How Is the GRE Scored, Really? Expert Guide • PrepScholar GRE

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The GRE can feel like a mysterious black box : your answers go in and a seduce comes out. But there must be more to it than that, proper ? Just how is the GRE scored ?

As you might have guessed, the process is much more complicated than just adding up the number of questions you got right. In ordain to ensure the most accurate scores, processes called adaptive testing and compare are used. Read this usher to learn what these terms mean, how they affect you, and what has to happen before you get your official GRE scores .

An Introduction to GRE Scores

Before we get into the kernel of how the GRE is scored, let ’ s first look at some key GRE numbers. In this section, we ’ ll go over the possible scores you can get on the GRE and what the average score for each section is .
After you complete the GRE, you’ll receive three scores: quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning both have a score scale of 130-170, in one-point increments. Your unofficial scores for both of these sections will appear on your calculator screen immediately after you finish the test .
The Analytical Writing section has a score range of 0-6, in half-point increments. This score will be available on-line, along with your official scores for the early two sections, about 10-15 days after you complete the GRE. You ’ ll receive an e-mail telling you to check your My GRE account once they ’ re available .
Based on data collected by ETS ( the organization which develops and administers the GRE ), the average scores for the GRE are:

  • Verbal Reasoning: 150
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 152
  • Analytical Writing: 3.6

But where do those numbers come from ? How is the GRE scored ? What does ETS do to ensure the tests are fair and people don ’ thymine receive a lower score just because the trial they took that day was harder than a quiz given final class ? Read on to learn each of the steps that have to happen before you receive your GRE scores. The first process we ’ ll be discussing is adaptive test .

What Is Adaptive Testing? How Does It Affect You?

If you are taking the GRE on the computer ( as most people do ), Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning will be “section-level adaptive.”
What does this beggarly ? On the GRE, both Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning have two sections, referred to as “ measures ” by the ETS. How well you do on the first of these measures determines which questions the second measure will contain and how challenging those questions will be. Basically, your first measuring stick for a section will have medium-difficulty questions, and how well you do on those questions will determine if the questions in your next bill are pulled largely from the easy, medium, or challenging interrogate bank .
therefore if you only get one question incorrectly on the first Quantitative Reasoning measurement, your second quantitative Reasoning measurement will have more ambitious questions, compared to the second measure of person who only got half the questions on the first bill right .
The types of questions you answered incorrectly on the first measure don’t matter. If you got all the geometry questions wrong on the first measure, that doesn ’ thymine hateful only geometry questions will be easier in the second measure ; the only thing that matters for this is the number of questions you answered incorrectly .
besides, if you do truly well on the first quantify, that doesn ’ thymine base every question in the irregular measurement will be extremely difficult to solve. conversely, if you don ’ triiodothyronine do very well on the first measure, the questions in the second gear meter won ’ t all be easy either. The adaptive examination good means that, in general, if you do well on the beginning quantify, your questions on the second measure will be a snatch more unmanageable than person who didn ’ triiodothyronine do vitamin a good .
When you ’ re taking the GRE, you won ’ t receive any scores until the end of the examination ( and those fair for the entire Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections ), so you won ’ thyroxine know how well you did on the foremost measure or which difficulty level your moment measure questions are .
Adaptive testing allows more differentiation between the scores of test takers so schools and others viewing GRE scores can have a more accurate theme of how well individuals did on the examination. If you got 10/20 questions correct on the foremost Verbal Reasoning measuring stick and then got a perfect 20/20 on the second base measure, your final section grade won ’ triiodothyronine be quite american samoa senior high school as person who got 18/20 questions correct on the first measure and then 12/20 on the moment standard. even though you both ended up getting 30/40 questions correct, the person who got 18/20 questions correct on the beginning bill will have been given more challenging questions than you did on the second quantify. The increased difficulty of these questions results in a slightly higher final score.
adaptive test besides means that how well you do on the first measure of a section is slightly more important than how well you do on the second measure. This is because your grudge on the first measure affects the difficulty of the questions you get on the irregular measure, and you can only get a crown score if your second gear measure questions are the highest difficulty level. however, on the solid, don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate concern about adaptive testing besides much. Your goal should be to answer as many questions correctly as you can, which would be your strategy tied if the GRE didn ’ thyroxine use adaptive screen .

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How Are Raw GRE Scores Converted to Scaled Scores?

After adaptive grade, another process comes into play before you can get your official score. Your raw score has to be converted to a scaled score (the official score you receive).
Your raw score is the number of points you earned on the examination ( you get a sharpen for each question you answer correctly, and no points are deducted for incorrect answers ). however, the scores you receive for both Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning will be between 130 and 170. Since Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning both have 40 questions each, you might assume that your final score is precisely 130 + the number of questions you answered correctly. While this is close, it ’ s not wholly true .
So how are GRE scores calculated ? And why can ’ t just the raw score be used ? The process of GRE naked score conversion is known as equate. Equating is done in order to control for slight variations in difficulty between exams and specific exam questions.  foremost, this means that, if the GRE you took one day is slightly more difficult than a adaptation person took a few months ago, equating will be used to ensure that your seduce international relations and security network ’ t unfairly impacted by the more challenge examination. It ’ d be impossible to have every adaptation of the GRE be precisely the lapp level of trouble, then equating ensures that average scores stay consistent across different versions of the test .
additionally, equating besides controls for the difficulty of the questions you answered in the moment measure of each section. In essence, equating takes into account both how many questions you answered correctly as well as how difficult those questions were.
To look at an exemplar like the scenario described in the adaptive testing department, if you answered 30 questions out of 40 adjust on Verbal Reasoning, your score might be precisely a uncoiled 160 ( 130 + 30 ), or it might be a 158 if the questions you answered were easier and/or your test as a whole was easier than average. On the other hand, your score might be, say, a 163 if the questions you answered were more difficult than average .
The exact march ETS uses for equating international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate publicly disclosed, but, like adaptive testing, it won’t have a huge impact on your final score, and your independent goal should even be to answer as many problems correctly as you can.

How Are the GRE Essays Graded?

Because they aren ’ metric ton multiple choice, the two GRE essays in the Analytical Writing section go through a different scoring process than Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning. This action is more straight-forward than the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scoring action, although it does involve robots ( screen of ) .
Each essay is read by at a discipline grader and given a sexual conquest from 0-6. then the test is scored by an e-reader, a computer course of study developed by ETS to measure writing proficiency based on scores in multiple areas. If the human grader ’ second and e-reader ’ sulfur scores “ close harmonize ” ( are within a point of each other ), then the average of those two scores is used as the final essay score. If they disagree, a second human grader scores the essay, and the average of the two human scores is the final essay score .
To get the final Analytical Writing seduce, the two essay scores are averaged, and that value is rounded to the nearest half-point .

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How Are Paper GREs Scored?

Most people take the GRE on the computer, but if there are no calculator quiz centers near you, then you ’ ll take the GRE on wallpaper. On foliate 118 of the GRE Guide to the Paper-Based Test, you can see a sample paper-based examination mark scale. Looking at this will give you an idea of what your score will be based on how many questions you answer correctly, but be aware that this can vary a fortune, more therefore than the computer-based examination .
The scoring process of paper-based GREs is like to that for computer-based GREs, but there are a few differences .
The biggest difference is that there is no adaptive scoring because, obviously, on a wallpaper examination, a test taker ’ mho scores on the first measure of a section can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be immediately graded and used to select the questions of the second measure. Instead of adaptive scoring, medium-difficulty questions are used for both measures.  equation is still used when converting from raw scores to convert scores, and this besides takes the trouble level of the questions into account. besides, part of the function of equating is to ensure that the paper-based and computer-based GREs have an equal level of difficulty, then don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate worry about one test format giving you a disadvantage .
For Analytical Writing, no e-reader is used to grade the essays. Instead, two human graders are used, and, if the scores they award change by more than one orient, a third human grader is used, and the final examination essay grade is the average of those three scores. otherwise, scoring is the lapp between the paper-based and computer-based versions of the GRE .

What Does GRE Scoring Mean for You?

The work of scoring your GRE is a lot more than simply adding up the count of questions you answered correctly. adaptive marking is used to determine question difficulty and differentiate more between top-scorers. The process of converting from sensitive scores to scaled scores is known as compare, and it takes question trouble into account in addition to the number of questions answered correctly. GRE essays are graded using a combination of human graders and calculator programs. The work for grading paper-based GREs is similar, but there is no adaptive score and only human graders score the test .
What all this means is that, first of all, you don’t need to worry if the GRE is harder or easier on the day you choose to take the exam because these differences are controlled for. additionally, getting more questions correct in the first bill of the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections will give your final scores a flimsy boost because of adaptive score. so seduce sure you don ’ metric ton equitable breeze through the first questions on the test in order to get everything answered .
While the process of how the GRE is scored can seem complicated, it’s important to not worry too much about it. The best thing you can do to get a high mark is answer as many questions correctly as you can, regardless of adaptive grade and equate .

What’s Next?

Taking the GRE soon? Get bit-by-bit instructions on how to register for the GRE to make sure everything is ready total examination day .
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How a lot does it cost to take the GRE ? Find out by reading our guide on GRE costs, and learn what hidden fees there are and how to reduce them.
Thinking about taking a GRE Subject Test? Learn everything you need to know about Subjects Tests vitamin a well as how to decide whether or not you should take one .

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author : Christine Sarikas

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master ‘s from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biota in several countries. View all posts by Christine Sarikas

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