Scoring high marks in GRE is easier said than done. The nearer your score is to 170 in both verbal and quantitative, the better is your score. But it doesn’t mean that your score around 150 is considered bad. A definite GRE score can be taken as a good one, as long as it helps you in achieving what you aimed for.
Depending on the college course chosen, the worldwide average verbal score lies somewhere in between 150 to 157, while the worldwide average quantitative score lies somewhere in between 149 to 159. So while it can be safely assumed that a score above average can be considered a competitive score, mentioning a good GRE score depends very much upon specific conditions.
Here are some important factors to consider in defining a good GRE score.
1. Determine your target based on your chosen program
If you want to enroll yourself in a discipline like Engineering at a top 10 university, the GRE score requirements are typically higher that for a discipline like Business Administration. It may sound surprising to you, but in specific subjects in Arts and Humanities like Linguistics and Geography, many prestigious universities seek students with the highest GRE scores. So set your GRE target scores based upon the specific requirements of your program. It would be a wise decision to calculate the average GRE scores requirements of several institutions and then setting your target.
2. Know the requirements of your target institution
If you aim to enter MIT or Harvard, then you definitely need to achieve better scores. Your GRE scores may need to fall around the 90th percentile. However, your scores may not need to be so high if a state university is your target. Research on the requirements of the specific college, which you are willing to enroll into. The fact is that the standards set to define a ‘good GRE score’ differ among every other University.
3. Contact college administrators, officials and current students
For a discipline like engineering, the marks in quantitative marks definitely counts more than marks in verbal and writing. Know the exact requirements by contacting college administrators and officials of your target institution. You may login to their website or send them an email to satisfy your query. It would also be beneficial if you contacted some current students studying at the institution and know some specific information that your potential competitors might not know.
4. Always aim for an above average score
If you want to enroll yourself in an above average institution you must score an above average GRE score too. A good institution isn’t good just because it has the best infrastructure or faculty; the quality of students pursuing their courses also matter a lot. It’s no secret that for performing well in GRE students need to work really hard and often need to have better naturally gifted abilities, than the average. An above average score, thus, is usually a good score.
5. Know if your professional experience counts
While GRE scores are important, it’s not the only requirement that universities seek. Some universities value professional experience more than GRE marks. So much so that, in a lot of cases a person with better professional work experience with a lower GRE score may be good enough for admission, rather than a student with better GRE, but not much experience. The aim of universities is to take potential students who have the potential to learn more and experience thus is valued.
6. Set goals based on your preparation time
If you have a year to prepare for the GRE, you definitely have the flexibility to target higher scores. But if you work and have just a month to prepare, it might not be wise to set a high target. It takes quite a lot of hard-work and practice to obtain good GRE scores. If you have a short time to prepare, an average GRE score can indeed be considered good.
If you don’t manage to obtain a good score in your GRE tests, you really don’t need to get discouraged. There are good colleges that accept students despite a weak GRE score.