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Interpreting Your GMAT or GRE Score

What does your GMAT or GRE score mean?

You spent months preparing for the GMAT or GRE, but you won’t have to wait that long for your score.

You often can learn at least part of your test score immediately after finishing the exam!

But will you understand what your score means?

Learn how to interpret your GMAT or GRE score and you won’t be left wondering just how well you did on your US graduate school admissions test.

When to Expect Your GMAT or GRE Score

If you take the computer-based GRE, you can see your unofficial verbal and quantitative reasoning scores at the testing center when you finish the exam. The official scores, along with your score on the analytical writing section, will be sent to you about two weeks after the test.

Scores from the paper-based GRE or GRE subject tests are mailed up to six weeks after the test day. For an extra fee, you can call a special number and receive your score a month after the test.

If you take the GMAT, your unofficial total score and unofficial scores from the verbal and quantitative multiple choice sections are available immediately after the test. You can receive your official scores by mail or email.

Students receiving their GMAT score by email will receive a link within 20 days. Scores are sent by mail about 20 days after the test.

Understanding Your GRE Score

You will receive three GRE scores:


Score Range

Verbal Reasoning

130-170, in 1-point increments

Quantitative Reasoning

130-170, in 1-point increments

Analytical Writing

0-6, in half-point increments

The verbal and quantitative scores of both the paper and computer tests are determined by the number of questions you answer correctly and their difficulty.

The computer-based test is computer adaptive. The questions will become easier or harder depending on whether you answered the previous question incorrectly or correctly.

Non-native English speakers should remember that grammar and spelling aren’t the most important parts of the writing section. Your score will be determined more by the critical thinking and analytical writing skills you display.

GRE subject test scores are between 200 and 990, in 10-point increments. You also will receive a subscore between 20 and 99, in 1-point increments, if you take the biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, biology or psychology test.

Your test is scored by taking your total number of correct answers and subtracting one-quarter of the number of wrong answers. The difficulty of the questions also is considered.

Understanding Your GMAT Score

You will receive four GMAT scores:


Score Range

Total Score







0-6, in half-point increments

Most test-takers receive a total score between 400 and 600, a verbal score between 9 and 44, and a quantitative score between 7 and 50. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test.

Rescoring and Canceling Your GMAT or GRE Score

What if you think you did better on the test than your score reflects?

You can have parts of your test rescored for an extra fee.

The analytical writing section of the GRE, your subject test or the verbal or quantitative section of a paper-based GRE can be rescored within six months.

Your GMAT essay also can be rescored within six months.

You can cancel your score at the end of a test, but make sure you understand the consequences. A score cancellation isn’t added to your GRE record, but a cancellation is noted on your GMAT score reports.

Your GRE score can be reinstated within 60 days of the test for an extra fee. A GMAT score cannot be reinstated.


Prepare for the GRE or GMAT long before you take it. Understand the exam format and what you are expected to know. Thoroughly study Princeton Review GRE and GMAT prep books. If you know there is nothing else you could have done to prepare, you will feel more comfortable with whatever GMAT or GRE score you receive.