. There are six sections to the revised test:

  • Two Analytical Writing sections with one timed writing task per section
  • Two Verbal Reasoning sections
  • Two Quantitative Reasoning sections

Get more details on the timing and tasks for each section.

How is the Analytical Writing measure administered?

The Analytical Writing measure includes two separately timed writing tasks: a 30-minute "Analyze an Issue" task and a 30-minute "Analyze an Argument" task.

The "Issue" task presents an opinion on an issue of general interest followed by specific instructions on how to respond to that issue. Test takers are required to evaluate the issue, consider its complexities and develop an argument with supporting reasons and examples.

The "Argument" task requires test takers to evaluate a given argument according to specific instructions. They will need to consider the logical soundness of the argument rather than agree or disagree with the position it presents.

The two tasks are complementary in that one requires the test taker to construct an argument by taking a position and providing supporting evidence of their views on an issue, and the other requires the test taker to evaluate someone else's argument by assessing its claims and evaluating the evidence it provides.

How does the Analytical Writing measure differ from the Verbal Reasoning measure of the GRE revised General Test?

Because the Analytical Writing measure is a performance test, test takers must articulate and support their own ideas as they discuss a complex issue as well as construct and evaluate arguments and sustain a focused and coherent discussion.

The Verbal Reasoning measure of the GRE revised General Test assesses the ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words and concepts.

Whereas the Verbal section measures a test taker's ability to understand complex ideas expressed in written passages and to recognize relationships among words and concepts, the Analytical Writing section measures the ability to articulate and support ideas and to analyze arguments.

How does the Analytical Writing measure differ from the Writing section of the TOEFL iBT® test?

The Writing section of the TOEFL iBT test and the GRE Analytical Writing measure are intended to measure different sets of skills. The TOEFL® Writing section contains two writing tasks: an independent task that asks test takers to support an opinion in writing, and an integrated task that asks test takers to write responses that integrate and organize information from a reading passage and a lecture. These writing tasks are not designed to measure higher levels of critical thinking and analytical writing, but center instead on candidates' composition skills and command of English vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and syntax with some analysis and synthesis of material. Therefore, scores on the two tests are not comparable.

Because the TOEFL test emphasizes fundamental writing and comprehension skills, the TOEFL score can supplement an Analytical Writing score by helping faculty determine whether a low score on the GRE Analytical Writing measure is due to lack of familiarity with English or lack of ability to produce and analyze logical arguments.

What do the GRE Subject Tests measure?

GRE Subject Tests, which are available for Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology; Chemistry; Literature in English; Mathematics; Physics; and Psychology, measure achievement in particular fields of study.

Carefully developed by committees of examiners with expertise in particular disciplines, the tests assess knowledge of subject matter emphasized in many undergraduate programs as preparation for graduate study. Each GRE Subject Test is intended for students who have majored in or have extensive background in that specific area.

Every GRE Subject Test yields a total score. The Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology; and Psychology Tests also yield subscores. Subscores enable assessment of strengths and weaknesses and can be used for guidance and placement purposes. For more details, see The GRE Subject Tests.

Test Fairness and Validity

What efforts has the GRE Program made to ensure fairness for all examinees, including groups that are underrepresented in graduate school?

The GRE Program has long placed great importance on the issue of fairness. We've taken significant measures to ensure the test upholds the highest standards for fairness by incorporating reviews and checkpoints throughout the development process:

In the early concept phase, a variety of test question types were pilot-tested and any question types that tended to produce group differences in performance were eliminated from the test plan.

During the development phase and continuing today, test questions are further scrutinized by specially trained fairness reviewers to ensure they meet rigorous standards. After questions are pretested, each question is included in a statistical analysis to determine if there are any unfair group differences in the performance of individual test questions; if so, it's removed from the pool. Once questions pass this level of rigor, they are included in the test. Even then, statistical analyses will be repeated regularly to further ensure fairness.

How do various groups of examinees perform on the GRE revised General Test (e.g., underrepresented groups, examinees whose native language is not English)?

Subgroup performance is monitored closely. Relative performance of subgroups on the GRE revised General Test is consistent with what was observed on the GRE General Test that was administered prior to August 1, 2011. Examinees whose native language is not English and whose reading comprehension skills are weak may find the Verbal Reasoning measure more challenging.

Is there research that provides evidence that GRE scores are predictive of success in graduate and business school?

A meta-analysis, conducted by Nathan Kuncel and his colleagues (Kuncel, 2001), included over 80,000 students in over 1,700 independent validity studies. This research demonstrated that the GRE General Test has excellent predictive validity.

This meta-analysis study is important because these results apply across a range of intended academic majors, across native speakers of English and nonnative speakers of English, across traditional and nontraditional students and across master's and doctoral programs. Please see A Comprehensive Review of Published GRE® Validity Data.

Will the GRE revised General Test continue to be a good predictor of success in graduate and business school?

Existing research provides validity evidence for question types that are contained on the prior GRE General Test administered prior to August 1, 2011 (e.g., antonyms, analogies), as well as the GRE revised General Test (e.g., reading comprehension) introduced in August 2011. This research shows that question types on the GRE revised General Test are good predictors of success in graduate and business school. Also, collecting validity evidence for the GRE General Test is an ongoing process. The GRE Program has previously supported both ETS and external researchers in their study of the predictive validity of the General Test, and we will continue to do so for the revised General Test. As newer research becomes available, we will post the results on the GRE Research website.

Test Administration

How and where is the GRE revised General Test administered?

The test is administered in a secure testing environment on a continuous basis at computer-delivered test centers around the world.

In Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, the GRE revised General Test is administered one to three times a month on a computer.

In the few areas of the world where the computer-delivered test cannot be administered, a paper-delivered test is administered up to three times per year (October 18, 2014, November 8, 2014, and February 7, 2015).

View test centers, test dates and seat availability.

How and where are the GRE Subject Tests administered?

Paper-delivered Subject Tests are offered at test centers worldwide up to three times per year (September 27, 2014, October 25, 2014, and April 18, 2015).

Can you describe the on-screen calculator?

We've included an on-screen calculator for use in the Quantitative Reasoning section to reduce the emphasis on computation. The calculator has four functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and a square root. For paper-delivered tests, hand-held calculators with the same four functions listed above are provided to tests takers at the test center for use during the test.

Can you describe the word processing software used in the Analytical Writing section of the GRE revised General Test?

The GRE Program uses an elementary word processor developed by ETS so that individuals familiar with specific commercial word processing software do not have an advantage or disadvantage. Tools such as a spelling checker and grammar checker are not available in the ETS software. This is to maintain fairness with those examinees who write their essays by hand at paper-delivered test centers.

What can you tell me about test security for the GRE revised General Test?

GRE scores have been a proven and reliable measure of graduate-level skills for over 60 years. The GRE Program uses some of the most extensive, proven techniques to ensure security in a large-scale, continuous delivery assessment environment. Our approach covers identity verification, surveillance in the test center, post-test analysis and more. In addition, with the launch of the GRE revised General Test, we introduced additional measures to further enhance our already effective security measures.

Test security on the GRE revised General test is greatly enhanced through the combination of the content, types of questions, design and delivery of the GRE revised General Test, including many of the proprietary methods that have been incorporated that further complement our already effective security methods. Learn more about test security.

For Business Schools 

Why should my MBA program accept GRE scores?

There are a number of reasons:

  • You get more highly qualified, highly diverse applicants for your business school. Potential applicants come from a variety of backgrounds in terms of nationality, ethnicity, gender, age and undergraduate major. And you can reach GRE test takers directly using the GRE® Search Service.
  • The GRE revised General Test measures the skills that business schools value — quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing. It also measures the same level of math knowledge as other leading graduate admissions tests, presents many questions in a business context and does not presume advanced knowledge in any specific content area, including business.
  • As the world's leading educational measurement and research organization, ETS is committed to ensuring the trusted reliability, security and validity of our test scores. For more than 60 years GRE scores have been a proven measure of graduate-level skills and GRE tests are supported by ETS's ongoing commitment to validity research.
  • When you accept GRE scores, it is also good news for your potential MBA program applicants. GRE test takers know that the test
    • features a test-taker friendly design for a flexible testing experience
    • provides the ScoreSelect® option so they can decide which GRE scores to send to schools
    • is accepted by thousands of graduate and business schools around the world, giving them even more advanced-degree options
    • is offered at more locations than any other graduate admissions test — more than 850 test centers in 160+ countries
    • is more affordable and includes FREE services such as test prep, a listing in the GRE Search Service and four ETS® Personal Potential Index Evaluation Reports

Accepting GRE scores can mean more applicants and more diversity for your business school.

How many institutions that have MBA programs currently accept GRE scores?

Business schools around the world, including most top-ranked MBA programs, allow applicants to submit GRE revised General Test scores for admissions. View the most current list of business schools that accept the GRE revised General Test for their MBA programs.

Where can I sign up to become a GRE score user?

To begin receiving GRE score reports, sign up for a GRE institution code. Once you have the code, distribute it to your applicants through your usual means of communicating with them about admissions requirements. Be sure your new GRE scores policy is reflected in all of your published communications and that staff and alumnae who answer prospective applicant questions are informed.

Who can I contact to get the additional information I need before deciding to become a GRE score user?

You can contact a GRE advisor by email at grebusiness@ets.org or by phone at
1-609-683-2002.

Is there research that provides evidence that GRE scores are predictive of success in business school?

Prior independent validity research and analyses have established that GRE scores are valid predictors of graduate-level success in programs in the social sciences, including business (See A Comprehensive Review of Published GRE® Validity Data). To assess the predictive validity of the GRE revised General Test specifically for MBA programs, ETS is in the process of conducting a validity study with MBA programs from around the world. Results from the study will be shared as soon as they are available.

Is the GRE revised General Test a good predictor of success in graduate and business school?

Existing research provides validity evidence for question types that are contained on the prior GRE General Test administered prior to August 1, 2011 (e.g., antonyms, analogies), as well as the GRE revised General Test (e.g., reading comprehension) administered beginning in August 2011. This research shows that question types contained on the revised General Test are good predictors of success in graduate and business school. Also, collecting validity evidence for the GRE General Test is an ongoing process. The GRE Program has previously supported both ETS and external researchers in their study of the predictive validity of the General Test, and we will continue to do so for the revised General Test. As newer research becomes available, we will post the results on the GRE Research website.

Does the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools work with both current and prior GRE score scales?

Yes, the easy-to-use GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools, which was designed to help newer GRE score users understand GRE scores in the context of GMAT® scores, allows users to enter GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores on either the prior 200–800 score scale or the current 130–170 score scale.

How was the GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools developed?

The research used to create the GRE Comparison Tool included a study with data from individuals who took both the GRE General Test and the GMAT test under standard testing conditions — and tried their best on both tests. An enhanced version of the tool, introduced in July 2013, includes empirical data collected from test takers who took both the GRE revised General Test, which launched in August 2011, and the GMAT® exam. Please see GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools.

What level of math content is included in the GRE revised General Test?

The GRE revised General Test uses the foundations of high school math (i.e., arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis) to test quantitative reasoning.

Does the GRE revised General Test measure knowledge in any specific disciplines?

The GRE revised General Test does not measure knowledge in any specific disciplines. Questions on the Verbal Reasoning measure are drawn from many different disciplines, including the physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and everyday topics, but in every case they can be answered on the basis of the information provided in the question. And, in all sections some questions are presented in a business context.

Do business school accrediting bodies require a specific admission test for accreditation?

No. Business school accrediting bodies, such as the AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Association of MBAs (AMBA), Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), do not require any specific admission test for accreditation.

GRE Services

Does the GRE program offer any services to help GRE score users recruit prospective graduate and business school students?

Yes. The GRE Search Service, powered by Hobsons®, can help you create a more powerful recruitment strategy because it provides a cost effective way to reach prospects who have demonstrated graduate-level readiness through their GRE test performance. Learn more about how the GRE Search Service can help you with your recruitment efforts.

In addition, you can promote your graduate recruitment events — for FREE — on the official GRE revised General Test page on Facebook®. It's a perfect way to reach nearly 400,000 prospective graduate and business school prospects — and their friends! Simply submit your event information at least 45 days prior to your event date, and we’ll take it from there!

You may also want to view our official GRE Advisor Kit.

Does the GRE program have a measure of noncognitive or "soft" skills, such as resilience and teamwork?

The ETS Personal Potential Index (ETS® PPI), which is available free of charge to all individuals who register to take the GRE revised General Test, evaluates noncognitive skills.

  • ETS PPI is an innovative, web-based evaluation system that gathers structured feedback from multiple evaluators who know the applicant on six key personal qualities that graduate and business school deans and faculty have identified as essential for successful graduate study. These include: knowledge and creativity, communication skills, teamwork, resilience, planning and organization, and ethics and integrity. ETS then uses this feedback to create an ETS PPI Evaluation Report. The report provides an overall evaluation rating, quantitative information about the applicant in the form of numerical ratings and qualitative information in the form of comments from the evaluators. The report is sent to institutions designated by the applicant.
  • Learn more about how your institution can use ETS PPI reports to enhance your admissions process at www.ets.org/ppi.

Scores and Score Reporting

Where can I sign up to become a GRE score user?

To begin receiving official GRE score reports, sign up for a GRE institution code. Once you have the code, distribute it to your applicants through your usual means of communication. See Become a GRE Score User.

How are the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures of the computer-delivered GRE revised General Test scored?

The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures are section-level adaptive. This means the computer selects the second section of a measure based on the performance on the first section. Within each section, all questions contribute equally to the final score. For each of the two measures, a raw score is computed. The raw score is the number of questions answered correctly.

The raw score is converted to a scaled score through a process known as equating. The equating process accounts for minor variations in difficulty among the different test editions as well as differences in difficulty among individuals' tests introduced by the section-level adaptation. Thus a given scaled score of a particular measure reflects the same level of performance regardless of which section was selected and when the test was taken.

Both the level of difficulty of the second section of each measure and the number of questions answered correctly across the two sections are factors that contribute to a test-taker's final scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures.

How are the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures of the paper-delivered GRE revised General Test scored?

Scoring of the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the paper-delivered General Test is a two-step process:

  • First, a raw score is computed. The raw score is the number of questions the test taker answered correctly.
  • The raw score is then converted to a scaled score through a process known as equating. Equating accounts for differences in difficulty among the different test editions. Thus, a given scaled score for a particular measure reflects the same level of ability regardless of the edition of the test that was taken.
How is the Analytical Writing measure scored?

Computer-delivered Test:

For the computer-delivered test, each essay receives a score from at least one trained reader, using a six-point holistic scale. In holistic scoring, readers are trained to assign scores on the basis of the overall quality of an essay in response to the assigned task. The essay score is then reviewed by e-rater®, a computerized program developed by ETS, which is used to monitor the human reader. If the e-rater evaluation and the human score agree, the human score is used as the final score. If they disagree by a certain amount, a second human score is obtained, and the final score is the average of the two human scores.

The final scores on the two essays are then averaged and rounded to the nearest half-point interval on the 0–6 score scale. A single score is reported for the Analytical Writing measure. The primary emphasis in scoring the Analytical Writing section is on your critical thinking and analytical writing skills rather than on grammar and mechanics.

Paper-delivered Test:

For the paper-delivered test, each essay receives a score from two trained readers using a six-point holistic scale. In holistic scoring, readers are trained to assign scores on the basis of the overall quality of an essay in response to the assigned task. If the two assigned scores differ by more than one point on the scale, the discrepancy is adjudicated by a third GRE reader. Otherwise, the two scores on each essay are averaged.

The final scores on the two essays are then averaged and rounded to the nearest half-point interval on the 0–6 score scale. A single score is reported for the Analytical Writing measure. The primary emphasis in scoring the Analytical Writing section is on critical thinking and analytical writing skills rather than on grammar and mechanics.

What scores are reported for the GRE revised General Test?

Three scores are reported on the revised General Test:

  1. A Verbal Reasoning score reported on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments
  2. A Quantitative Reasoning score reported on a 130–170 score scale, in 1-point increments
  3. An Analytical Writing score reported on a 0–6 score scale, in half-point increments.

If no questions at all are answered in a section (Verbal, Quantitative or Analytical Writing), that section is reported as a No Score (NS).

When are GRE revised General Test scores reported after testing?

For those taking the computer-delivered GRE revised General Test, scores are available approximately 10–15 days after the test date. Scores for paper-delivered test administrations are available within six weeks after the test date.

What is the ScoreSelect option?

The ScoreSelect option lets GRE test takers decide which scores to send to the institutions they designate. Test takers can approach test day with more confidence knowing they can send the scores they feel reflect their personal best. The ScoreSelect option is available for both the GRE revised General Test and GRE Subject Tests and can be used by anyone with reportable scores from the last five years. Scores for a test administration must be reported in their entirety. Institutions will receive score reports that show the scores that test takers selected to send to them. Learn more about the ScoreSelect option.

How long are scores reportable?

Scores are reportable for five testing years after the year in which a person tests.

How should departments use GRE scores?

The GRE Board has developed Guidelines for the Use of GRE Scores, which summarizes the considerations for appropriate use of GRE test scores.

Are test takers who use alternative ways of developing an argument scored fairly?

Test takers may use any one of a variety of strategies to structure their essays. Readers are explicitly trained to accept any strategy in an essay that meets the essential requirements of the essay task, that is, a response that provides the information required by the essay prompt.

How is reader performance monitored?

Many different strategies are used to ensure that all readers use the same scoring standard. At the beginning of each scoring session, readers must score a calibration set of ten previously scored essays with 90 percent accuracy before being permitted to score operational essays.

During operational scoring, previously scored essays (monitor essays) are interspersed among unscored operational essays to monitor each reader's scoring accuracy; readers cannot distinguish between the two kinds of essays.

Scoring leaders (very experienced readers) also monitor readers' performance throughout the scoring session by reviewing readers' scores on operational essays, monitor essays and calibration essays and by monitoring score distributions. Scoring leaders also provide readers with ongoing support and guidance. Readers who deviate from the acceptable level of accuracy are retrained or dismissed. In the current operational test, 97 percent of scores are within one point of agreement with each other.

Can I view scores online?

Yes, scores can be viewed online through the ETS® Data Manager.

What is the ETS Data Manager?

Score recipients can use the ETS Data Manager for easy, on-demand, secure access to score information and test-taker data free of charge. GRE scores, test-taker photos and GRE Analytical Writing responses are made available in the ETS Data Manager approximately twice a week via the Internet. Note: Institutions currently using Scorelink® Internet Delivery of Scores can use the ETS Data Manager to access scores without encryption software. Learn more about the ETS Data Manager.

Score Interpretation

What information is available to assist graduate and business schools in using GRE scores?

There are a number of tools to help you use GRE scores, including:

To assist users in understanding the relationship of scores on the prior 200–800 scales and scores on the current 130–170 scales, score reports for candidates who took the General Test prior to August 2011, include the candidates' actual scores on the prior 200–800 scale as well as estimated scores on the current 130–170 score scale.

In addition, concordance information is available to help you gain familiarity with the new score scale. Each concordance table provides information about the prior score scale, the new score scale and the corresponding percentile ranks. You can use the concordance tables to place all of your applicants' test scores on the current 130–170 score scales of the revised General Test and use the associated percentiles for decision-making purposes.

Score reports also include percentile ranks for the scores each test taker receives. A percentile rank for a score indicates the percentage of examinees that took the test and received a lower score. Interpretive tables containing percentile ranks for each score point on the new score scales are also available.

The easy-to-use GRE Comparison Tool for Business Schools, which was designed to help newer GRE score users understand GRE scores in the context of GMAT® scores, allows users to enter GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores on either the prior 200–800 score scale or the current 130–170 score scale.

As you are using the revised scale scores to compare candidates, it is important to consider the standard errors of measurement (SEMs) of the difference between scores. This statistic will help you understand whether or not the score differences between candidates are meaningfully different from one another. You can find the SEMs for the measures of the GRE revised General Test in the GRE® Guide to the Use of Scores.

For those score users who would like more information about the new score scales and how best to compare applicants who took the prior General Test with those who took the revised General Test, view our on-demand webinar, Understanding and Using the New GRE® Score Scales (Flash).

How do I use the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning concordance tables?

The concordance tables provide information about the scores on the prior 200–800 score scales, the current 130–170 score scales, and the corresponding percentile ranks. If you have applicants with Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores on the GRE General Test administered prior to August 1, 2011, you can use the concordance tables to convert the scores from the prior score scales to the current score scales, then use the associated percentile ranks for the current score scales.

For example, if you have an applicant with a Verbal Reasoning score of 690 on the prior 200–800 score scale, this would be an estimated score of 165 on the current 130–170 score scale for the Verbal Reasoning measure of the revised test. The concordance table also indicates that the corresponding percentile rank for this score is the 95th percentile.

Why is it important to look at percentile ranks?

Percentile ranks are important to look at because they provide information about an applicant's performance in comparison to other applicants. A percentile rank for a score indicates the percentage of examinees that took the test and received a lower score. Regardless of when the reported scores were earned, the percentile ranks for General Test scores are based on the scores of all examinees who tested within a recent time period. The current reference group includes all individuals who tested between August 1, 2011 and April 30, 2014. Percentiles are reported on both paper and electronic score reports and are available on the GRE website.

I have an applicant who took both the GRE General Test administered prior to August 1, 2011, and the GRE revised General Test. Which scores should I use?

We advise you to use the scores from the GRE revised General Test. The changes that were made to the test better reflect the knowledge and skills that are valued by graduate and business programs.

How should I compare applicants who have taken the prior test with applicants who have taken the revised test?

Since GRE scores are valid for five years, institutions will receive scores from applicants who have taken the current test, the prior test or both. It's important to know that all official GRE scores are valid and should be considered with equal preference in the admissions decision. If an applicant presents scores from both the current and prior tests, use the scores on the current test as part of the consideration for admissions, since the test is more closely aligned with the skills needed in graduate and business school programs.

To assist users in understanding the relationship of scores on the prior 200–800 scales and scores on the current 130–170 scales, General Test scores administered prior to August 1, 2011, are provided with their estimated scores on the current scales. In addition, concordance information is available.

Score users should use special care in evaluating test takers who received a Quantitative Reasoning score at the top end of the prior 200–800 score scale. With the current 130–170 score scale, we can provide more differentiation for higher ability test takers. However, test takers who took the prior test and received an 800 on the Quantitative Reasoning measure received the highest score possible that they were able to earn on the measure. Therefore, this information should be considered when making admissions decisions.

How do I know if a score difference is a small difference or a large difference?

When comparing candidates, the standard error of measurement (SEM) of the difference between scores should be taken into consideration to understand whether the differences observed between candidates are small or large. If the difference between the scores is less than the SEM of the difference between scores, the scores should not be considered different from one another. If the difference between the scores is equal to or higher than the SEM of the difference between scores, the scores should be considered different from one another. SEMs of the difference between scores are available in the GRE® Guide to the Use of Scores.

What is the best way to compare test takers who received a Quantitative Reasoning score of 800 on the prior 200–800 score scale with test takers who receive a high score on the current 130–170 score scale?

Score users should use special care in evaluating test takers who received a Quantitative Reasoning score at the top end of the prior 200–800 score scale. With the current 130–170 score scale, we can provide more differentiation for higher ability test takers. However, test takers who took the prior test and received an 800 on the Quantitative Reasoning measure received the highest score possible that they were able to earn on the measure. Therefore, this information should be considered when making admissions decisions.

Can the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores be combined with Analytical Writing scores?

No. The guidelines for appropriate score use state that the GRE revised General Test measures be considered as three separate and independent measures.

How should we interpret Analytical Writing scores, particularly for test takers whose native language is not English?

As a performance assessment, the GRE Analytical Writing section provides a snapshot of a test-taker's analytical writing ability before entry into graduate school. If test takers for whom English is a second language do not understand the task being posed to them, their performance on the Analytical Writing section and the Verbal section will be affected. Test users should consider a variety of pieces of information about applicants whose native language is not English, including TOEFL scores, to determine whether to admit these students.

 

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