Answer #1: It depends.
A “good” GRE score is one that gets you accepted into the graduate program of your choice. What counts as good, then, depends on the program and the field.
You can get a good feel for this by looking at the average GRE scores from some top schools in a variety of popular and competitive fields. For our current purposes, we’ll focus on grad degrees in education programs, engineering programs, psychology programs, and even MBA programs, since business schools are increasingly accepting GRE scores in lieu of GMAT scores.
Remember that the Verbal and Quantitative portions of the GRE are scored between 130–170, and the average score falls somewhere around 150-152. The Analytical Writing section of the GRE is scored between 0 and 6 in half-point increments, and the average hits somewhere around 3.5.
Now, using the abbreviations established above, let’s break down some real data to help you determine which grad school programs look for which average GRE scores. Maybe your top grad school program will even be on the list.
Average GRE Scores For Top 2023 Law Schools
|School||2022 US News Rank||Verbal||Quant||Writing|
|Yale Law School||1||168||166||5.5|
|New York University||6||167||162||5.5|
|Northwestern University (Pritzker)||12||163||159||5.0|
Average GRE Scores for 2024 Engineering Masters Programs
|Purdue University-West Lafayette||Chemical Engineering||152||164||3.8|
|Purdue University-West Lafayette||Electrical and Computer Engineering||152||166||3.6|
|Purdue University-West Lafayette||Industrial Engineering||154||165||3.5|
|University of California—San Diego (Jacobs)||Electrical and Computer Engineering||157||167||4|
Average GRE Scores For Top 5 2023 MBA Grad School Programs
As we’ve discussed before, many business schools now accept the GRE as well as the GMAT, so here are some relatively new guidelines about what GRE figures really mean when applying to an MBA.
|School||2022 US News Rank||Average Verbal Score||Average Quant Score|
|University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||2||162||162|
|University of Chicago (Booth)||3||162||163|
|Northwestern University (Kellogg)||4||162||165|
For more information on the average GRE scores for grad school programs, as well as graduate program rankings by field, you can check out the latest data from U.S. News and World Reports.
For a more general look at the average scores of other test-takers by field, you can also look at ETS’ snapshot, which compiles the past three years of GRE test data into a series of handy charts. And if you’re curious about percentiles, you can reference the ETS chart on percentile rates of varying scores.
So, what about the second popular answer to the question, “What do I need to score on the GRE to get into grad school?”
Answer #2: Score as high a score as possible
Remember that the numbers shared here are simply average GRE scores from average candidates. It goes without saying that you probably don’t want to settle for average. You want your application to stand out and impress the admissions committee, and you want a chance at earning scholarships and other financial aid. Having a high GRE score is an excellent way to do just that.
How do you get that great GRE score, the one that will get you into the grad program of your dreams?
- Take a free GRE practice test.
- Utilize the test maker’s resources.
- Enroll in a Kaplan GRE prep course.
You will soon be on your way to hitting your Test Day goal.
[ NEXT: How is the GRE Scored? ]