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GRE scoring conversion

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I just asked a question earlier... but I want to clear something else up :) 


When I wrote the LSAT, it was very easy to understand how I was scoring because you could easily convert your score into its raw percentage. With the GRE, I always hear people saying things like '160 verbal and 157 quant, etc... but I have no idea what any of this actually means... Can someone explain this to me? :unsure:

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One thing to note, in addition to the very good links above, is that your percentile rank gets updated every year. For example, @Concordia's link and @acceptme's links are actually for two different years. The first one is for the 2016-2017 year (i.e. the application season that has just passed) and your percentile score is calculated based on tests from July 2012 to June 2015. Let's say you took the test last year and got 162/170 for both the Verbal and the Quant. sections. Looking at @Concordia's table, you see that your score report would say that you were at the 90th percentile for Verbal and 82nd percentile for Quantitative. However, if you decided to reapply this year, your schools will receive score reports that calculate percentiles based on the current testing year, so now the percentiles are calculated based on testings from July 2013 to June 2016 instead. This is what ETS currently publishes and what @acceptme linked to. Looking at this table, you will see that your 162/170 score is now in the 91st percentile for Verbal and the 81st percentile for Quantitative.

Just wanted to point out that your percentile ranks are calculated based on the most current 3 years of test scores, no matter when you actually took the test. Even though scores are valid for 5 years (i.e. you're not being compared to others who took the test at the same time as you, just the most current 3 years).

However, this is just a curiosity, unless you happen to have very old scores. A 1-percent shift in percentile is meaningless (however, interesting to see that the data implies test takers in 2012-2013 did better in the V and worse in the Q compared to test takers in 2015-2016). This was more meaningful a few years ago, because the "Revised General GRE" happened in August 2011, so test takers in 2012-2014 ish didn't have the full 3 years of the "Revised" test score to compute percentile ranks, so each year added a lot more data and potentially a lot more shifts in ranks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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