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The New GRE Point Scale

Update 1/20/2012:

For more information about how other test-takers score on the GRE, check out this article: Average GRE Scores


Update 1/20/2012:

For up-to-date information on your new GRE score, head over to these posts: The New GRE Scoring Scale: Your Updated Scores and New GRE Score Conversion.


Update 9/14/2011:

I’m excited that so many of you have read my point scale post. And I’ve been equally as excited to have been able to answer your questions. However, many of you have been asking questions regarding specific schools – both in the U.S. and Canada – either having to do with the minimum point requirement or the school’s ranking in your respective graduate program. While I would love to be able to answer these questions, they simply fall outside my field of expertise. We have some new posts called What Does My New GRE Score Mean? and What is a Good Score on the Revised GRE? to do my best to answer some common questions.

One final note: Unfortunately, I am not a magic score predictor. Nobody – ETS included – is able to translate your scores at the moment. I was only giving you a rough range; instead, you should look at the percent ranking on the old scale to see where you scored. Whether the range is based on 340 or 3000, ultimately your performance is based on where you score percentile-wise.

If you have a question that deals with the GRE specifically or standardized testing, ask away! I’m sure I’ll be able to give you an answer.


The new GRE scale may seem pretty arbitrary. After all, who has ever been graded on a test from 130 – 170? Not that the 200 – 800 scale was standard, but, still, there was a certain panache when someone could say they got an 800 (getting 170 sounds like you actually didn’t do too well). And, just to clarify, both these scales apply to the verbal section and math section, so, technically, the new GRE is out of 340.

So, why the strange range (pardon the rhyme)? Well, according to ETS, it wanted to stick to three-digits, so the colleges wouldn’t have to overhaul all the textbox entries that call for three digits. Fair enough. And to avoid confusion with the current scoring system, ETS made sure the two score ranges didn’t overlap (had they made the new GRE out of 200, then a person who’d gotten that score on the current GRE would suddenly look a lot smarter if they were to say a few years from now, Hey, I got a 200 on the GRE verbal section).

On the surface, the new GRE scoring range appears to be more limited than the current system. After all, 200 – 800, based on 10-point intervals, allows for only a 61-point spread, compared to the new GRE’s 41-point spread, based on one point intervals. The new GRE makes up for this more limited range by giving more significance to the extreme ends of the scale. For example, on the current GRE, there really isn’t much difference between 730 and 800 on the verbal—they are both at the 99 percentile range. On the new GRE, the difference between 168 and 170 will actually be between 99 percentile and 96 percentile (I’m kind of estimating these numbers, but you get the point).

At the end of the day, you are not going to be tested on these statistical nuances. The important thing to remember is that many colleges base their rankings on a percentile score. Anyway, exactly what is considered “good” on the new GRE has yet to be determined. Coming in November, after enough students have taken a test, there will be a conversion scale between the old GRE and the new GRE.

If you’ve just finished taking the current GRE, and have absolutely no desire to study for the new GRE, don’t despair—your score will be good up until 5 years from the date that you took the actual exam. If, however, you plan to take the new GRE, you can try our GRE Prep product that comes with hundreds of practice questions, video explanations, and video lessons to help you reach your target score.

Additionally, many of you have been asking us for suggestions of specific graduate school programs along with GRE help. is a great resource that we recommend: you can search for schools by region, state, and city according to which program you’re interested in.

We hope that helps a lot of you who many be feeling a little overwhelmed by the process of choosing schools and submitting applications. We wish you the best of luck!

Magoosh students score 12 points better than average on the GRE. Click here to  learn more!

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129 Responses to The New GRE Point Scale

  1. Tahreem February 25, 2017 at 8:04 pm #

    Hey Chris!
    So I have a concern and I’d really appreciate your input. Standardized testing is NOT my strong suit and I really need a high score. I previously scored a 292 with 140v/142Q and was pretty upset with the load I was studying. I figured maybe I need some assistance. What do you think? Can two months of studying get me around 305+? I know it can be tough to jump to such points too.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 25, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

      Hi Tahreem,

      It’s hard to say what you can and cannot do. I will say that our average student increases their overall scores by 8 points, so an increase like the one your talking about is not as common, and we cannot guarantee it. That being said, it’s not impossible and will take your hard work and determination. Typically, you want to give yourself a lot of time, but quality time is more important then the quantity of time. So, if you have just 2 months, it really depends on how you utilize those two months. Check out our study plans to see if any suits you. Definitely try to build structure into your studies! You can do this! Good luck! 😀

  2. Bob January 5, 2017 at 8:15 am #

    Hi. I was wondering about the difference between the verbal and quant mark. I scored 149 on verbal and 165 on quant section. The program I’m trying to apply is in computer science (more specifically the math side of it). Is it reasonable to assume that if you program is more math related, they mainly care about your quant results? Or should I ask, do I have a chance for good places with this results?

    Thank you 🙂

    P.S. Is anyone else having problem to go to or its just me? (The page is blackened)

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 5, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

      Hi Bob,

      Our expertise is in test prep, not grad school admissions, so I’m afraid I don’t have a great answer for you! The truth of the matter is that each school is different–they all have their own requirements and score specifications. We do have a blog post with information on average computer science scores, and I think you fall into this range (remember, these are averages!) However, the best way to find this information is to contact your target schools and ask them directly. They will usually give you an idea of what an acceptable score range is for each program 🙂

      The link worked for me–I’ll paste the URL here so that you can easily follow it! 😀

  3. raja July 13, 2016 at 6:51 am #

    am writing this with lots of frustration. today i gave gre and i scored 156 in quants and 130 in verbal. i dont know how this happened. i scored avg of 305 in manhatten prep and 302 avg in princeton review. my ets power prep gave me a mark of 300 and 301 in both tests. but in real gre i got a 286. i dont know how this happened. am planning to give it again. i need suggestions for verbal

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 13, 2016 at 11:35 am #

      It sounds like you took a real hit to your Verbal score on the test. That does sound frustrating, and I’m definitely sorry to hear about your experience. To be as prepared for GRE Verbal as possible, it’s important to use a lot of official ETS materials for GRE Verbal. You were on the right track when you used PowerPrep. But to get a consistently accurate feel for how you might do on your next test day, you should take a larger sampling of real ETS created Verbal questions. I recommend that official guide as well as ETS’s official book of GRE Verbal practice questions. Bot can be purchased through ETS’s official GRE prep web page.

      As for specific things you need to do beyond that, your retake studies should address your existing weaknesses. So think about which aspects of Verbal you struggle the mos tin. Sentence equivalence? RC? Text completion? Vocabulary? Something else? The trick is to really think about why your’e getting certain questions wrong

      • raja July 14, 2016 at 3:03 am #

        thanks for the advice. to be frank i prepared only Rc’s hardly. i neglected tc and sc since i had hard time in learning vocab. i planned like with RC’s i can hit atleast 145 to 150 since they hold 20 questions. but everything went wrong.

        if you can help me please provide the best material to study vocab and get a 150 + in verbal with 1 month prep. i have all materials like Mabhatten books, ETS official guide, princeton guide, magoosh vocab ebook and android app. but i dont know which one is the right one to get my targetted score in 1 month. since am giving second time soon i dont want to risk my admission deadlines. please help me guys. verbal is a big problem for my score now.

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 20, 2016 at 4:13 am #

          Hi Raja,

          Thanks for your reply! Now, there’s no perfect plan or prep book to increase your score 5-10 points in a month. Most of our students see increases of about 8 points on their total score (quant and verbal combined) and after months of studying. That said, if you’re set on retaking the exam in about a month, I recommend using our 1-month study plan as a guide to help organize your prep 🙂

          First and foremost, you need to have a rich vocabulary to be successful on the verbal section. If you find that you don’t know the words in the answer choices for TC/SE questions, then that is a signal to start practicing vocabulary. In addition to our free vocab resources, which you mentioned you already use, you can also learn vocabulary through books that offer quizzes and vocabulary exercises. Using books such as Word Smart (Princeton Review), Word Power (Norman Lewis), or Barron’s 1100 actually give you little practice quizzes, so that way you are doing more than just memorizing words.

          On top of vocabulary, you need to be able to read a passage and decipher the meaning. Part of improving will be based on learning new words and part of improving will be based on learning about signal words in English that tell you about the relationship of ideas. Words like “because” or “however” or “more than” tell you about the relationship of ideas in a sentence and these are crucial to choosing the correct word to fill-in a blank.

          Reading should be an integral part of your verbal prep (for both RC and TC/SE). This will help you to learn new words, see different passage structures, and become familiar with the forms and styles employed by authors 🙂 As you read, make flashcards of the vocabulary words that you don’t know. Pause every so often, and recap the main message in your own words. You want to make sure that you read articles and passages that are similar to the ones you will find on the GRE. Some of the best places to look for good articles and writing are at The New York Times and The Economist. The style, tone, and level of writing will be very similar to what you will see on the test, so make it a point to read these news sources—and/or others of their caliber—everyday.

          In terms of practice, the Official Guide and Manhattan book are great resources to use. On the other hand, Princeton Review’s practice questions tend to be very easy, and we don’t recommend the review book as a go-to source for practice.

          I hope this helps! Good luck on your studies 😀

          • Rajasekaran July 20, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

            thank you so much for all your patience in answering me. appreciate that.

            • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
              Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 21, 2016 at 3:08 am #

              You’re very welcome! Happy to have helped 🙂

  4. kash May 13, 2016 at 3:42 am #

    Hello, what is meean by ‘ The committee likes to see a 3.0/4.0 in GRE’?? I.gre is out of 340 right? So how to convert the score in one digit?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 13, 2016 at 5:49 am #

      Hi Kash,

      I can’t find what you’re referencing in this post, but a 3.0/4.0 would refer to GPA or grade point average on the American GPA scale. Don’t worry, this isn’t about GRE scores! 🙂

  5. mitesh April 14, 2016 at 2:54 am #

    i got 290 in GRE so should i apply for MS or not??
    if i want apply then in which colleges should i apply??

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 18, 2016 at 9:58 am #

      Hi Mitesh,

      Thanks for reaching out! 🙂

      You might want to compare your quant and verbal scores to this percentile table. A 290 is not an elite score, so you might want to work toward a retake depending on the program you want to enter and what scores they ask for. Your score should be judged against what you need to score to achieve entry into a program, not just the score alone.

      I hope that helps a little!

  6. Ria August 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    My institute requires me to score V 153, Q 144 and says higher scores wont make you more likely to get admission.
    I am just confirming if I understand their scoring system correctly or not. I checked on the conversation chart which says that I need raw scores of around 20/50 in order to get V 153 amd Q 144. Am I right? This means that you need under 50% in order to get admission!

  7. Bhushab July 16, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    I recently gave practise exam on powerprep. To my shock I got a score of 130 in Verbal and 162 in Quant. I am doubtful if the software worked properly while checking Verbal questions because I was very much sure regarding few Verbal questuons

  8. Sahiti January 21, 2015 at 6:56 am #

    Hello Magoosh team,

    I am Sahiti, from India.I have a very basic doubt.

    In the present GRE pattern, does all question in math section carry same weightage? And is that the same in case of verbal section too?

    Please do help. In anticipation.

    Thank you. 🙂

    • Victor A. January 22, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

      Hi Sahiti!

      I am so glad that you asked this question because it’s an important one: the questions are all equal in terms of contributing to your score. They don’t differ in points but the do differ in difficulty– some will be easy, some will be about medium, and some will be hard. This is true of the quant and verbal sections.

      What does this all mean for you? It means is that sometimes (it depends on your target score) it may not be in your best interest to waste a lot of time on a super hard or tricky question and instead grab some points from the “easy” problems instead.

      That “hard” problem you spent 3-5 minutes trying everything before you saw “the trick” is worth the exact same number of points as the “easy” quantitative comparison that uses exponent rules you solved in 20 seconds. The key is to be strategic in how you use your time on the exam. You don’t have to be a hero and attack every problem or maybe not in the order they are presented to you. It is a tremendous advantage that you can jump between problems on the exam (that was not the case on the older version of the test.)

      Bottom line: they’re all worth the same and be strategic about which problems you answer and when you answer them

      Does that sound good?


      • Sahiti January 24, 2015 at 12:20 am #

        That sounds great Victor, thanks for your detailed and immediate reply.

        Have a nice day. 🙂

  9. Ankit Kulshrestha May 15, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Hey Chris,
    First of all a big Thank you to you. Although not a member of your programs , I used your free ebooks especially your verbal one. I read it almost everywhere. I just gave the GRE and got a score of 323 (160 v, 163 q ,4.5 AWA) . I’m not sure whether to be happy about it or not. Kindly guide me?

  10. Neha August 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    I got 130 in verbal and 151 in quant.I want to apply in universities according to this score.

  11. Court side July 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    Can you please help me understand why there is a minimum score of 130? Can u score below that number? For example this being a pessimistic thought, what if someone doesn’t get any answers right? Do they automatically score a 130?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele July 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Hi Court side,

      That’s an interesting question, and not sure its one anyone–besides ETS–can answer. One explanation is that the old score was based on 200-800, so they didn’t want any overlap.

      As for getting below 130, it is impossible–even if you miss every question or leave every question blank.

  12. Somesh July 18, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    I got 290 in GRE, which i took today.! Will i get a decent college in US for manufacturing field.

  13. shafz June 12, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Is it true that you can never score 170 in the quantitative section? ETS never gives 170 even if one get all the answers correct?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 13, 2013 at 11:08 am #

      Hi Shafz,

      We have students at Magoosh who have scored a perfect 170 on math. I think what may be going on is that you could get all the answers correct and still not get a 170. This is a hearsay, so if anybody out there got all the questions correct and still did not get a 170 let me know :).

  14. Krishna April 17, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Hey Chris,
    I will be taking my test in a few months.I’ve heard that it is important to answer correctly the first 10-15 questions in any section,so that the remaining would be the harder ones which would award more points.
    My question is I answer a question and then skip the next one,and then answer the third one will that be counted as 3 questions or will it be 2?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele April 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Hi Krishna,

      What you describe above applies only to the old GRE. The new GRE is not question adaptive but section adaptive. So only after you have finished the first section will your performance determine what happens next. With the new GRE, you will get a difficult, medium, or easy section depending on your performance on the first section.

      Hope that helps!

  15. Arun July 16, 2012 at 10:11 am #


    I scored 323 in GRE. Verbal – 158, Quant – 165
    Is it a good score?
    If I look up the concordance table, it doesn’t even come to 1400 according to old GRE.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      That’s a strong score still. On the old scale scoring well in verbal was very difficult. Even a 500 was considered okay. I’d say keep trying. Get the verbal score up to 160 and I think you are a pretty competitive candidate.

  16. Sid June 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Just a small doubt. I know that the GRE Exam is adaptive but if I can average about 14-15 questions out of 20 in each verbal section, then what possible score range can I expect. I am going to write the exam within 2 weeks and I would like to get an indicator of possible scores.
    Really appreciate the good work you are doing here!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      Hi Sid

      It is really hard to say if you will still be able to move on to the more difficult section if you only answer 14-15 questions. The exact algorithm that ETS uses has not been disclosed. What anyone else says, is at best, conjecture. So perhaps you can move on to the section if you answer 14-15 questions correct. Make sure not to leave anything blank, even if doing so means randomly guessing.

      Hope that helps :).

      • Sid June 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

        I am really sorry that I was a little unclear. What I meant was 14-15 correct out of 20. That’s how much I have been averaging in random verbal section tests, so I would like to get an indicator as to how I can get out of 170 if I average 14-15 correct answers.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris June 9, 2012 at 9:22 am #

          Hi Sid,

          Again, it’s hard to say. Nobody–besides ETS–knows exactly what that score equates to. If I were to take a wild stab, assuming you get 14-15 on both sections, maybe you are in the upper 150s.

          Hope that (kind of) helps 🙂

  17. Ali May 16, 2012 at 3:24 am #

    hi i gave gre yesterday n got 130 scores on verbal and 132 on quantitative….
    will my application be cosidered in USA?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

      Hi Ali,

      Unfortunately, you may have to take the test again. Have you tried Magoosh’s GRE program out? We offer a free trial :). If you are thinking about retaking the test we can definitely help out :).

  18. Rajvi April 14, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I took my gre exam 2 months ago and my gre scores are 149(out of 170) in verbal ,160(out of 170) in quant and 3/6 in AWA..So are these scores good enough for admission for ms in engg in top universities of u.s.?In which universities i should apply?thanx..

  19. SB April 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    Am taking my GRE on 18th april. I took tests on Manhattan test and am getting a score range:


    can i rely on this.. Is it possible for me to get the same scores on actual test as i feel many of Manhatthan RC’s are diff from ETS ..

    I took my ETS test before practise am familiar wid most of the answers. so i dont have any proper full length test to check my score level now.

    I am aiming for 155 in verbal … how can i make it???

    Please help me on it as i dont have time….

    Please help me on it..

    • Chris Lele
      Chris April 16, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Hi SB,

      With so few students reporting back on a correlation between MGRE scores and actual GRE scores it is hard to say. That said I think you can definitely score score 155 verbal. In the remaining days go through vocabulary and practice difficult passages under timed conditions.

      Hope that helps!

  20. SWACHA March 20, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    Hi Chris…

    I took the Revised GRE on 9th Jan 2012…and have scaled scores of 151 Verbal and 152 Quant ….do not know how to interpret my score… Could you kindly help ?

  21. Heather February 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    Hi! my husband got his scores back not too long ago and I understand all the scores except for the writing portion. It says his score was a 200??!?!?? What does that mean? It doesn’t translate to the scale whatsoever because it says the scale is 0-6. If you can help us understand better be greatly appreciated, thanks!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

      That is very strange indeed :).

      I am not quite sure what that 200 corresponds to. Hmm…I’ll reply again if I can find anything to clear up this enigma :).

  22. sharmishta February 10, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    Hey Chris, please help me out; I totally didn’t understand the new score strategy. Could you tell me about the score scale of new GRE, and what a good score is to be admitted in any unversity? What is this 130-170? And is the quant out of 170 and verbal out of 170? And its total make 340?
    Thank you in advance…

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 10, 2012 at 11:56 am #

      Hope this link helps!

      • sharmishta February 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

        i already saw this link…but unable to understand i need ur answer about my question….hope u will help me….thnk u….

        • Chris Lele
          Chris February 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

          Yes, each section is on a scale from 130 – 170. So that makes for a total of 340. As for a good university that is really vague. It depends on which program you are looking to get into etc.

          If I had to throw up a number, I would say 160 in both sections is pretty strong.

          • sharmishta February 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

            Thanks for replying… :)…and what about the word list – how much do we have to prepare for the new GRE??

  23. Sio February 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Hey! I just took my gre and got a 157 verbal, 156 math. Do you have any idea what this translates to? For example out of 800 scale or do I have to wait to get my scores mailed to be with the percentages?

  24. Mits January 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    My score is 290 in the new GRE. Is it good enough?

  25. pavan January 23, 2012 at 4:13 am #


    I got a score of 144 in verbal and 162 in quant. How would you classify this score?

  26. Shiveen January 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm #


    I took the revised gre sometime around November this year.

    I got

    verbal- 163/170
    quant – 160/170

    and my AWA is 4.0…

    what universities should i apply for, and is it good to go with this score?


  27. AdamB January 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Hey guys,

    Just took my GRE’s this morning and received my QR and VR. I received a 153 and a 150. Have to wait a couple months I think for the essay scores between 1-6. Do you know yet if the QR and VR scores would be considered good?


  28. SKY WALKER January 14, 2012 at 4:37 am #

    thnx chris 🙂

    as adviced by you above, i tried free mangoosh trial and gone through quant section and i easily answered 14 out of 15 questions correctly. now, how would you rate my quant knowledge over dat that. do i need to pick up more tougher questions for quant??

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

      Hi Skywalker,

      The questions in the trial are not too challenging (we wouldn’t want to scare too many would-be customers away!). I can assure you that the questions in the actual product are much more difficult. If for some reason, even those questions are not challenging enough then don’t worry – you are very strong in Quant and the GRE math should be easy for you.

  29. SKY WALKER January 7, 2012 at 2:58 am #


    i hv certain questions in my mind which needs to be cleared.

    1- for how many years gre score is will remain valid for m.s. admissions in u.s.a from d date of taking the test?

    2- if we r applying to universities after getting the gre score and in between get some job experence , then will it be considered a negative ( as my gre score would be of 2 years back)?

    3- now as antonyms and analogies are removed from new gre, do i stll need to focus on cramming tough words?

    4- to get a good university in states( good here means above average) , where should my gre score range in?

    plz reply soon

    • Chris Lele
      Chris January 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      Hi Sky Walker (Luke, I presume 🙂

      1. Scores will remain valid for 5 yrs.

      2. Not at all. In fact, if you take the GRE and then do not have any job experience that is far worse.

      3. Definitely not. Obscure vocabulary is not tested. As to what constitutes obscure vocabulary flip open the ETS revised GRE book. If you recognize most of the words, then you should just brush up on vocabulary. If those words are foreign, and thus relatively obscure, check out Princeton Review’s Word Smart as well as the vocab posts on this blog. If you learn all those words, you should be fine.

      4. Hard question. What is good? What other experience do you have etc.? Overall, a 325 composite score seems pretty competitive to me.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      • SKY WALKER January 10, 2012 at 7:08 am #

        thnx a lot chris

        dat was immensely helpful from your side. i m grateful 2 u.

        now , i m planning to take gre in the month of sep’2012…just after my graduation gets completed ( june 2012).

        i was going through the barron’s for gre and i cud find myself very comfortable with the quant section. i managed to solve all the quant problems ) including quant of gre previous years and of other mocks as well as individual quant chapters ) in just a week..i used my pen hardly for any problem to get done. This has put my confidence in quant section to a height.

        now, here my question 2 u goes like dis….do i need to pick up any other material for quant to get my confidence to a greater height or barron’s quant if done sincerely would be enough??

        as i found my vocabulary not gud enough to get a convincing gre score as i gone through sentence completion section…i hav set a plan to work on for the next 8 months, and it goes like this 10 words a day , which wud sum up to approx 2700 words till sep end from now. my question arises to this as, wt do u hav to say about dis plan of getting my vocab done for my verbal section.

        thirdly, suggest me something for to prepare for analytical writing ( by far u must hav got to know how my writing skills are 😀 )

        reply soon


        • Chris Lele
          Chris January 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

          I am happy to hear that you are whipping through the Barron’s book!

          Per your first question, you definitely DO NOT want to rely only on Barron’s for quant. There is more covered on the test (indeed, much more) and the questions, if you receive the more difficult section, are going to be tougher test day.

          I am pretty confident Magoosh offers the toughest questions out there. I went through the Manhattan GRE book. While there are a few toughies, they are scattered. You should try our free trial to get a flavor of the difficulty of questions you are likely to see test day. Actually, many users say our questions are even more difficult than those on the revised GRE.

          As for your approach to learning vocabulary, I like it – a little bit at a time. Revisit former words and make sure to use (use it or lose it as the expression goes).

          For your last question, I would recommend Magoosh for AWA. I personally recorded the lesson videos. If you ever have a question – or a suggestion – you can let us know. One of us will respond the same day!

          Hope that was helpful – and let me know if you have any other questions.

          As for your first question:

  30. bboppins November 11, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    I think people are having a hard time because the standard of what is ‘good’ has changed. People want to say “I got a 1400” or scored “750 quantitative” because we have a frame of reference for that–particularly here in the U.S. The truth of the matter is that any scaled score is relatively meaningless! ETS should scrap the entire scoring system and just give percentiles for both scores. The exception might be the analytical writing section because it is scored by people and is significantly less reliable than the other measures (a whole another story…). The moral of this little rant is to let go of the need to make comparisons and look solely at your percentile. Any graduate school that ignores percentiles is not worthy of attendance.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris November 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks bboppins,

      I didn’t necessarily come out and say so, but you are right – all of this would be so much easier if the score was just based on percentile rankings. I too hope that a graduate school bases it’s decision on percentile and not some scale that, at least so far, is starting to seem a little arbitrary.

      For now, it looks like we are stuck with the 130-170 scale…or for math I think it may now be the 130-166 scale.

  31. Abhay November 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Hi Chris,
    I wrote the revised GRE and have scored 160 in Quant and 148 in Verbal. I feel these scores are very low. How would i convert these scores on the 800 scale so that I can select which universities to apply for my score range? Presently most of the universities have their minimum requirement in the 800 score range displayed in their websites. How would I map my scores to the 800 scale? Thanks in advance for the help.

  32. Trevor November 8, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    Hi Chris,

    So, I have received my adjusted scores for a test I took in September. On the scoresheet they also adjust my old test scores (test taken in July) to the new scale. Therefore, I have a fairly accurate conversion that I can provide you with (my old converted scores).

    V 620 = 161
    Q 670 = 152

    Therefore, I do not think that the 150 is 50%. Also when I was given the estimates after taking the second test my quant was 720-800 and I ended up getting a 155. So that means, at lowest 720=155. Thank you for this informative blog and I hope this helps people.

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette November 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

      Thanks, Trevor!

    • PK November 9, 2011 at 7:31 am #

      So what was your indicated score range on the Verbal section on the new gre test?
      For that also, does the lowest range on the old scale correspond to your verbal score (620) in the concordance tables …

  33. Alexadra November 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm #


    I’m taking the new gre in exactly 5 weeks and i still dont feel prepared…lasttime i took it
    (the old gre) i scored in the 40% for verbal and 50% for math. for the next five weeks what would you advice preparation wise i do in order to possibly score in the 60-70% for both section?…..(book, material..ect….the most efficient way to go about it for a solid 5 weeks…is 5 weeks even doable?)

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele November 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      Hi Alexadra,

      I think our 30-day study guide would work well for your goals. With solid prep time you could boost your scores to 60-70% ranking for both sections. It will take hard work though, as the study guide details an aggressive plan:

      Let me know if you find this helpful!

  34. Micaela November 6, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Hello Chris,

    I have a quick question for you. When I took the revised GRE test on August, the system suggested that I would score between 740-800 in the Quantitative section. I just checked my actual scores and I received a 159/170, which is equivalent to 82%. I am quite disappointed at this grade, since I required at least a 750 to apply to the graduate programs I was interested in applying.

    I am re-taking the test at the end of the month, and I was wondering if you have an estimate of how much do I need to get to have an equivalent of 750 in the old test?

    Thank you in advance,


    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette November 8, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

      Hi, Micaela

      I’m going to jump in and answer this for Chris: ETS’s Concordance Information chart ( says a 750 on the old scale for the Quantitative section is equivalent to a 159 on the current scale (82nd percentile).

      Hope that helps!


  35. coco November 6, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    “On the new GRE, the difference between 168 and 170 will actually be between 99 percentile and 96 percentile (I’m kind of estimating these numbers, but you get the point)”

    —Actually, according to my score report 165 corresponds to the 96th percentile 🙂

    • Chris Lele
      Chris November 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

      Hmm, that’s interesting… are you sure you were not looking at the verbal correspondence?

  36. Jeff November 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    I took the new test on 9/30 – at the time it said my expected range was 690-790 on both V and M. Just got my scores online and had a 163V (93%) and 156M (74%). A bit disappointed on the math score relative to what had been indicated but hopefully this gives another frame of reference.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele November 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      Thanks Jeff for sharing your scores. That definitely provides a good frame of reference. It looks like the test came down on the low side of the range, which I know is frustrating for everybody.

      • PK November 9, 2011 at 7:54 am #

        With reference to Jeff’s scores above “690-790 on both V and M”, the verbal score on the new scale (163) corresponds to 650 on the old scale as per the concordance tables. This is weird because 650 is lower than the lowest of the reported score range(690-790). Does this indicate that this shift lower than the lower end of the score range will happen as the score ranges decrease as well. For instance my verbal range was 560-660, and the concordance tables indicate the score on the new scale as 157-164. A bit disheartening that….

        • Chris Lele
          Chris November 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

          Yeah, it’s disappointing for everyone, I’m sure. I’m also surprised that the GRE didn’t get it right with Verbal. Basically, almost everybody’s score was lower than the possible score on the range. Either people did much better than they expected or the test was not as difficult as they’d hoped. It’s probably a mixture of the two, but given that they had done so much research on this (they were planning on changing the test years back but scrapped it so they could better ‘norm’ it), I’m surprised to.

          The good news is six months from now there is going to be no more gray area on the score report. The bad news, for many grad-school bound test takers, is it won’t matter.

          As for the score ranges decreasing, my answer is it shouldn’t shift the range. Then again, at this point, I’m asking myself, does anyone – even ETS – know all of this going to work in the end. Guess we’ll just have to wait.

  37. Ahmd November 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    When ETS is going release the percentile ranking table for the new GRE test ?

  38. robert November 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    I took the revised GRE test sept.23 and at the end of the test they gave me a range of 610-710 for math and 480-580 for verbal, but when I looked at the score that was given for the new scale I had 152 math and 153 verbal. I am unsure how this is possible, shouldn’t my math be higher than my verbal considering the range that was given to me at the end of the test? I am just trying to figure all of this out.


    • Chris Lele
      Chris November 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

      Hi Robert,

      Math on the New GRE has become much more difficult in terms of a perfect score. What this means is that they have taken the old 800 scale and basically made 166 out of 170 a perfect 800. A 750 is now all the way down around 160 out of 170. Whereas 750 seemed high on the old exam, 160 is half-way between 150 and 170 and so doesn’t seem nearly as impressive. Even though you are getting 152 in math, that equates to a 610 – 710 range, you shouldn’t think of that as being similar to a 500, which was halfway between 200-800 on the old scale. I know, it’s all needlessly confusing. I would say the key is to look at the percentage score next to your actual score.

      Hope that helps!

  39. Kelsie November 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Hi there…

    Just wanted to give some clarification and an example of the new score conversion. I took the new test 9/6/2011 and my range was 670-770V and 680-780M. My new scores were just released and I got 163V and 156M… According to ETS I’m at 93% for Verbal and 74% for Math.

    Hope this gives some frame of reference!

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette November 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      Thanks, Kelsie!

  40. Kay October 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Thanks for the help with the videos. If I had time, they would have been more helpful. However, I had to take the test with 1.5 days prep. Needless to say, I bombed the quantitative section and scored right in the average range for the verbal. Hopefully, this doesn’t wreck my chances of getting into the program I’m applying for. Anyway, Magoosh is great! Such a refreshing turn from the traditional test preps.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 24, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      Hi Kay!

      I am soooo happy that you found Magoosh helpful – even if for such a short period of time.

      We are definitely working to do our best to turn the traditional test prep model on its head.

      Glad we were helpful!

      BTW if you can retake the test, with a little more time with Magoosh, I am confident we can bring your quant score up substantially.

  41. C. Gineste October 20, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I took the revised GRE a week ago and got a range of 690-790 for the verbal part and 750 – 800 for the quantitative part. At first, it was hard to believe that I actually got these ranges. I even wondered if it was possible that they were inflated or erroneous.

    Then I realized how grateful I am to the Magoosh team and to your amazing videos. Regardless of the actual scores I will get in a few weeks, I think you have done a great job and I will strongly recommend your website to my friends.

    Thank you so much Chris,


    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 20, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      Hi Christian,

      Congratulations on your score! And don’t worry – it’s legitimate.

      I am always happy to get feedback like this from students, because I know that my work – all those countless hundreds of hours creating videos – helped a student score way beyond his or her expectations. In fact, I’m ecstatic – again, awesome job!

      And let us know how the application process goes. Those scores should definitely help you get into some competitive programs.


  42. Sridhar October 14, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    What is the time interval between two successive gres that one can take?



    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette October 14, 2011 at 10:57 am #

      Hi, Sridhar

      Here’s quote from ETS:
      “You can take the GRE revised General Test (computer-based and paper-based) only once every 60 days, and no more than five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a test taken previously. If you take only the paper-based GRE revised General Test, you can take it as often as it is offered.”

      Hope that helps!

  43. Fenny October 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I just started preparing for GRE. I read from few blogs that Quant questions are based on the same standards that they followed in the past, but the RC’s in Verbal are now tougher. Is it true?
    Please guide me on how to prepare well.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

      Hi Fenny,

      That’s an interesting question – I am not really sure if the reading comp has become more difficult. The critical reasoning questions do make critical reading more difficult. As for the questions on the passages, I would say they are similar in difficulty to those on the old GRE.

      As for preparing well, you can read from a variety of posts on Magoosh.

      I think you’ll find these helpful:

      Hope that helps!

  44. harshada October 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    I’m planing to take the GRE in March with the new format, and I know I have enough time to study, but can you still guide me on how I should start my studies?
    Also, I don’t understand the score system of the GRE. What do you mean by a scale of 130-170 with 1 point increments and 41 point spread?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

      Hi Harshada,

      For a study guide plan check out the following, which I think will be very helpful:

      As for the 41-point spread, on a scale of 130-170, you can get 41 different scores. 130 is the lowest; 170 is the highest. The old system used to be on a 200-800 scale.

  45. Litic September 29, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    I’m confused by your explanation about why the ETS had to resort to a 3-digit scoring system. According to you, “it wanted to stick to three-digits, so the colleges wouldn’t have to overhaul all the textbox entries that call for three digits.”

    Which text box entries would those be?

    BTW I was also confused why the ranges differed between my quantitative and verbal sections. I took the new GRE today, and was provided ranges that corresponded to the old scoring system. My quantitative section score range is 50 whereas my verbal score range is 100. Why would this be the case, and, in general, why do score ranges differ?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris October 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm #


      Until Nov. ETS will not know exactly where on the 130-170 scale students’ scores will fall, so until then it will use the old scale of 200-800. ETS will need a great enough sample to calibrate students’ performance along the new scale.

      As for the text box, I assume the NYTimes articles was referring to the text boxes on college’s website that called for 3-digits. It’s pretty irrelevant though so need to really worry about it.

      Hope that helps!

  46. Lena September 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Hey there Cris!

    I really appreciate all the information you are putting out there. I took the GRE test last friday and I completely bombed it. I was extremely nervous and only got a verbal score between 510/610 and a math score of 560/660. I’m scheduled to take it again at the end of november, because of the STUPID two month rule. The ETS website says the scores will be mailed on September 8th. Most of the application deadlines are dec. 15.

    I have a few questions

    – I really hope I get the scores in before the deadlines. I entered 4 score recipients at the end of the test just to make sure that I at least have ‘ some’ scores to report even though they aren’t the best. If I send them my new scores as well will they have two separate score reports? Should I call them to make sure they have the second one?

    – If I don’t get my scores in time and I don’t do well on the second test, how do you think my current scores will rank?

    Thanks in advance for all the info!

    • Lena September 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

      I mean December 8th.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

      Hi Lena,

      Sorry you didn’t do as well as expected. Right now those scores are by no means bad. To give you a definitive answer on where they would rank, I would have to know more about which program(s) you were trying to get into. In general, though a 1200 is pretty strong, assuming that the rest of your qualifications are also up to snuff.

      As for the first question – I am not too sure, but I’m guessing they would probably send two score reports. I think the best thing to do, as you mentioned, is to call the program and see how they are dealing with multiple scores. The new GRE is in it’s infancy so I’m really not sure what most programs plan to do. Indeed, who knows, maybe they are unsure of how they are going to deal with the new GRE. But yeah, definitely give them a call.

      Hope that helps!

      • Lena September 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

        Thanks for your reply. I’m thinking about applying to BU (Boston uni.) or NYU. I already have my masters degree (I’m from Europe) and part of my masters degree I did in the US, so I already ‘did’ graduate course work in the US, but never had to take the GRE test because it was part of an exchange program. I hope this speaks for me in some way. I got a 119 on the TOEFL. I really hope they take these factors into account too.

  47. Besi September 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    I am giving my GRE in two weeks. Is a score of 320/340 good? This is what I have been scoring on all the practise tests.
    What range should my verbal and quant scores be (out of 170), to be suggestively positive?


    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

      That’s an excellent score! That should help you get into many topic ranked graduate programs – as long as you have the GPA, letters of rec., other relevant test scores, etc.

  48. Aamena September 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Hi, can anyone help me with this? How many questions (approximately) do we need to crack to get a particular score? Can any one give me question vs score info? I have my GRE this week.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

      At the moment nobody really knows the answer to this question – hence, the wide ranges ETS is currently giving. I’m guessing you could still miss about ten math questions and still score in the 700s (I may be totally off here – but that is my hunch). The same ambiguity exists for verbal unfortunately. We will have to wait till November to really be able to answer your question.

      Hope that helps!

  49. Gin September 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    If i score an average of 50% on quant using the magoosh tests, how does that equate to new GRE score? Is it at the 650-700? 550-650? etc?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      Hi Gin,

      That’s a great question! Right now we just don’t have enough statistics to be able to answer that question. My hunch is that your math is somewhere between 550-650. (Magoosh’s math is harder). For verbal I would say around 500, maybe a little lower.

      We’ll keep working at getting a better sense of this. However, I’m guessing it will take a lot of time to really get an accurate assessment.

      Hope that helps!

  50. Britni September 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Are you scored only on what you answer or do points get taken off for not answering questions?

    • Margarette Jung
      Margarette September 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

      There is no negative scoring, so no penalty for guessing or leaving answers blank– just credit for the ones you answered correctly. Hope that helps!

  51. vasu September 9, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I scored 750-800 in Quant and 630-730 in Verb..Wrote the test in slightly bizarre circumstances. I wanted to cancel my appointment at the last minute since I felt underprepared but couldn’t. Then, I booked another appointment in November before I gave the test yesterday, just in case, so that I could improve in verbal. Found it tough to focus for four hours, had 3 verbal sections, and was mentally fatigued by the time I came to the last section. Do you suggest try the GRE again in November or cancel and save some money?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 9, 2011 at 11:03 am #

      That’s actually a great score! Whether you need to re-take the test again depends on which program you are applying to. If it is very competitive – and you think you can definitely improve upon your verbal performance – I would take the test again.

      Otherwise, save the money and focus on other parts of your application, namely essays.

      Best of luck!

    • nitin September 24, 2011 at 2:18 am #

      Hi, Vasu. Congrats on your gre score. Which books did you use to prepare for the gre?

  52. Sam September 7, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for all the great advice on content on this website!

    I have a question about the new GRE scale. On the link below, ETS says that “If you are interested in reviewing the candidates who score in the top 25 percent of the population in terms of quantitative skills, there are currently only 9 score points that cover that group — scores from 720 to 800. With the new scale, we anticipate that there will be approximately 15 score points that cover the top 25 percent of candidates.”

    Does this mean that if you get 720 on math, that will translate into 155? Somehow that seems really low.

    So confused about the new scores!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 8, 2011 at 10:19 am #

      Honestly, I’m also confused. I’m not sure exactly how all of this is going to work out. I’m assuming that 150 is roughly 50% for both sections, though I could easily be off in this, esp, if 720 equates to a 155 on the new scale. Still, I’ve given a pretty general range so hopefully my predictions will be somewhat accurate come Nov.

      For now we’ll just have to wait to see how all this sorts out!

  53. priya September 7, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    Thanks, Chris!

    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

      You are welcome!

  54. CC September 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Hi Chris.
    I just took the GRE today.
    My scores are: 530-630 V and 510-610 Q (1040-1240). I need at least a 1200 to get into my first choice. Do you think (with my current score) I can reach the 1200 mark? The program I’m applying to is ranked 92nd, I believe. This is really frustrating. I don’t know if I should retake it again. I still have to take the psychology subject test next month.
    A response or any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris September 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      Hi CC,

      Since we don’t really know which side of the score range the final score will end up on, I would recommend taking the test again. I know that sounds far from ideal, but I think it much better than waiting and hoping anxiously that you end up with a score above 1200 – something you can’t control – that you prep some more with a renewed sense of purpose. I am confident that you’ll have a better chance of scoring well above the 1200 mark.

      Best of luck!

  55. Brandon August 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    I just took the new version. I scored between a 660-760 on the verbal and a 680-780 on the math. What exactly does this mean? How do I know how I compare with other test takers?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

      Hi Brandon,

      Congrats on your scores! The reality of the situation is that, right now, not even ETS is exactly sure how these scores are going to equate. Essentially, ETS is waiting for thousands of people to take the test. Then they will look at all those score and run them through the magical statistics machine. This process will basically entail making sure that each point increment on the new scale will correspond to a certain percentage of test takers. For instance, the top 5% of test takers will get a 170 on math. As to how many you can miss on the test and be in the top 5%….well, we’ll have to wait till Nov.

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