How Is The GRE Percentiles Score Calculated? A Knowledge-Base!

SIMPLY PUT – Your GRE general test score percentile presents you an accurate reading of –How well your GRE score percentiles stack up against other test-taking candidates!’

Every score corresponds to a particular percentile rank. And it reveals the GRE percentiles of students who score below yours.

However, before we dig into discussing the GRE percentiles for 2020 with the help of ETS’s accurate data, let’s first understand the GRE format and syllabus.

Here’s A Quick Overview about the GRE 

  • The GRE exam consists of quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing. The total time is 3 hours and 45 mins.
  • The GRE Quantitative Reasoning test score ranges from 130-170 in one-point increments
  • The GRE Verbal Reasoning score range is from 130-170 in one-point increment
  • And the GRE Analytical Reasoning average score ranges from 0-6 in in a half-point increment
  • Furthermore, your GRE score report presents a clear picture of your overall percentile rank for each of the above test scores. And through your percentile ranks, you precisely know where exactly you stand in comparison to the rest.

DIGGING DEEPER Into Those Exact GRE Ranks & Its Percentile  

Let’s try to explain this using an example –

If your GRE score is in the 80th percentile, it denotes that your score is better than 80% of other students taking this exam.

Here’s A Reading of Verbal & Quantitative GRE Percentiles For 2020

VERBAL REASONING SCORES & PERCENTILES (Copied from GRE score report from the ETS)

170       99          150       46

169       99          149       41

168       98          148       37

167       98          147       33

166       97          146       29

165       96          145       26

164       94          144       22

163       93          143       19

162       90          142       16

161       88          141       14

160       86          140       11

159       83          139       9

158       80          138       8

157       76          137       6

156       73          136       4

155       68          135       3

154       64          134       2

153       60          133       2

152       54          132       1

151       51          131       1

And so on!



170       96          150       37

169       95          149       34

168       93          148       30

167       90          147       26

166       89          146       23

165       86          145       19

164       84          144       16

163       82          143       13

162       79          142       11

161       76          141       9

160       73          140       7

159       70          139       6

158       67          138       4

157       64          137       3

156       60          136       2

155       56          135       2

154       53          134       1

153       49          133       1

152       45          132       1

151       41          131       1

And so on!

So Now You Have a Clear Picture of GRE Ranks and Its Percentile. What’s NEXT…? (Continue reading…)


The GRE test is either paper or computer-based. There are two separate sections for Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning, each with 20 sets of questions.

Each question in both respective sections contributes to your GRE scores. And depending on how you perform in your 1st section, the level of difficulty in the 2nd section will vary accordingly.

Whatever number of questions you answer accurately in each section, your raw section scores are converted into an overall scale score.

In your Analytical Section, an experienced reader will review each of the essays and deliver a score on a point scale of 0-6.

In addition, your essays will also get a computer-orient score from the ‘E-Rater’ by the ETS. This particular section will need you to handle both an argument and issue individually. And the time for doing this will be 30-mins each for both.

You will need to critically evaluate the topic and deliver a lucid, logical, and crisp essay.

However, that’s not all. Top GRE coaching tutors recommend focussing and spending ample time polishing up the other key aspects like SOP or Statements of Purpose. This is in case of MBA essays or MS programs.

Regardless of whether you aim for the top business schools or any other graduate school, striving to know about the appropriate GRE score is crucial. Simply because securing high GRE percentiles is a mandatory criterion for enrolling into your chosen school.

SO…How Do You Ace Your GRE & Secure Your PERFECT SCORE?

GRE is tough. And often be overwhelming for most students. But, by devising the right GRE prep plan, you can secure and you can improve your GRE performance and a good GRE score.

To Help You Do That, Here Are Some Useful Tips For You To Follow Diligently.

  1. Fix Your GRE Target Score – To clarify once and for all- ‘There Is No Such Thing as the Perfect GRE Score!’ But there is always a perfect GRE score for ‘You.’ So, the first thing you should is to fix your target GRE percentiles for your chosen college’s acceptance application.

However, the good news for you is the ETS provides PowerPREP consisting of two separate free mock tests. It also includes some additional practice problems to work with. Look to take the first practice paper as your performance reading.

  1. Devise Study Plans for Improving Section Scores – To polish up your depth of knowledge for each section, devise a study plan. In addition to that, take help from online GRE math resources, grammar, and other analytical reasoning section. These study books will provide you with hands-on-practice and reading comprehension practice- which you can expect a similar kind in the actual GRE.
  2. Take Multiple GRE Practice TestsPractice makes perfect! So also look to include multiple GRE practice tests that give you real-time test-experience. Plus, top GRE tutors believe that such GRE test taker(s) are the best way to discover your weaknesses during the test and work on them for the real test day.
  3. Use The Best-GRE Books For Effective Self-Study – There are so many GRE prep books available online for you to use.

Some Quality Ones Include for the GRE prep –

  • GRE Big Book
  • The Official GRE Super Power Pack
  • Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides
  • 4th Edition, Kaplan GRE Complete 2016 (Books, DVD, Online)
  • Barron’s GRE 2015 Edition
  • Cracking the GRE Premium Edition 2016 with 6 Practice Tests (Princeton Review)

And so on!

  1. Use GRE Word-List To Augment Your Depth Of Vocabulary – As an important part of the GRE verbal section, you can use GRE power vocab, newspapers, magazines, and other academic journals from reputed publication houses.
  2. Lastly- Don’t Hesitate in Taking Professional Help from Competent GRE Tutors – If you feel that preparing for the GRE is still overwhelming for you to handle alone, unhesitantly take professional assistance.

In fact, you can find tutors offering GRE classes on campus as well as outside campus environments. These tutors are experts on GRE prep. And they will not only help you extract your problem areas but allow you to progress throughout your study schedule- till you are ready to take on the actual GRE.


When determining your GRE percentiles, you need to remember that requirements vary from school-to-school! And if you’re aiming for top-names like Harvard or Stanford, their GRE score percentiles will be higher than other schools around.

So decide your GRE score according to the school you choose to enroll into. However, you should look to avoid the bottom half of the GRE percentiles (shown above). Simply because not many schools accept students with 50th percentile!

Work hard using the tips above and always strive to improve your GRE performance as you move towards your test day.

This is not an easy exam to crack. But it is by no means impossible either. And as long as you are willing to put in sufficient hours of study regularly, you will be successful in procuring your desirable GRE score for enrolling into your chosen college!

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