How to Get a High GRE Score

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How to Get a High GRE Score

Since the GRE test is one of the essential steps in getting into graduate school, one of the most critical things on your mind must be “how to get a high GRE score.” 

If you’re working towards getting a high score on the GRE, the first thing you need to do is to look through the requirements at the school you’re trying to get into to determine what score you should be working towards. The score for getting into graduate school varies from one school to another. When you find out the average GRE score of the school, you’re applying to, and your aim should be to score a few points higher than the average score. Some study programs may consider only one section of the GRE.

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For example, a study program may focus on their candidate’s math score but not the verbal score. If your interested program concentrates on just one section of the GRE, then that’s where you have to work on during test preparation. Aside from the admission process, your GRE test score can also be used for scholarship consideration.

How is the GRE Scored?

The GRE is divided into three segments; Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. These sections are scored separately.

  • The Quantitative Reasoning Section is scored on a scale of 130-170, in 1-point increments.
  • The Verbal Reasoning Section is also scored on a 130-170 scale, in1-point increments.
  • The Analytical Writing section is marked on a 0-6 scale, in half-point increments

How to Get a High GRE Score

The strategies below are designed to help you get a high GRE score.

Early Preparation

It is impossible to get a high score on the GRE without working hard. This is why you should study hard and practice tests. Early preparation gives you more time to read materials that’ll help you during the GRE test. It gives you the freedom to familiarize yourself with the types of questions to expect. Practicing can help boost your confidence and reduce stress levels during the test. Cramming for the GRE doesn’t help because you’ll be unable to retain information. As a result, your test scores will be low; this is why candidates are advised to begin preparations at least three months before the test.

Know Your Strength and Weaknesses

Before taking the GRE, it is crucial to take a diagnostic test. This test is structured like the actual GRE test. Its purpose is to help candidate identify their weak points. After taking the tests, candidates will know which section of the test to focus on. Unfortunately, students make the mistake of studying what they already know, thinking this will make them do better in the GRE, but it hurts their test scores. Looking at topics or answering a question that you know may seem fun, but you must realize that this time could be spent challenging yourself and learning new concepts to help you in the GRE. Students should spend more time tackling their weak points, allowing them to grow stronger in those areas.

Create a Study Plans

Many study plans are online to help candidates prepare adequately for their exams; however, candidates should create a personalized study plan. After taking the diagnostic test, candidates now know which section of the GRE test requires more attention. In creating your study plan, you can take the official study plan and make changes based on what sections need more work and the amount of time you have to study. Candidates are advised to study for at least 1 or 2 hours daily, without any distractions. If you’re unable to focus on the study task, you may divide your study session into mini-sessions of 15-20 minutes each. At the end of each mini session, take a break before starting the next session.

Practice Tests

If you’re concerned about “how to get a high GRE score,” one way to achieve that is by taking practice tests. The purpose of practice tests is basically to help candidates prepare for the computer-based GRE. Practice tests can help you with the following:

  • Understanding what you’re being tested for.
  • Familiarise yourself with the question types
  • Gain familiarity with the testing tools, which include the on-screen calculator.
  • Practise your test-taking strategies, such as time management
  • Understanding how the GRE is scored.

Taking the practise test will help boost your scores. However, candidates make the mistake of not reviewing their test results. Thus, students don’t learn from their previous mistakes and can repeat the same mistake in the next test. Therefore, students should make sure they review their test to understand why they got it wrong so that they don’t make the same mistake in the next test.

Retaking the Test

Not everyone gets the perfect score on the first attempt. Some have to take the test a few more times to get the score they want. Candidates can perform poorly because of a lack of confidence, stress, and inadequate preparation. If, after taking the test, you feel like you could have done better, then you should retake the test.

The GRE has a feature called ScoreSelect. This feature not only allows you to retake the test, but it also gives you the choice of choosing which of your test scores to send to the school of your choice. If you score better on your second or third try, you can pick that score to be sent to your prospective schools. If, after retaking the GRE, you don’t beat your first test, you can send the score from the first test to graduate schools. The retake is available once every 21 days. It can be taken up to five times within 365 days.


These strategies may not look like much, but you will perform beyond even your expectations if you can do these things successfully over time. Subtle changes like these would help you a lot in the long run and differentiate between a 300 score and a 320 score.

Many people pass their GREs on their first try. Following these processes and principles will benefit you greatly and make you one of those people.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.