Benefits of a Good GRE Score

Posted by on September 26, 2017 in About the GRE | 10 comments

Benefits of a good GRE Score



Benefits of a Good GRE Score are DISPUTED


Some programs require a GRE score in only admission decisions. Others use the GRE in making scholarship decisions as well. Whereas for some, GRE is just a general requirement. 


Many top programs such as MIT’s Electrical & Computer Science program do not even require a GRE score.


Nevertheless a good GRE Score is required for an admission in a good university in many fields.


So what’s a good GRE score?


There isn’t a specific benchmark of a good GRE score. For instance in electrical engineering a good GRE score will be 165+ on quant but in literature a good GRE score will be 160+ on verbal. Moreover, GRE requirements vary from one university to another. Top programs require a higher GRE average as compared to those by low ranked programs. 


For instance, let’s assume that you got a GRE score of 320 and you want to apply to an engineering program at Carnegie Mellon (CMU), State University of New york (SUNY) and MIT. Now:


1. The average GRE score of CMU’s admitted applicants is 328, so here you will be seen as a below average applicant.


2. The average GRE score of SUNY is about 310. Therefore at SUNY, you will be a much stronger applicant for an admission and some possible funding as well.


3. MIT does not require a GRE score for your program; hence a GRE score will not effect your application in any way.


Let’s assume that I have an above average GRE score, so what advantages do I have?


A high GRE score can offer options but it is not the only deciding factor. Other factors such as academic skill, commitment to the chosen field, work experience & extra-curricular activities also weigh heavily in final decisions. 


A few students get admitted to Stanford’s Engineering programs with a meager 305-315 on GRE. This is because they might have excelled in other areas and have impressed the admissions committee.


Top GRE scorers can benefit by applying everywhere. This does not guarantee an admission or funding but it does open a lot of doors. For some universities, a tuition-reduction scholarship based on GRE is available. Therefore there are several advantages of GRE as well as advantages of high GRE score. 


“Andrews University offers a 50% waiver with a GRE score of above 320.”


“Illinois state university requires a minimum GRE score of 300 for providing funding to prospective students.”


All of this makes the GRE important.


What is the exact weight of GRE scores?


It varies by program. For instance, Harvard University’s Department of Education says:


“If your GRE scores are significantly low (i.e., below the 50 percentile in Verbal, the 30 percentile in Quantitative, and 3.5 in Analytical Writing), your chances for admission will be greatly reduced.”


“While there is no minimum requirement for GRE scores, a strong application would include percentiles in the 90th percentile for the MS program.” Stanford’s CS program.


“If your scores are below the program average, it is highly recommended that you retake this exam.” University of Iowa.


Some programs even use it to offset a low GPA – for instance university of Houston.


Rarely, applicants who look really promising – great experience, essays etc. – but whose undergrad CGPA was checkered, can use a high GRE score to reassure the admissions panel that it’s the failures that were a fluke, not the success.


Regardless of your situation, GRE is vital. Armed with a solid GRE score, a worthwhile experience, and the passion to push the limits of your field, you can gain a fully funded admission in top programs.


* The best way to find the importance of GRE is by contacting the university’s department where you want to apply.


  1. Avatar

    Quite helpfull

  2. Avatar

    Is 315-320 in GRE (with 160-165 in quantitative) enough to get a fully funded admission for master in construction management at a university with ranking equal to that of Michigan State University or Arizona State University? If not, then what GRE score is recommended to be on safer side? What other factors would be considered for full funding i.e. research experience, extra-curricular activities, CGPA etc? My CGPA is 3.75 in BSc Civil Engineering and I’ve graduated from UET Lahore. I wasn’t involved at all in extra-curricular activities at university and I have a little research experience which I gained during the final year project. I also have 10 months work experience as site engineer.

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      Yes this score is enough for these programs. Publications, research/work experience are a huge plus.

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        All right. Sir, I am thinking to increase my professional work experience. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t have research experience or publication in any journal. Is this profile good enough for a fully-funded admission in mentioned universities?

        CGPA: 3.75 (Degree with honors)

        GRE: 315-320 (165Q)

        Work Experience: 18-24 months (I already have 10 months work experience as site engineer which is closely linked to project/construction management)

        No extra-curricular record. However I have published 8 English and Urdu blogs.

        Thanks sir.

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          Without publications, the chances of funding are 50-50.

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            All right sir. It means chances are bleak. What advice would you offer me to improve chances for full funding? Should I aim for a higher GRE score as it won’t be possible to gain research experience (publications) at this point?

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            Well improving GRE will not increase chances much unless you have a 330+ GRE score. If you are unable to reach that point then the best options are publications or relevant research experience.

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            Thank you very much sir. 🙂

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    sir, i am a pharmacy student. my two review papers has been published. further research paper has more weightage or review paper in getting fully funded scholarship.

    • Avatar

      Both are equally good in getting funding.

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