On August 1st, 2011, ETS replaced the GRE General Test with a new version of the exam known as the Revised GRE General Test. The new test represents a significant departure from the previous version, in both structure and content:
- The computerized format of the Revised GRE allows test-takers to navigate within a section, as well as skip questions and return to them later. The new format also includes an on-screen calculator students can use for the math sections.
- The Verbal and Quantitative sections of the test were drastically redesigned, including new timing, pacing, and question types (in the Verbal section Antonyms and Analogies have been removed, and Sentence Completion has been expanded, while in the Quantitative section new question types—Numeric Entry (you input a number as your answer) and Select At Least One (where more than one answer could work and you must choose all of the options that are correct to get credit)—were added).
In addition, the test adopted a new scoring scale for the Verbal and Quantitative sections. These sections were previously scored from 200 to 800 in 10-point increments, and are now scored from 130 to 170 in single-point increments.
Not surprisingly, this change to a new scoring scale has caused some confusion for test takers looking to relate a score on one scale to an equivalent score on the other, particularly for those students who took the GRE prior to August 1st, 2011, but who are now competing for admission with students taking the Revised GRE. How do scores on the 200-800 scale compare to scores of 130-170? And how will schools compare and interpret scores from each scale simultaneously?
Fortunately, with the Revised test approaching its one-year anniversary, the test makers have been able to compile a tremendous amount of data about the new scale, and have recently released a GRE score conversion table comparing scores and percentiles of the old test with those of the Revised.
How does the old test compare to the new, and vice-versa?
Below, we have provided percentile tables for both the old and Revised GRE. In addition, we have also provided two tables comparing their unique scoring scales.
NOTE: The tables below do not list every score value. To view the entire of the scales and tables, please click on the links at the end of this article.
* ETS does not provide a specific score comparison for students obtaining a 170 in the Quantitative section of the Revised GRE. Per the GRE Scoring Tables comparing old GRE and Revised GRE scores and percentiles: “Score users should use special care in evaluating test takers who received a Quantitative Reasoning score at the top end of the prior 200-800 score scale. Now, with the new 130-170 score scale, we can provide more differentiation for higher ability test takers. However, test takers who took the prior test and received an 800 on the Quantitative Reasoning measure, received the highest score possible that they were able to earn on the measure.”
** ETS does not provide a specific comparison value for students scoring a 165 in the Quantitative section of the Revised GRE. However, students scoring a 164 on the Revised GRE are equated to students scoring a 790 on the old GRE, and both are given a 90th percentile rank.
For complete score conversion and comparison tables, please see:
- New GRE Scoring Tables for the Revised GRE (based on test-taker performance between August 1, 2011, and April 30, 2012)
- GRE Scoring Tables comparing old GRE (pre-August 2011) and Revised GRE (post-August 2011) scores and percentiles