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New GRE Score Scale vs Old

Posted on: December 26th, 2011 by Richard

GRE scores in GREatest PrepAs it was announced starting from August 2011 ETS has changed the format of the test and introduced new scale for GRE General Test. Now instead of 200-800 each section will be scored 130-170. So, why such a strange range?

Well, according to ETS, they wanted to stick to three-digits, so the colleges wouldn’t have to change all the textbox entries that call for three digits. Also the current score is out of range of previous to avoid confusion overlapping between two scoring systems.

New GRE scoring range appears to be more narrower than the previous system. Old one (200–800) was based on 10-point intervals, allowing totally for a 61-point spread, comparing to the new GRE’s 41-point spread, based on 1-point intervals. This has different impact for each section:

   ✓  for verbal — the new GRE is more limited in the extreme ends of the scale. For example, on the old GRE, there really wasn’t much difference between 730 and 800 — they were at the 99-100 percentile range. In comparison, on the new GRE, the same percentile range is actually between 169 and 170. So this way the influence of “luck” is diminished.

   ✓  for quantitiative we have opposite situation — on the old GRE 800 score was 94-100 percentile range, now for revised GRE this range is between 166-170. Hence, you will have to get more correct answers on the test to get the perfect score for quant section.

You can check the actual conversion table between old and new GRE provided by ETS. As mentioned, depending on section your converting scales will be different. Here is even more detailed explanation on new GRE scores.

In our GREatest Prep software products which simulate the GRE we’ve accounted for both old and new scales. Also we provide the raw scores for each section of the test in case you’re curios in percentile. So you can check yourself how the GRE is scored.

We hope this post will help those who is struggling to differentiate between old and new GRE scoring systems.


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