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GRE Scores for Education Programs

Update: We’ve updated this post with new information released in 2015 from the US News and World Report! ETS has not released new information since 2014, so we don’t have any updates regarding those particular stats. What I noticed in the “Average GRE Scores for education – accepted and aspiring” table: the Verbal scores held steady for the most part, but Quant scores went up a bit– typically, just by one point. Very interesting! :)

Each year more and more educators decide to bolster their credentials and expand their teaching reach. For many primary and secondary schools, a masters degree is already a requirement for the job. And naturally deep down all educators (myself humbly included on that list) want to change the face of education in some form or another. Naturally to get into these programs, you’ve almost always got to take the GRE. So what score will you need to get in?

First let’s look at the intended majors.

Education GRE Scores by Intended Major

Intended Major Verbal Math AWA
All Education 151 148 3.9
Admisinstration 150 149 3.8
Curriculum and Instruction 150 149 3.8
Early Childhood 148 146 3.7
Elementary 150 147 3.8
Evaluation and Research 150 148 3.9
Higher 152 149 4.1
Secondary 154 151 4.1
Special 149 146 3.8
Student Couseling and Personnel Services 149 146 3.8

The scores above are intended majors. What does “intended” major mean? It simply means that that these are the average scores of people planning on applying to graduate school in a specific major.

Average GRE Scores for education – accepted and aspiring

The US News and World Report is kind enough to produce data on the top graduate programs in education. I’ve culled the PhD score data from the report and reproduced it below in an easy-to-read format.

Accepted and Intended Avg Verbal Score Percentile Rank Avg Math Score Percentile Rank
Top 10 Education 160.3 84 156.6 64
#11-25 Education 157.5 74 153.3 52
#26-50 Education 155.3 67 152.6 48
#51-100 Education 153.7 63 149.7 37
Top 100 Education 155.3 59 151.7 44
Intended Applicants 151 49 148 33
ALL GRE test takers 150.8 49 151.4 45

Naturally, for masters programs, the scores are a point or two lower in each section. :)

So what is a good GRE score for education?

As expected, if you’re aiming for an upper tier education program, a good GRE score for you is going to be different than if your desired program just squeaked into the top 100. For the top schools, your verbal reasoning score, especially, would need to be 9 points about the typical education aspirant in order meet the average intake for a top 10 program. So if you’re considering, say, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, or Stanford, make sure you’ve got the right scores to make the cut. Also, don’t forget that the GRE isn’t the only factor considered when assessing your application. There’s a lot to be considered and so even if you have an average or above average score for your desired program, that doesn’t guarantee admission!

By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

25 Responses to GRE Scores for Education Programs

  1. karan November 7, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    Hey Chris ,

    I have a bit of situation here, I scored 313 ( Q- 164 V- 149) . So my score in quants is enough to get in a good university but my verbal score is pulling me down. I don’t wish to give the exam again. How should i go about it now ? What should be the range of colleges in which i should apply ?

    Branch : Electrical Engineering
    TOEFL : 102
    CGPA : 6.5

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer November 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Hey Karan! Probably top 50 could be safe, but it’s impossible to say considering all of the factors that go into an application. The most important part is finding programs that are doing what you really want to do. :)

      Chris S

  2. Wesley October 23, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Hey Chris!

    I am applying for my Masters in ESE. Right now my ideal school would be University of Washington. I know its ranked #7 in Special Ed. so I am a bit concerned if my scores will make the cut.
    I have Verb: 157, Quant: 149, Anal: 3.5.

    From what I gather on your comments… Verbal score typically holds more weight with MA Edu applicants, correct?

    I grad from Univ Central FL with a B.S in Psych. I had a solid gpa 3.69. I was a peer mentor, teaching assistant, conversational tutor, and research assistant in a psych lab.

    I worked as a teaching assistant last year and received Teaching Assistant of the year. I am currently a substitute.

    I feel like I have decent shot, what do you think?

    • Wesley October 23, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      Also, do you know of any projects I could get involved in that might increase my chances?

      Thanks for any and all help!

      • Chris Swimmer
        Chris Swimmer October 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

        Hey Wesley! Verbal is generally more important in non quant programs, but actually a lot of Master’s programs that don’t require a writing sample also look to the AWA score. Overall I’d say education is an area where the GRE scores aren’t the most important part of your application. As for projects, it’s hard to say! Do what interests you the most and is a good fit for your future! It might be a little late in the game to start something new, though.

        Chris S

        • Wesley October 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

          Thanks Chris!!! I agree I probably dont have too much time to get too involved in any projects before I have to complete my application. I guess we shall see!!! I will also be applying to UCF. I really would like to finish my schooling on the West coast though, so far UW is only school that the program has really stood out to me.

          • Chris Swimmer
            Chris Swimmer November 3, 2013 at 1:22 am #

            No problem! Good luck!

  3. Sam October 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    Hey Chris

    Im applying to a program(Higher Education and Student Affairs) this fall and wanted your input on my score. I took the GRE and got a 308(which is a 9 point increase from my first practice and after using magoosh premium for a month, yay!) Now the information I received from the program said the committee recommends above a 300 and above a 3.0 GPA( I graduated with a 3.1) Should I try to retake the GRE or is a 8 points above the recommended high enough above? Should I focus my efforts elsewhere?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer October 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      Hey Sam! I’d say focus your efforts elsewhere. Congrats on the score increase!

      Chris S

  4. Timothy October 1, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    What are the average accepted scores for the Awa part of the exam…you only have accepted data for the multiple choice part on the table with the ranked schools.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer October 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

      Hey Timothy! I’ve skipped out on the AWA because their function within the application process varies pretty greatly. I think it makes more sense to reach out to programs individually to have of a better idea of what you’re expected to get. :)

      Chris S

  5. Nikki September 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    I’m confused by the first line in the chart. It says for Top 10 university, average math score is 154 or 88 percentile… But looking at the ETS data, a 154 quant is only 50 something percentile. Can you help explain the discrepancy?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      Great catch, Nikki! Looks like pulled the wrong numbers, but they’re fixed now. :)

      Chris S

  6. vv September 30, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    is gre the most important thing for getting into a university .

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer October 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Hey! Definitely not. A lot of programs approach the scores differently. It’s best to ask the programs you’re interested directly to see what info they can give you. :)

      Chris S

  7. Rahman September 12, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    Hi Chris, I don’t know how to thank you for this precise piece of work regarding my Major. It has been very difficult to find out all the GRE Cut off score from Universities; more or less schools don’t provide any information regarding this cut off.

    I’m wishing to apply for Fall-2014 in Educational Technology, a genre under Curriculum & Instruction. And yet to take my GRE, which is on 30th Sept,2013. However I would like to ask you, Is there any compromise in verbal scores for Education majors? I’m pretty much confident in Quant score, as It might be 160+ but getting vacillated for verbal section.

    I’ve a dream applying to 11-25 Ranked schools, but need to have any satiate advise, if there any chance to compromise my verbal with my quant score. It’s too tough for me to keep verbal score 155+.

    Need your suggestion. Thanks in advance.

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 13, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

      Hey Rahman! With Education, you’re almost expected to score in the opposite way! Most applicants score lower in the quant section than in the verbal. I can’t say specifically if a quant score can make up for a verbal score, but I’d suspect that the two are viewed somewhat separately. Have you checked out Magoosh? A lot of non-native speakers have found success in increasing their scores through our premium access. :)

      Good luck!
      Chris S

  8. Timothy September 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    My question is, with regards to the field of education, how important is experience compared to GRE scores. Would someone with 5-6 years classroom experience need as high of GRE scores as someone with say 1-2 years?

    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer September 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      Hey Tim! It really depends on the program. There are so many nuances to the admissions processes at each school it’s impossible to say. Maybe that person with 1-2 years of experience worked in the Peace Corps and set up a program to help children’s literacy, while the person 5-6 years was a substitute teacher. It’s really tough to directly compare work experiences (glad it’s not my job!). Ultimately, though, the GRE scores just get you in door and the rest is on everything else in your app. :)

      Chris S

  9. Arnav July 7, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    Sir I am new to this website so please forgive if I am posting comment at the wrong place. I got a GRE score of 319/340(V-156, M-163). Please help me by suggesting which universities can I get at this score. My field of interest is Biomedical Engineering. Do I need to retake the exam.

  10. Amy Turner July 3, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    This is useful, thank you very much! I’m curious though if this data is based on applicants to Master’s programs, PhD programs, or both. Do you know?


    • Chris Swimmer
      Chris Swimmer July 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

      They’re PhD scores. Thanks for pointing it out. :) I fixed the blog so it’s clear.


  11. Vanan June 29, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    Hi Chris Swimmer!
    Why don’t you put up a similar kind of post for Computer_Sciences program? It will be very much helpful if you do it please.. :) :)

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