If you are planning to give GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), you probably want to know what a good score is. The answer is- it depends. In this informative post, you will get to know what a good GRE score is in the entire test. Also, you will receive the right guidance on how to set a target score. This way, you will reach your way to a good score within no time!

What is a good GRE score?

A good GRE is the one that is high enough to get you into the top B-schools and the programs you wish you attend. Quite often, the GRE scores are used by the admission committee to rule out the weakest candidates. So, a low score can reduce your chances, but an average score or even a high score will increase your chances.

Suppose you have a low GPA that can be a loophole in your profile however you can compensate for that with a high GRE score. All in all, a good GRE score can help you somehow maintain a smooth admission sailing. Beyond that, a good score also enables you to qualify for scholarships and fellowships, particularly those provided by the university, where GPA and GRE scores are the only meaningful ways to compare your application with other candidates.

To determine what GRE score you need, there is no hard and fast rule. Here are some factors that will help you know what a good GRE score is:

1. How important the program considers GRE

Not all programs consider GRE with the same importance. Some emphasize it, while others only them as a supportive piece in the application. However, even if the school doesn’t overall underscore the importance of GRE that doesn’t mean any score is fine. If they want your scores, they will evaluate them at some point. There is a stringent acceptance rate at many schools. Since there is high competition, the GRE is needed. If your GRE score is relatively low, your academic preparation will seriously be in doubt.

2. Competitiveness of the program

One thing that you need to keep in mind is more selective the program, the higher the score you need for GRE. Top programs want students to be at their best in every area possible, basically having a holistic profile.

How to set a goal GRE score?

There are certain ways to set the score. Some programs do have the GRE requirement that is usually mentioned on the site while others don’t. So, if your program provides you the GRE score information, it’s relatively easy for you to set a goal score. Once you have got all the information, assemble it in a chart. On the left column, write the schools you wish to apply to and write their GRE score requirement in the other column.

Now that you have everything in place, find out the highest score in the whole section. Then aim for two points higher than that score. Why? As higher the score you seek for better chances to get into most of the top business schools in the world.

A very competitive score for a given program would be between the top 5% of candidates who have applied. A competitive score is of 20% candidates whereas an average score would be in the top 40%. A less competitive score is 50% and below it.


  • Very competitive score: 160-165
  • Competitive score: 155-159
  • Average score: 150-154
  • Below average score: Below 151


  • Very competitive score: 165-170
  • Competitive score: 156- 160
  • Average score: 150-155
  • Below average score: Below 150

It would be best to have a very competitive score for dream schools, a competitive score for selective schools, an average score for the average, and a less competitive score for safe schools.


Thus, there is no specific concept associated with a good GRE score. However, your score will indeed be compared to all other candidates via the GRE percentile chart. The more important thing is that your score sets you as a viable candidate for the programs you wish to target.
Figure out your program discipline, GRE score requirement, and which section is considered most important. Know the competitiveness of your program and prepare for your GRE accordingly. Rest other than GRE score focus on your overall application covering your resume, LORs, SOPs, essays, and IELTS/TOEFL score.

 Author Bio

Author Bio: Abhyank Srinet is a passionate digital entrepreneur who holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe. He started his first company while he was still studying at ESCP, and managed to scale it up by 400% in just 2 years.

Being a B-School Alumni, he recognized the need for a one-stop solution for B-School to get in touch with schools and get their application queries resolved. This prompted him to create MiM-Essay, a one-of-a-kind portal with cutting-edge profile evaluation and school selection algorithms, along with several avenues to stay informed about the latest B-School Updates.