# GRE Score Calculator: How to Predict Your GRE Score

One of the hardest parts of navigating preparing for the GRE is trying to assess your performance. Predicting your eventual GRE score can feel impossible at times. We’re here to help with everything you need to know about how the test is scored. We also have a GRE score calculator to help you predict your test day performance.

## The Basics of GRE Scoring

The GRE consists of three main sections testing different skills sets: Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing. The Quant section is designed to test your ability to problem solve using mathematical models and numerical/measurable data. In the Verbal section you’ll show your ability to analyze and draw conclusions from written material. Finally, in the Analytical Writing section you’ll show off your ability to construct and convey strong arguments in essay form. While the sections test you on different material, there is one common denominator across the entire test. Fundamentally, the GRE is testing your ability to solve complex, and often confusingly constructed, problems under timed conditions. Yes, you’ll need to master vocab lists and math concepts to succeed. But in order to get your scores to the next level, you’ll need to master the unique nature of the GRE itself. Learning how it’s scored is one crucial step in this process.

The Verbal and Quantitative have the same score range. For the Verbal portion of the exam you will be asked to answer 27 questions in 41 minutes across two subsections. In the first you will answer 12 questions in 18 minutes. Then, you will answer 15 questions in 23 minutes. When it comes to Quant you will also answer 27 questions across two subsections, but you’ll have a total of 47 minutes. First, you’ll have 21 minutes to answer 12 questions. In your second section, you’ll tackle your remaining 15 questions in 26 minutes. Both Verbal and Quantitative are scored on a range that runs from the lowest possible score, 130, up to the highest score, 170. The 130–170 scale runs in 1-point increments.

The Analytical Writing section does things differently giving you 30 minutes to complete one “Analyze an Issue” task. During this thirty minute span you’ll be asked to read your prompt, brainstorm your essay, and write and proofread your draft. You’ll then be graded on a scale that ranges from 0.0 to 6.0 in half-point increments. The AW score does not factor into your overall composite score that some schools may ask for.

### Verbal Breakdown

• Verbal Total Questions: 27
• Verbal Total Time: 41 minutes
• Verbal Section One: 12 questions, 18 minutes
• Verbal Section Two: 15 questions, 23 minutes
• Verbal Scoring Range: 130-170, in one point increments

### Quant Breakdown

• Quant Total Questions: 27
• Quant Total Time: 47 minutes
• Quant Section One: 12 questions, 21 minutes
• Quant Section Two: 15 questions, 26 minutes
• Quant Scoring Range: 130-170, in one point increments

### Analytical Writing Breakdown

• AW Total Time: 1 essay in 30 minutes
• AW Scoring Range: 0.0 – 6.0, in 0.50 increments

## Raw Scores, Scaled Scores, and Percentile Rankings

In doing your GRE research you’ve likely come across the terms “raw scores,” “scaled scores,” and “percentile rankings”. You may have wondered what differentiates these scores and, most importantly, which scores you should be focusing on. Luckily, it’s very easy to break down the differences between these terms. Let’s jump in!

### Raw Scores

On the GRE your raw scores are simply the number of questions you get correct in each of the Verbal and Quantitative sections. Each question within a section has the same point value as any other question. After your test, when you view ETS’s Diagnostic Service, you’ll be able to see the exact number of questions you got right in each section. This is your raw score.

### Percentile Rankings

The final piece of the scoring puzzle is the percentile ranking. Your percentile shows directly how your scaled score stacks up against all other test takers during a specific time window. For example, a Verbal score of 156 has a percentile rank of 70. This means achieving a 156 Verbal puts your performance above 70% off all other test takers. There’s a wide disparity between sections though! The same scaled score of 156 on the Quant section has a percentile rank of only 49. Meaning that 156 on Quant only puts you above 49% off all other test takers.

Some programs will report on the percentile ranks of their admitted students rather than the scaled scores. So it’s important to research your targeted programs’ score requirements and preferences and then look at score and percentile charts.

What about overall scores? Some schools may say they are looking for a certain composite score, like 300. This is simply your Verbal and Quant sections added together. ETS does not release percentile ranks for the composite score and it’s generally not as important as hitting your section benchmarks. However, as always, it is important to make sure you are diligently checking in with each of the programs you are applying to in order to set your score goals.

### Verbal and Quant Percentiles 2023-2024

ScoreVerbal PercentileQuantitative Percentile
1709994
1699991
1689887
1679783
1669680
1659576
1649473
1639270
1628968
1618765
1608461
1598158
1587755
1577352
1567049
1556546
1546042
1535639
1525036
1514633
1504130
1493627
1483224
1472921
1462518
1452215
1441913
1431711
142159
141127
140106
13995
13874
13763
13652
13541
13431
13321
1322
131
130

ScorePercentile
6.099
5.598
5.091
4.581
4.056
3.538
3.015
2.57
2.02
1.51
1.0
0.5
0.0

## The Ins and Outs of GRE Difficulty

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear at Magoosh is “how does difficulty work on the GRE?” This is a great question and one that is at play on two different levels on the test. The first is on a question level.

Questions on the GRE fall into five different difficulty categories: Very Easy, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Very Hard. Furthermore, each of the two sections that make up each the Verbal and Quant sections will be classified as Easy, Medium, or Hard. A common misconception is that an Easy section won’t have any Hard questions. Or that a Hard section will be entirely composed of Hard questions. While it can feel like this on test day, that’s not how the sections are actually constructed. Let’s look more closely at each of the sections.

### Easy Section Breakdown: Quant

• Very Easy Questions: Around 25% of the questions.
• Easy Questions: Around 40% of the questions.
• Medium Questions: Around 30% of the questions.
• Hard Questions: Around 5% of the questions.
• Very Hard Questions: Around 0% of the questions.

### Medium Section Breakdown: Quant

• Very Easy Questions: Around 10% of the questions.
• Easy Questions: Around 20% of the questions.
• Medium Questions: Around 50% of the questions.
• Hard Questions: Around 10% of the questions.
• Very Hard Questions: Around 10% of the questions.

### Hard Section Breakdown: Quant

• Very Easy Questions: Around 0% of the questions.
• Easy Questions: Around 5% of the questions.
• Medium Questions: Around 25% of the questions.
• Hard Questions: Around 40% of the questions.
• Very Hard Questions: Around 30% of the questions.

### Easy Section Breakdown: Verbal

• Very Easy Questions: Around 30% of the questions.
• Easy Questions: Around 40% of the questions.
• Medium Questions: Around 20% of the questions.
• Hard Questions: Around 10% of the questions.
• Very Hard Questions: Around 0% of the questions.

### Medium Section Breakdown: Verbal

• Very Easy Questions: Around 10% of the questions.
• Easy Questions: Around 30% of the questions.
• Medium Questions: Around 30% of the questions.
• Hard Questions: Around 20% of the questions.
• Very Hard Questions: Around 10% of the questions.

### Hard Section Breakdown: Verbal

• Very Easy Questions: Around 0% of the questions.
• Easy Questions: Around 10% of the questions.
• Medium Questions: Around 20% of the questions.
• Hard Questions: Around 40% of the questions.
• Very Hard Questions: Around 30% of the questions.

### Making Sense of Section Adaptability and Difficulty

We’ve established that the GRE contains three difficulty levels for each section, but how does that work? What does it mean that the test is section adaptive? You can get a deeper dive here, but there are some basics to know before we dive into scoring.

First, the GRE is only adaptive from section to section. This means your performance on your first Quant or Verbal section, which will be at a Medium difficulty, will determine the difficulty level of your subsequent second section. It does not mean that the test will adapt to your performance within a section. Let’s look at two scenarios!

In the first scenario, you get six questions out of twelve right in your first Quant section. This means that you are extremely likely to get another Medium difficulty Quant section. This will somewhat limit your Quant score ceiling, but we’ll explore that more fully in a moment.

In the second scenario, you start your first Quant section by answering the first three questions in a row wrong. This will not change the difficulty of your remaining questions. The difficulty level of each section is locked in once you begin it. In this scenario, you could go on to answer your remaining nine questions correctly and secure a Hard second section.

The most important takeaway about scoring and difficulty is this: harder sections weigh more heavily in your score than easy ones. This means that you can only achieve a really great score if you do well enough on your first Medium section to get a Hard second section. The easier the second section, the lower your score ceiling will be.

### A Note About Scoring

Before we jump too far into scoring details, I have to make an important disclaimer. The details of the scoring system, including the equating formula and all other algorithms, used in the GRE are known only by ETS. They have never revealed exactly how their scoring system works. So how do we know what we know? Our calculators and score charts are estimations and approximations based on analyzing lots and lots of publicly available data like official score charts and score reports. You should always read scoring data from us, and other sources, knowing that we’re providing you the best estimations possible, but they are still just estimations.

## How Many Questions Can I Miss on the Quantitative Section?

You may be wondering just how to trigger that Hard second section in Quant. Here are the rough thresholds. Keep in mind that your first Quant sections will always be of Medium difficulty.

### Number of Correct Questions to Open an Easy, Medium, or Hard Quant Second Section

• Easy Second Section: Triggered if you answer less than approximately four questions right on your first section.
• Medium Second Section: Triggered if you answer around four to seven questions right on your first section.
• Hard Second Section: Triggered if you answer approximately eight or more questions right on your first section.

### Possible Score Ranges Based on Second Section Difficulty

Now let’s look at some broad score thresholds based on the difficulty level of your second Quant section.

• 1st section Medium, 2nd section Easy: Your total Quant score is likely to fall in the 130-151 range, give or take 2 points.
• 1st section Medium, 2nd section Medium: Your total Quant score is likely to fall in the 136-158 range, give or take 2 points.
• 1st section Medium, 2nd section Hard: Your total Quant score is likely to fall in the 146-170 range, give or take 2 points.

### How to Hit the 50th/70th/90th Percentiles in Quant

• In order to get a Quant score in 50th percentile or better (157 and up): Answer at least 19 questions correctly across both sections. It will be much easier to do this if you achieve the Hard second section, so you want to aim for answering at least 8 questions correctly on your first Quant go-around.
• In order to get a Quant score in the 70th percentile or better (163 and up): Answer at least 24 questions correctly across both sections. You will have to get the second Hard section to achieve this score and will need to get at least 9 right in your first section to make this possible.
• In order to get a Quant score above the 90th percentile (169-170): Answer at least 26 questions correctly, but more likely you will need to get every question on the Quant section correct.

For more in-depth scoring scenarios, check out this great post by Talha Omer.

## How Many Questions Can I Miss on the Verbal Section?

How about the Verbal section? How do you trigger that Hard second section there? Here are the rough thresholds. Keep in mind that your first Verbal section will always be of Medium difficulty.

### Number of Correct Questions to Open an Easy, Medium, or Hard Verbal Second Section

• Easy Second Section: Triggered if you answer less than approximately five questions right on your first section.
• Medium Second Section: Triggered if you answer around five to eight questions right on your first section.
• Hard Second Section: Triggered if you answer approximately nine or more questions right on your first section.

### Possible Score Ranges Based on Second Section Difficulty

Now let’s look at some broad score thresholds based on the difficulty level of your second Verbal section.

• 1st section Medium, 2nd section Easy: Your total Verbal score is likely to fall in the 130-155 range, give or take 2 points.
• 1st section Medium, 2nd section Medium: Your total Verbal score is likely to fall in the 141-164 range, give or take 2 points.
• 1st section Medium, 2nd section Hard: Your total Verbal score is likely to fall in the 149-170 range, give or take 2 points.

### How to Hit the 50th/70th/90th Percentiles in Verbal

• In order to get a Verbal score in 50th percentile or better (152 and up): Answer at least 11 questions correctly across both sections. While you can do this with an Easy second section, it will be much easier to achieve with at least a Medium second section. Aim for getting at least 5 questions right in your first section.
• In order to get a Verbal score in the 70th percentile or better (156 and up): Answer at least 15 questions correctly across both sections. You will have to get at least a Medium second section to achieve this score. You will need to get at least 5 right in your first section to make this possible.
• In order to get a Verbal score in the 90th percentile or better (163 and up): Answer at least 21 questions correctly across both sections. While you can achieve this with a medium second section, you would need to get 8 questions right on the first section and all 15 right on the second to hit the 90th percentile. Aim instead for triggering the Hard second section by answering at least 9 correct questions in your first section.

## Scoring the Analytic Writing Section

The new, shorter GRE only features one essay in the GRE’s Analytical Writing section. These aren’t simply “right” or “wrong” questions like your other sections. So you won’t get a raw score that corresponds to a 40-point score range. Instead, the GRE AW essay is 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, AW essay questions are adjusted for differences between multiple scorers. Each AW 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 AW essay are similar, the final score for the essay will be an average of the human and computer scores.

However, if thee-rater score 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.

While schools generally look more closely at your Quant and Verbal scores, your writing score does often matter. This is particularly true for programs where you are not submitting another writing sample or if you are an applicant who does not speak English as your first language. Aim for at least a 3.0 unless your program indicates that you should have a higher score. Typically programs that are very writing heavy, think humanities programs, will want to see higher AW scores.

## Interactive GRE Score Calculator

Ready to figure out your target GRE score? Use our interactive GRE calculator! If you took a practice test, you can use those numbers to get an idea of your section and total scores. Simply adjust the sliders for each section to see both your section scores and your GRE total score. Once you have an idea of what score you are aiming for you can refer back to our information about how many questions you can miss to form an action plan.

Quant Score
155
Mean: 155
Percentile: 58%
Verbal Score
151
Mean: 151