A young college student studies for the GRE in a classroom in front of a chalk board

How is the GRE Scored?

The GRE is made up of three sections: Verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. Verbal and quantitative scores are scored on a scale of 130-170 in one-point increments, whereas the analytical section is scored on a scale of zero to six in half-point increments. The way the exam is designed, an examinee is allowed to miss multiple questions and still receive a perfect score. On the other end of the spectrum, if someone taking the test were to get every question wrong, they would still not be able to score below 130.

The computer-based GRE is designed to be more personalized to each test taker than the paper test. In order for this to happen, your performance on one section determines the difficulty of the question in the following section. In other words, if someone were to do very poorly on the first stage of their exam, then the next question would consist of lower-level questions. It also works in reverse. Answering the harder questions correctly is the only way to receive the perfect score of 170.

Last Updated: October 19, 2015

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