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How to Predict Your GRE Score

To find out if you’re ready for test day, you need to predict your GRE score. But how do you predict or calculate your GRE score? To get an idea of what your GRE score might be, there are a number of things you should consider.

How is GRE scored for Verbal and Quants? GRE raw score conversion!

The GRE Verbal and Quantitative sections are scored based on raw scores for the test. Your raw score is the number of questions you answer correctly. GRE Verbal has 40 questions, as does GRE Quants. So the highest raw score you could get in either section would be 40.

These 40 raw score points correspond to the 40 point range for official scores  on the Verbal and Quantitative sections. Both of these sections are rated on a scale of 130-170 points in the final score report. However, your raw score won’t be exactly the same as your final official score. This is because ETS will adjust the points you earn for certain questions based on the relative difficulty of the questions.

If an above-average number of students incorrectly answer a question that’s on your exam, ETS will rate that question as harder-than average. Correct answers on these harder questions will be worth extra points in your final, official score. In other words, your official score will be adjusted from your raw score based on difficulty. But the adjustments will be relatively small; differences in Quants and Verbal questions are pretty minor.

How is GRE scored for AWA?

The two essay questions on the GRE’s Analytical Writing Assessment aren’t simply “right” or “wrong.” So you won’t get a raw score that corresponds to a 40-point score range. Instead, GRE AWA essays are rated based on a rubric. The rubric’s score range is 0 to 6, and scores are calculated in half-point increments.

Instead of being adjusted for relative difficulty, AWA essay questions are adjusted for differences between multiple scorers. Each AWA essay is given to a human scorer. At the same time, the essay is also submitted to a computer scorer– ETS’s e-rater scoring engine. If the human score and the computer score for an AWA essay are similar, the final score for the essay will be an average of the human and computer scores.

However, if the e-rater score is is a lot different from the human score, a second human scorer will step in and give the essay an additional rating. In that case, the essay score will be the average of the two human scores. Your score for the AWA section as a whole will be the average of your scores on both the Issue essay and the Argument essay.
 

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How to use ETS’s scoring systems to predict your GRE score

As you’ll recall, the adjustments that ETS makes to Quant and Verbal raw scores are small adjustments. This means that raw score conversion is a good indicator of the adjusted score you’d get on the real exam. To give an example, suppose you get  30 questions right out of 40 in a practice GRE Quants section. Based on this raw practice score, you can predict a real GRE score of 160 for Quants… give or take a few points.

For AWA, predicting your score is a little more complex, but it can be done. You can self-assess your essays by consulting ETS’s AWA Issue Task, and Argument Task scoring guides. But sometimes self-assessment isn’t enough. It can be hard to look at your own writing in a clear, objective way. To predict your GRE score for AWA, get some assistance. A teacher, a study buddy, or a GRE forum can help you gauge your practice AWA performance.

Be careful though. Any prediction of your GRE score should be based on repeated, consistent testing. Don’t just base your prediction on your raw scores for just one practice test. To accurately predict your score, take multiple GRE practice exams.

And be sure to take exams that are accurate to the real GRE. The most reliable practice comes from ETS itself. You can get two official practice GREs for free from ETS’s Powerprep II website. I also recommend the GRE Official Guide, which has an additional four practice exams.

Use Magoosh’s GRE score calculator to predict your GRE score

As part of Magoosh’s GRE product, we offer a score calculator to help you predict your test day GRE score. Using customer data, we’ve been able to build a system that predicts your score even more accurately than GRE raw score conversion or AWA rubrics.

We send a short survey to our customers after they take the GRE to get feedback and ask our users what their final GRE score was. We always receive a lot of responses to our survey. We go through all the responses and compare our customers’ actual GRE scores against their performance on Magoosh. Here’s a graph of partial results for both math and verbal.

Math
GRE score calculator, how is GRE scored, GRE raw score conversion

Verbal
GRE score calculator, how is GRE scored, GRE raw score conversion

Not surprisingly, there’s a very high correlation between students’ performances on Magoosh and their actual scores. This correlation is the primary basis for the GRE score predictions we give to our users. We also do additional analysis on the number and difficulty of the questions answered, for even greater accuracy.

How do I view my estimated GRE score in Magoosh?

Premium members of Magoosh can see the score predictor on their Dashboards (see the image below). We provide a 5-point range per section. You need to answer at least 50 questions per section to get a score estimate; the more questions you answer, the more accurate the predictor will be. And to truly get a a test-like experience you can set up a practice test.

GRE score predictor calculator on Magoosh

We’d love to hear what you think of our GRE score predictor, just leave a comment below!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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