A ‘good’ GRE score depends on a number of factors and not just your GRE score. For example, a GRE score which is good enough for one program might be below average for another program.
So, we will try to understand these factors on which the GRE score depends to be regarded as a good score. However, if we go by the average marking, an average good GRE score would be 150 in verbal, 152.6 in quantitative and 3. Or above in analytical writing.
Determining how good a GRE score is?
As the requirements for each graduate program are different according to the different disciplines that they belong to, a GRE score that will get you into your desired program will be calculated by taking in consideration the following factors:
- Program Level: If you’re aiming for a PhD program, then you will have to score more than an average score in GRE that is required for a master’s program. As there are fewer spots available for PhD programs, the candidates have to portray higher quality than the master’s candidates and have a better score than the usual crowd to seize the desired position in the program.
- Program Discipline: Different discipline programs require different scores from the candidates. For example, engineering, Math, Physics and Chemistry discipline programs require a higher GRE score in Quant. On the other hand, the programs with Humanities discipline require the candidates to have a higher verbal score. Generally, most of the programs care least about the analytical writing, but that does not mean that you can leave this section unprepared. Thus, you must prepare for a section more according to the discipline that you’re going to apply to.
- How much value does the program gives to the GRE score: Not all the programs, even in the same discipline, give equal importance to the GRE score. Some programs consider the GRE score extremely important for the admission process while the others just consider it as an additional piece in the application. For instance, if you want to get admission in the Aerospace Engineering program at Texas, then you will be required to have an excellent score in GRE. Also, if you wish to be funded for your program, then you will need to score higher to beat the competition. Another example could be the Stanford Graduate school which does not have a minimum cutoff requirement for GRE. The school evaluates the applications of the candidates applying to that school on the basis of the material and content in the file.
- Program Competitiveness: If you’re applying to a program that is ranked higher or is chosen by a huge number of students, then it doe not matter if your discipline requires a GRE score or not, if you do have given GRE and scored well in it, you will be favoured over others regardless of your discipline as you will have it in your application. You must prepare well for the GRE test and try to score as high as you can as it will certainly make you application stand out in the crowd.
- Content in your application: It is not just the GRE score that can get you in your desired program if you do not have anything else to put into the application. You need to make your profile as strong as it can get. Try to get good scores in your undergraduate, do internships, do research, show some work experience so that you can show your profile with pride and confidence that you have not only achieved a great score in GRE but have also been working hard since before as well.
Now, that you know how you can calculate how good of a GRE score will be for the graduate program that you wish to apply to, you can look at some points given below that can help you reach that score.
How to achieve a good score in GRE?
First of all, you will have to do your research to find out what is a ‘good’ score for the program that you’re applying to. For that, you can either visit the school website, or you can look for that information online on some relevant site. You can look out for the previous year cutoff for the GRE score for that program and set your goal to start working for it.
Once you have calculated the desired GRE score required for the admission into your dream program, you will have to look for the weightage for each section that your program gives for the GRE exam.
For instance, if you’re applying for an Engineering program or a science program, you will need to focus more on scoring as high as you can get in the quant section as your school will give more importance to quant rather than your verbal section.
Preparing according to your discipline’s needs does not mean that you will not focus on the other sections. As much as it is important for you to score well in a particular section, it is as important to score well in the other sections.
You must start preparing from the material that is available online, or you could buy a book form a shop, but you must start preparing wisely for your exam. You should practice daily and also time yourself so that you will know to manage your time well in the exam as well.
You can buy mock tests as this will help you to practice full-length exams with time and you will come to know about your weaknesses so that you can work on them. There are plenty of resources available online that can help you achieve your dream score in GRE; all you need to do is get going!
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