What Exactly Is a Good GRE Score?

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Over the years, one of the most common questions I have been asked by students is, “What is a good GRE score?”

A good GRE score mostly depends on the expectations of the student. The perception of a ‘good GRE score’ also varies from individual to individual. Same with the universities. Some students might consider the University of Michigan as a good college and hence the score required to get an admission there would be perceived as a good GRE score. However, students who target Harvard, won’t perceive the University of Michigan as a top university. Hence their idea of a good GRE score will be much higher.

According to my experience and perception, I would recommend the following slabs as ranges for a good GRE score.

1) TOP SCORE – These scores will place you among the top 10% of the test takers and get you admissions into the top US Universities.

Top Scores - Good GRE Score
Top Scores – Good GRE Score

2) GOOD SCORE – These scores will place you among the top 25% of the test takers and get you admissions into excellent US universities. And, guess what? You still have a shot at Ivy League universities if you have a good and consistent profile.

Good Scores - Good GRE Score
Good Scores – Good GRE Score

3) MODEST SCORE – These scores will place you among the top 50% of the test takers. Though these scores won’t help you in getting into top US universities, you can have a shot at many non-Ivy League universities. These are pretty decent scores and not at all bad, though you might face some competition if you are applying for highly-sought after programs. Make sure that you build a strong profile.

Modest Scores - Good GRE Score
Modest Scores – Good GRE Score

4) AVERAGE SCORE – These scores will place you among the remaining 50% of the test takers. Though these scores would get you admissions in many universities, chances are high that these universities might not be regarded as Top Universities or Excellent Universities by conventional standards. These universities can still offer you unconventional programs and help you build your own niche. Or, you can just retake the GRE and aim to boost your GRE scores for a shot at more popular universities.

Average Scores - Good GRE Score
Average Scores – Good GRE Score


You may also want to look at the average GRE score required for various fields of studies. Additionally, I have suggested a ‘Safe Score’ which is based on standard deviations and can be seen as a pointer for a good GRE score. This will help you to determine your own target of a good GRE score.


life sciences - Good GRE Score
Life Sciences – Good GRE Score


physical sciences - Good GRE Score
Physical Sciences – Good GRE Score


engineering - Good GRE Score
Engineering – Good GRE Score


social sciences - Good GRE Score
Social Sciences – Good GRE Score


Humanities & arts - Good GRE Score
Humanities & Arts – Good GRE Score


education - Good GRE Score
Education – Good GRE Score


business - Good GRE Score
Business – Good GRE Score

In this article, I will give you the official data on the average scores of those who got admissions into certain top universities, so that you get a fair idea of the university cut off scores.  Note the Average Quant Scores, Average Verbal scores, and the Quant cut-off scores to help you set a good GRE score as your target.

You must be wondering about the cut-off marks for the top universities. which is not easily available. But don’t worry, I have compiled the data for you.


UniversityVerbal (Average Score)Quant
(Minimum Score)
Quant (Average Score)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology157160162
Stanford University158160163
University of California Berkeley155159161
University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign155159163
Carnegie Mellon University159159161
Georgia Technological University155159161
University of Texas Austin155157160
University of Michigan Ann Arbor154159161
Cornell University160159162
Purdue University158160163
University of Southern California158160163
Texas A&M University154157160
University of California San Diego154164166
California Technological University158164166
Princeton University158157163
University of Wisconsin Madison157160163
Columbia University164157163
University of Maryland College154159160
Northwestern University154159161
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities155163
University of Washington156159
Ohio State University 155158
Duke University155 –165
North Carolina State University155 –161
University of Colorado Boulder155 –152
University of California Irvine152 –161
Arizona State University154 –162
Iowa State University152 –160
Northeastern University152 –157
University at Buffalo – SUNY154 –161
University of Connecticut153 –157
University of Illinois–Chicago152 –158
Colorado State University153157
Illinois Institute of Technology148158
Clemson University151 –155
University of Central Florida151 –155
University of Cincinnati155 –159
Santa Clara University151 –157
Santa Clara University151 –157
Mississippi State University148 –157
University of North Carolina158 –155
Michigan Technological University154 –157
University of Texas Arlington148 –157

Want to score a perfect 170 in Quant? Download the Quant Forumula Book today!


GRE Score: 330

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stanford University
University of California- Berkeley
University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Cornell University
The University of Texas at Austin
University of Maryland – College park
California Institute of Technology
University of Wisconsin- Madison
University of California – San Diego
University of California Los Angles
Harvard University
Carnegie Mellon University

So, now that you have detailed idea of what a good GRE score is, it is time for the next step, which is, ‘How to plan your GRE preparation to achieve that target GRE score’.
Needless to say, it requires immense dedication, planning, and hard work to achieve a good GRE score and secure admission to your Dream University.

I would love to hear from you. Get in touch with us to clear all your doubts!

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22 Responses

  1. Gaurav Jain says:

    Hi, I have a work experience of almost about 3 years. As far as my knowledge base in the particular field is concerned, I can say that it is competitive and thorough. I am aiming for top universities but my undergraduate CGPA is 8 out of 10, which I think drives me towards the lower end. Going through your post, I am assuming getting a score of about 330 would place one in an advantageous position. How should my preparation be if I am aiming for that extra edge?

    • ravi says:

      your CGPA is okay not that low and a score of 335 will give you a edge and meanwhile try to build up your CV , ex. if you are interested in a particular field for ms then try to take up some internship related to that field , for else if no such particular interest try to diversify your CV by doing internships in various fields(dont restrict yourself to only technical ones , go for internships like content writing which can be done from work from home also) and try to get a certificate of a social wok or service as most of ivy colleges are interested in that.

  2. Shreya says:

    My GRE Score is 317(Quant 160, Verbal 157), with 1yr experience in Software development, and several internships, with my own startup as well. What are my chances to get into Ivy League Universities for MS in CS?

    • Vanajaramanan says:

      Hi sis .. i am vanajaramanan stil i am studying BE 2nd (EEE) my ambition is i want to get in topest university in abroad how will i prepare for this exam so please help me for my furture ….
      Ph :9788937792

    • AVIRAL OJHA says:

      Hello Miss Shreya..
      Ur marks are really good
      Please tell me how did u prepare for GRE
      How much time does the preparation consist and how much hour should we put daily
      Also if u can please share some tips
      Hope so u reply
      Btw ur score is pretty good..hoping u may find ur place in best college ahead!!

    • ravi says:

      317 is a good score but not that great that it will give you a direct entry to ivy colleges , since you have 1 yr experience it will definitely give you an edge but you need to score around 325 on safer side for masters in CS.

  3. edit my paper says:

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the
    blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

  4. discos externos says:

    He estado navegando en línea más de three
    horas hoy, pero nunca encontré ningún artículo interesante como el tuyo.
    Es Vale bastante lo suficiente para mí. En mi opinión , si todos webmasters y bloggers hacen un buen contenido como tú,

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    mantener el excelente trabajar!

  5. Ritvik verma says:

    Now i m studing in b.tech 2nd year..when i should give gre exam ?

    • ravi says:

      i guess the best time to give is in 3rd year because with starting of 4 year you will be busy with placements and projects work so i suggest start now and give it at end of 3rd year , this way you will have sufficient time for gre as well as you will be able to focus on the placements also.

  6. Sreya says:

    Hello!.. My name is Sreya I am currently in 3rd year of Btech, Cse dept. and I wish to get into a good university in US.My current cgpa is 8.71 and I do not have any research papers as such, however I have been a part of a fair amount of extra curricular activities.As of now my score in mock gre stands to be 299(Quants-159, Verbal-136 AWA-4). How should I prepare my self to get a score of 320+ if I wish to give my GRE in august 2018 .

  7. Pranoti says:

    Hi. I got 290 in GRE (140 verbal 150 quant 3.0 AWA), TOEFL 91, CGPA 5.7.
    I want to pursue MS in MIS. Which universities should I apply to? I know my GRE score is too low but I want to go ahead with it.

  8. Mohammad sayed says:

    I want to pursue MS in electronics and telecommunications…also my under graduate CGPA is low….what GRE score should i get if i want to go ahead in my field.

  9. kirti soalnki says:

    hey !
    i m an engineering student, i want to pursue MS in cyber security . What should be the undergraduate CGPA ?

  10. rk says:

    Hi ,
    I have very low CGPA in my Undergraduation around 6.5 but I’m having 3years of work experience and have done extensive research and worked in Big Data & Data Analytics technology. & in UG Have done various electronic projects and won technical fests awards and have published paper in IJERA.
    So I was looking if there are any chances that I can try to get CMU . I haven’t appeared GRE Yet, Was looking if there were any chances as i have less CGPA in UG

  11. nidhi shah says:

    My GRE – 291, IELTS- 7.5, ACADS – 78%
    BTech Biotechnology
    one internship in IIT-B and one in Loreal India.
    Worked as choreographer for extracurricular.

    I wish to MS Pharmaceutical Science or Chemistry as I further wish to pursue PhD as well!
    I am certainly reconsidering to give GRE.
    But suggest me colleges with this profile for spring 2019 as well as fall.
    Thank you

  12. Kiara says:

    Will the work experience of 2 years in a well known IT firm and a good GRE score help me get into high ranking college in the USA for master’s or PhD in IT field? (I have just completed BE in IT and work as a software developer in a well known firm with innovative projects)

  13. kutagolla maroof says:

    hiiii iam studying b.tech 2 nd year mechanical my ambition is to study ms in top universities please give me a suggestion to me mam

  14. Atharva says:

    Is university of torronto good for MS in artificial intelligence

  15. Sudarsan says:

    Hi I have a gre score 308 (155Q, 153V, 4.5AWA) with a CGPA of 8.7. I have 3+ years of work experience. Could you suggest me some good universities to apply for MS in CS?

  16. sattamatkai says:

    Hey there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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