What is your GRE Composite Score?

Students looking to enter a business school or university graduate program will be evaluated using a wide range of criteria. Among the most important is the applicant’s performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The standardized test is administrated through the non-profit Educational Testing Service (ETS).

In August of 2011, ETS replaced the General Test with the revised General Test. The testing protocols measure verbal acuity, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing skills. and subject specific tests. The GRE composite score is an amalgamation of all sections that is used by admissions departments. Breaking down the sections can give a more complete look at what can be expected.

Verbal Reasoninggre composite score

The verbal portion of the GRE is also divided into two sections. It is designed to test comprehension as well as completion. Sentence equivalence is tested as well. The verbal part of the GRE composite score is meant to show how well a person comprehends and relates complex ideas.

Quantitative Reasoning

The two sections grouped under reasoning are partitioned into two separate parts as well. If taking the test on computer, each second question is determined through what is termed section-level adaptation. The answer of the first question helps determine the phrasing of the second. When taking the test on paper, the scoring takes place in two steps. In both cases, results are tabulated for each section then combined. The scores are then put through an equating process that is meant to account for variations in difficulty as a result of section-level input. The idea is to provide uniform scoring regardless of what the second-level questions are.

Analytical Writing

This part of the GRE is made up of two essay requirements. Each is timed and will cover a different subject. The score is arrived at through the interpretations of two trained readers who assess the writings. They are looking at how individuals articulate their thoughts and ideas to express complex concepts. If there is a difference of one point or more between the two assessments, a third reader looks at the essays. The scores from the two essays are averaged. The essays are also reviewed by computer software that checks for similarities to other writings.

Subject Specific

The GRE composite score can also include results from testing geared toward distinct areas of study. Eight subject areas are covered and the tests are administered on paper. The eight subjects are chemistry, computer science, Literature, psychology, mathematics, physics, and a test covering biochemistry, cell and molecular biology.Formula scoring is used to discourage random guessing. The formula takes the number of correct questions and subtracts one-fourth of the incorrect.

GRE Composite Score Compilation and Interpretation

The scores for the quantitative and verbal reasoning are measured in 10-point increments ranging from 200 to 800. Analytical writing is reported in half-point increments ranging from 0 to 6. There is a concordance table to effectively compare scores from the prior GRE against those from the revised GRE as scores are valid for five years.