How do your GRE Scores Compare?

 Stephanie Small - April 27, 2017


GRE scores by major

GRE scores are a crucial part of your graduate school application. Extremely low scores drag your application down – and could even be grounds for immediate rejection – while strikingly high scores are the equivalent of a shiny gold star, helping you stand out from hundreds (or thousands) of other hopefuls. If you’re planning to apply to graduate school, you should know how your GRE scores compare to other’s applicants in your field of interest – knowing your competition can help you determine  whether you can breathe a sigh of relief or need to do some serious studying between now and your test date. (Data Collected From the ETS between August 1, 2011 and April 30, 2013)

AVERAGE GRE SCORES BY MAJOR FOR TEST TAKERS IN SELECTED FIELDS OF STUDY

Average GRE Scores for Life Sciences Applicants

Life sciences include the disciplines of agriculture, conservation, biological and biomedical sciences, and health and medical sciences. Average GRE scores for applicants to life sciences graduate schools were as follows:

Verbal: 151

Quantitative: 151

Analytical writing: 3.8

Average GRE Scores for Physical Sciences Applicants

Physical sciences encompass chemistry, computer and information sciences, Earth, atmospheric and marine sciences, mathematical sciences, physics and astronomy, and “other”. Average GRE scores for physical sciences applicants were as follows:

            Verbal: 152

            Quantitative: 159

            Analytical writing: 3.6

Average GRE Scores for Engineering Sciences Applicants

Engineering sub-disciplines include chemical, civil, electrical and electronics, industrial, materials and mechanical. Average GRE scores for individuals applying to engineering graduate programs were as follows:

            Verbal: 150

            Quantitative: 160

            Analytical writing: 3.5

Average GRE Scores for Social Sciences Applicants

Anthropology, archaeology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology all fall under the major field of social sciences. Average GRE scores for applicants to graduate programs in social sciences were as follows:

            Verbal: 153

            Quantitative: 150

            Analytical writing: 3.9

Average GRE Scores for Humanities and Arts Applicants

This category includes: history, criticism, and theory of the arts, studio and performance art, English language and literature, foreign language and literature, history and philosophy. Applicants to graduate programs in the humanities and arts had the following average GRE scores:

            Verbal: 157

            Quantitative: 150

            Analytical writing: 4.1

Average GRE Scores for Education Applicants

Education encompasses subfields such as administration, curriculum and instruction, early childhood, elementary, evaluation and research, higher, secondary, special, and student counseling. Average GRE scores for those applying to education graduate programs were as follows:

            Verbal: 151

            Quantitative: 148

            Analytical writing: 3.8

Average GRE Scores for Business School Applicants

Business includes accounting, banking and finance, and business administration and management. Average GRE scores for prospective business graduate students were as follows:

            Verbal: 150

            Quantitative: 153

            Analytical writing: 3.6

Average GRE Scores for Applicants in the Fields of Architecture and Environmental Design, Communications and Journalism, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Library and Archival Sciences

For ETS’s purposes, the category “other” refers to architecture and environmental design, communications and journalism, family and consumer sciences, and library and archival sciences. Mean scores for each of these disciplines were as follows:

Architecture and Environmental Design:

Verbal: 150

Quantitative: 154

Analytical writing: 3.5

Communications and Journalism:

Verbal: 151

Quantitative: 148

Analytical writing: 3.8

Family and Consumer Sciences:

Verbal: 150

Quantitative: 146

Analytical writing: 3.7

Library and Archival Sciences:

Verbal: 157

Quantitative: 148

Analytical writing: 4.0

So how do your practice test scores stack up against the other graduate school applicants in your discipline? Remember, these are mean scores – ideally, you’ll already be scoring in this zone and working to improve your numbers.

 

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