286 GRE Score – Is 286 a Good GRE Score?

Curious about what a 286 GRE score means for your graduate or business school prospects?

  • Understanding the GRE Scoring Scale: Unpack how the GRE scoring operates, with a score range of 260 to 340.
  • Adequacy of 286 GRE Score: Analyze whether a 286 GRE score is competitive or not.
  • Impact of a 286 GRE Score: Assess potential advantages and drawbacks of a 286 GRE score.

We’ll explore all these aspects of a 286 GRE score to equip you with vital insights for your academic journey.

Understanding the GRE Scoring Scale: From 260 to 340

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a critical part of your application process for most postgraduate programs. The key to tackling the exam lies in a thorough understanding of the scoring system. In the GRE, the scoring system works on two primary sections: Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.

GRE Scoring Range

Each section, i.e., Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning, can fetch you a score ranging from 130 to 170, making the total score range between 260 and 340. Remember, both scores are essential and carry equal weightage in the evaluation process.

Understanding the Importance of Sections

The overall score plays a pivotal role in your acceptance at a university. However, you must understand that the importance might shift based on your targeted program. For example, for programs related to Mathematics or Sciences, the Quantitative Reasoning score can hold more weight, while Liberal Arts programs might give more importance to the Verbal Reasoning score. Understanding these nuances can help focus your preparation and optimize your overall battery.

Is 286 a Good GRE Score?

Once you have understood the scoring system, it becomes essential to gauge where a score of 286 stands in the grand scheme of things. Now let’s delve into whether 286 is considered a good GRE score.

Mean Average and 286 GRE Score

Firstly, the mean average GRE score for the verbal section is around 150, while that for the quantitative section is around 153. Broadly, if you’re scoring around 300 or above, you are doing pretty well. Now, considering we have a score of 286 in hand, it becomes apparent that you are slightly below average.

Competitive or Not?

When applying to a competitive program, you would aim to be in the top echelon of the scoring range. A score like a 159 in Verbal Reasoning or a 163 in Quantitative Reasoning places you in the top 20% of all test-takers. Unfortunately, with a 286, you are falling short of this competitive edge sorely.

Is 286 a Bad GRE Score?

While a 286 GRE score is not ideal, it is vital to understand whether it is a ‘bad’ score. Let’s analyze this further.

Comparing 286 to Low Scores

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) defines a ‘low GRE score’ as the one around the 25th percentile or lower. This translates to a score of about 145 for the verbal test and a score of 147 for the quantitative test. Comparatively, a 286 does lie around this lower end of scores, making it not a bad score per se, but certainly not competitive.

Impact of 286 GRE Score

A score of 286 might significantly limit your choices for graduate programs, as most competitive programs look for scores that are above average.

286 GRE Score Percentile

Percentiles provide a productive way of understanding how your score stands in the overall population of GRE test-takers. Let’s see where a 286 stands.

286 in Percentiles

GRE scores around the 25th percentile or lower translate to about 145 for verbal and 147 for quantitative sections. Given how close 286 is to these scores, we can assume that a score of 286 would put you around the 25th percentile of test takers. This would signify that about 75% of the test-takers have scored better than you.

Implications of the 25th Percentile

Scoring in the 25th percentile denotes a lackluster performance on the GRE. This might indicate a need for further preparation and study or might impact the number of programs open to accepting such scores.

How Hard Is It to Get a 286 GRE Score?

Understanding the difficulty of scoring a 286 on the GRE requires contextual background of the examination pattern.

Level of Difficulty for 286

When analyzing the difficulty of scoring a 286, one needs to juxtapose this score with the average scores on the GRE. The mean GRE scores, 150 for Verbal Reasoning and 153 for Quantitative Reasoning, represent an average performance. From this perspective, scoring a 286 is somewhat below average, indicating that it’s not notably formidable to achieve this score.

Factors Affecting GRE Score

In essence, your performance on the GRE is determined by several factors. These include your familiarity with the test constructs, the effectiveness of your study strategies, your conceptual clarity, and time management skills. Attaining a score of 286 would require you to have a basic understanding of most sections of the test, but it might also signify areas of weakness that need improvements.

Remember, understanding your GRE score isn’t just about knowing where you stand. It’s about understanding where you want to go and strategically aligning yourself to get there. Whether a 286 is a good or bad score depends on the perspective and the specific requirements of your target program. In the next sections, we will explore how a 286 GRE score can influence your business school journey and provide actionable tips to improve your performance.

Can You Get into Business School with a 286 GRE Score?

Making it into business school is a multifaceted journey. Your GRE score is undeniably an important aspect of your application, although not the sole factor. That said, let’s explore the context of admission into business school with a 286 GRE score.

Target Business Schools and GRE Scores

Researching about your prospective business schools and their GRE requirements are preliminary steps to understanding your chances of acceptance. For instance, top-tier business schools such as Harvard Business School or Stanford Graduate School of Business record mean GRE scores upwards of 320 which is significantly higher than 286. These numbers suggest that entrance into such programs with a 286 is unlikely unless the candidate has exceedingly strong qualifications in other aspects.

Holistic Application Assessment

However, keep in mind that most business schools conduct a holistic review of applications. This means factors such as leadership experience, professional background, letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and personal essays are also held in high regard. Therefore, a lower GRE score might be counterbalanced with a strong profile in these other areas.

Scope for Negotiability

Finally, remember that not all business schools are created equal. There are plenty of reputable institutions that might accept a score of 286. In particular, programs that emphasize practical experience or offer a unique pedagogical approach might be more open to negotiating on the score. Such schools may prioritize real-world knowledge more than analytical ability.

Should You Cancel a 286 GRE Score?

A common question many GRE test-takers pose is whether they should cancel a score. So, let’s address this in context of our 286 score.

Cancellation Criteria

If your GRE score is around the 25th percentile or lower, as is the case with a 286, cancellation might be a plausible option. The percentile indicates your standing relative to other exam takers and a lower percentile suggests that majority of students have outperformed you.

Potential Consequences

Before proceeding with the cancellation, remember that it is an irreversible process, and your scores will be withheld from any schools to which you had planned on reporting. Also, keep in mind that re-examination would mean re-investing not only the examination fee, but also the time and effort for test preparation.

Tips to Improve Your 286 GRE Score

Given this context, there remains a bright side: a score of 286 is not at the extreme lower end, meaning there’s significant scope for improvement. Here are some actionable tips that can help you enhance your performance.

  1. Understanding the Test Format: A thorough grasp of the test format and question types is essential. Familiarizing yourself with them can improve your speed and accuracy.
  2. Have a Plan: Having a study plan ensures consistent progress and allows for comprehensive preparation.
  3. Practice and Mock Tests: The GRE is a skill-based exam and needs regular practice. Utilize mock tests and practice problems that simulate the actual test environment.
  4. Correcting Mistakes: Analyze your test attempts to understand where you are making mistakes and take corrective measures.
  5. Preparation Resources: Leverage quality materials and resources. Choose a resource that caters to your learning style and that you find engaging, as it can make a significant impact on your final score.
  6. Maintain Your Health: Ensure consistent sleep, regular physical activity and a healthy diet. They are key to staying focused and efficient in your studies.

286 GRE Score to GMAT

The GRE and GMAT scores are sometimes used interchangeably, therefore understanding your equivalent GMAT score can be helpful.

Converting GRE to GMAT

Using a standard conversion chart, a 286 GRE composite score roughly translates to a GMAT score of 350. Further breaking it down, the GMAT Verbal and Quant scaled scores would equal to about 21 and 19 respectively.

Contextualizing Converted Scores

It’s important to note that similar to GRE, a total GMAT score of 350 falls significantly below the average GMAT score range of applicant pools in most business schools and hence could limit your admission prospects.

GRE Scores 260 to 340


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

Receiving a score of 286 on the GRE might initially seem subpar. However, understanding how it fits into the larger canvas of your business school application offers an opportunity to create a more strategic narrative moving forward. Additionally, this score provides you with tangible goals to work towards in order to increase your chances of acceptance into your dream program.

Remember, the GRE is just one aspect of your application and elements like work experience, leadership roles, community involvement, and academic background all carry substantial weight too. It’s important to remain calm, focused and confident on your journey to business school. After all, your GRE score is just a number. Your potential, on the other hand, is limitless.