279 GRE Score – Is 279 a Good GRE Score?

Curious about a 279 GRE Score and how it may influence your graduate school ambitions? Let’s unpack it together.

  • Understanding the GRE Scoring Scale: Learn how the scoring works, from the minimum of 260 to the maximum of 340.
  • Implications of a 279 GRE Score: Comprehend the potential effects a score of 279 could have on your application.
  • Tips to Improve Your 279 GRE Score: Equip yourself with effective strategies to boost your GRE score.

Navigate your way towards academic success with a clear understanding of a 279 GRE score.

Understanding the GRE Scoring Scale: From 260 to 340

If you’re contemplating furthering your education by attending graduate school, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is likely on your radar. This standardized test is a common requirement for admission to many graduate programs. Understanding the GRE scoring scale can give your study strategy focus and direction, allowing you to boost your chances of earning a high score.

The Scoring Mechanism

The GRE consists of three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. However, only the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections contribute towards the total GRE score, which ranges from 260 to 340.

Both the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections are scored from 130 to 170, on a one-point-increment basis. That means each of these two scores are added together to get your final GRE score. Additionally, each of these sections is section-adaptive, which means the difficulty of the second set of verbal and quant questions depends on your performance in the first section.

Deciphering What a Good Score Is

The question of what constitutes a “good” GRE score can be subjective, and ultimately depends on a variety of factors including your specific personal goals and target programs’ average GRE score distributions.

  1. Personal goals: If your aspiration is to get into one of the top programs in your field, your target score should be higher, typically above the 85th percentile.
  2. Program averages: Schools often provide data on the average GRE scores of their admitted students, which gives you a guideline on the scores you should be aiming for.

Is 279 a Good GRE Score?

After understanding the GRE scoring system, you might be wondering where a 279 score fits in. On the surface, it might seem discouraging as it falls below the average score of 306 (as per the data from Educational Testing Service).

Comparison With Average Scores

The average scores, as reported by ETS, stand at 150 for Verbal Reasoning and 153 for Quantitative Reasoning. If we aggregate these, the average total score is around 303. Therefore, a score of 279 might not be the most competitive for many programs.

Program Expectations

Different types of programs have different expectations for GRE scores. For instance, Engineering programs might put more weight on the Quantitative Reasoning section while Humanities or Social Sciences programs might emphasize the Verbal Reasoning section more. Having a 279, however, places you in a challenging position when applying to most mainstream programs.

Is 279 a Bad GRE Score?

While the term ‘bad’ might seem harsh, it’s critical to remember that your GRE score is a crucial component of your admission profile, especially for competitive programs.

Competitive Programs and Percentile Rankings

Competitive graduate programs usually take students in the top 10% of the GRE scoring range. For example, scoring in the 80th percentile, equivalent to ~159 for Verbal and ~163 for Quant, is typically considered competitive. A 279 GRE score falls well below this mark and thus may pose difficulties for admission to these programs.

Adverse Effects on Admission

A low GRE score might put you at a disadvantage, especially for top-tier institutions, as your score might be below their incoming class’ bottom percentile. Therefore, if your target program requires a significantly higher score than what you have, it would be wise to consider a retake or look at less competitive programs.

How Hard Is It to Get a 279 GRE Score?

While the aim for most students is to reach or exceed the average scores of their desired graduate school programs, you might be wondering, how hard is it to score a 279? The reality is that a score of 279 is close to the lower limit of the GRE score range (260), thus attaining such a score may be less challenging than achieving an average or higher than average score.

GRE Test Difficulty Level

The difficulty level of the GRE can vary greatly among test takers, depending on their English proficiency, mathematical skills, and general test-taking abilities. However, considering a 279 is towards the lower end of the scoring spectrum, it might be more achievable for individuals who struggle with standardized tests compared to aiming for a higher score.

The Importance of Gre Preparation

Regardless of your target score, preparation is key. GRE questions are designed to reflect the kind of thinking you will do in graduate school, hence practicing with official GRE prep material can improve your familiarity with the test format and question types. Therefore, whether your goal is a 279 or higher, taking the time and effort to prepare adequately for the GRE is vital.

Can You Get into Business School with a 279 GRE Score?

Navigating the world of graduate school admissions is incredibly complex, particularly when it comes to business school. So how does a score of 279 on the GRE influence your chances of attending your dream school?

Understanding Business School Admissions

It’s imperative to remember that business schools typically have a multifaceted admissions approach. They consider numerous factors, such as your undergraduate GPA, work experience, letters of recommendation, personal essays, and of course, your GRE score. Therefore, while a 279 GRE score might be below the average admitted student’s score at numerous business schools, it won’t necessarily exclude you from consideration. However, it might make admission more complicated.

Business School Scoring Ranges

Let’s analyze the GRE scores that top-tier business schools typically expect. Consider institutions like Stanford Graduate School of Business or the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. For instance, the average GRE scores of the incoming classes at these schools are around 330 and 324, respectively.

  • Stanford GSB: The average GRE score of Stanford’s incoming class typically significantly exceeds 279. For 2020, the average GRE quant score was 165, and the verbal score was also 165, leading to a total average score of 330.
  • Wharton School of Business: For Wharton, the average total GRE score of its incoming class was 324 (162 in Verbal Reasoning and 162 in Quantitative Reasoning).

When you compare these numbers with a score of 279, the gap is apparent. It’s worth considering that these are the averages, which means that half of the admitted students scored above these numbers. Therefore, while it might not be completely impossible to secure admission with a GRE score of 279, it’s certainly incredibly challenging.

Should You Cancel a 279 GRE Score?

Deciding whether to cancel a GRE score is no easy task. Multiple factors need to be evaluated, such as your GRE score goal, the admission requirements of your target graduate programs, and your capacity to improve your score on a retake.

Consider Your Aspirations

If your 279 GRE score is significantly below your target score, cancellation could be a wise move. ETS (Educational Testing Service) provides you with the option to cancel your scores immediately after you take the test. However, remember once cancelled, scores cannot be reinstated.

Admission Standards

Consider the score bands that your prospective graduate schools accept. If your score falls short of these expectations, cancellation might be beneficial.

Cautious Consideration: It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons thoroughly before cancelling a score as this can not be undone.

Tips to Improve Your 279 GRE Score

There’s room for substantial improvement if your current GRE score is 279. Here are practical suggestions on boosting your score.

Use Preparation Resources

  • Official ETS Material: This contains sample questions, test-taking strategies, practice tests, and other useful information that will help familiarize you with the structure and content of the GRE.
  • GRE Prep Books: Consider purchasing guidebooks that provide in-depth explanations, strategies, and practice questions.

Implement a Focused Study Plan

Devising a strategic and tailored study plan that takes your strengths, weaknesses, and schedule into consideration can help you maintain a consistent study routine.

Practice under Real Test Conditions

Take full-length practice tests simulating real test conditions, allowing you to become familiar with the test’s format, time constraints and boost your endurance.

Seek Professional Assistance

If self-study isn’t producing the desired outcome, consider investing in a GRE prep course or hiring a tutor.

279 GRE Score to GMAT

Conversion between a GRE to a GMAT score might be necessary if your desired program prefers GMAT scores. However, a 279 GRE score falls beyond the comparison range.

Understanding ETS Conversion Chart

GMAT scores range from 200 to 800, and ETS provides an official conversion chart that allows you to estimate your GMAT score based on your GRE scores. However, a a GRE score of 279 falls outside the conversion range, as the lowest aggregate GRE score the conversion tool considers is 260, equivalent to a GMAT total score of 200.

Consider a Retake

If your desired business school prefers GMAT results and your GRE score falls below the conversion range, it’d be wise to consider retaking the GRE or preparing for the GMAT.

GRE Scores 260 to 340


Conclusion: Embracing your GRE Score & Planning Your Business School Journey

Ending on a positive note, remember that your GRE score is just one part of your application. A lower score doesn’t spell the end of your graduate school ambitions.

Framework for Success

Having a 279 GRE score could be a stepping stone, teaching you to bear with setbacks and promoting a growth mindset—traits significant for successful business leadership in the future.

Strategic Planning

Carefully strategize your grad school applications, contemplating various factors such as acceptance score ranges, deadlines, and the strength of the other components of your application.

Looking Beyond the GRE

Graduate schools assess students holistically, considering numerous factors beyond just the GRE score: undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, personal essays, and work experience. So, while a strong GRE score can enhance an application, a lower score doesn’t necessarily preclude admission given strengths in other areas.

Remember, the journey to your dream graduate school is a marathon, not a sprint. Stay positive and focused, and success will surely follow.