GRE Score Percentile – Explained

When you receive your GRE Score report, it will contain following details

  • name
  • authorized score recipients
  • test date(s)
  • score(s) for each section
  • percentile score

Few have difficulty in understanding GRE Percentiles score, how its is used and why percentile score is important. Following GRE Percentile chart shows the data compiled from all test takers from 2006 to 2009 with Scaled Score and their corresponding Verbal and Quantitative percentiles score.

GRE Score Percentile

Percentage  of test takers in a group who obtained scores lower than specified scores. If your score is 95th percentile, then your score is better then 95% of the test takers in your reference group.

Percentile ranks on score report are based on performance of the current reference group (usually 3 years).  Years used in reference group will be published by ETS in recent edition of GRE Guide.

GRE Score Percentile chart

Score Verbal Quantitative
800 99 94
780 99 89
760 99 84
740 99 80
720 98 75
700 97 70
680 96 66
660 94 61
640 92 56
620 89 52
600 86 47
580 82 43
560 78 38
540 73 34
520 68 30
500 63 27
480 57 23
460 52 20
440 46 17
420 41 15
400 35 12
380 29 10
360 24 8
340 19 7
320 13 5
300 8 4
280 5 3
260 2 2
240 1 1
220 1
Mean 456 590
SD 120 150
Total Examinees 1,489,162 1,489,044
Percent Woman 55 55
Percent Men 41 41

Source: ETS Based on the performance of all examinees who tested between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2009 (Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning Interpretive Data Used on Score Reports)

Do you have additional questions about GRE Percentile Score, do leave a comment.


  1. Apoorv on September 29, 2010 at 11:34 PM


    i appeared on GRE exam on 4 sept 2010 but i havent received my score card from ets. should i register somewhere for the same. however my gre account shows my details.
    also i was satisfied by my score so i am appearing for gre once again in november. how long would it take for them to send my scores the second time given that i am hoping to increase my score considerably.
    please reply


  2. pankaj on September 29, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    My friend had told me that the percentile is based on all those who took the test on that same day, not 3 years. Can you please clarify that?

    • HSB on September 29, 2010 at 2:37 PM

      According to ETS they will publish time period in GRE Guide report. Usually it spans for 3 years.

  3. Mirza Mujtaba Baig on September 29, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    Can you please tell me, for me are there going to be any changes in the pattern of GRE as Im going to write exam on 12th February 2011?

    Can you please suggest me how the preparation of GRE would be the best? Any reference materials to follow, I have just 4 months time so is it possible to score in the range of 1500-1600, if started preparation now onwards?

  4. navin on September 29, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    in my gre score, the quantitive is mentioned as %below 94 and verbal as %below 38

    wht does this mean?

    • YSF on September 29, 2010 at 8:38 PM

      see above table

      • navin on September 30, 2010 at 1:29 AM

        I didnt understand tht…thts why I asked

        if %le represents nothing than score….wht is its need? caz we ultimately see score

    • Manas on October 1, 2010 at 2:38 AM


      The percentile ranks in this report indicate the percentage of examinees who scored below your score. Note that these percentile ranks may be different from those that applied when the scores were originally reported to you if the scores were earned prior to July 2009. This reflects annual updating of these data to permit admissions officers to compare scores, whenever earned, with those for a recent reference group.

      (Copied from ETS)

  5. Ramkrishna on September 29, 2010 at 6:21 AM

    Please mail me the changed format of GRE which I believe has negative marking type included. It would be a great help as I am to write the exam next august and by that time we'll have the paper format change, I cannot attend the exam now because I do not have enough preparation and time for preparation.

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