291 GRE Score – Is 291 a Good GRE Score?

Navigating the 291 GRE Score landscape can be daunting. In this guide, we aim to simplify it for you.

  • Understanding the 291 GRE Score: We’ll explore the mechanics of the GRE scoring system and how it contributes to a final score of 291.
  • Implication of a 291 GRE Score: Unravel what a 291 score could mean in terms of percentile rankings, and its impact on grad-school applications.
  • Improving Your 291 GRE Score: Guide about steps one can take to enhance their GRE performance and score.

With the right strategy and preparation, tackling a 291 GRE Score can be less overwhelming. Let’s start unraveling the intricacies.

Understanding the GRE Scoring Scale: From 260 to 340

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized exam developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) used by many universities around the globe as a metric in admissions processes, especially for graduate and business schools. The GRE test scores consist of three parts: Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The total score is a composite of the last two sections with a minimum of 260 and a maximum of 340.

Grading the GRE

The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections each yield a score ranging between 130-170. Your total score is therefore an aggregation of these two sections, which gives a spectrum of scores from 260 to 340.

Adding Up to 291 on the GRE Scale

To arrive at a total score of 291, one needs to earn an average of about 145.5 points in each section. Given the integer nature of the scores, this would mean scoring 145 in one section and 146 in another, or scoring 144 in one section and 147 in another.

Score Discrepancy Between Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning

Even though both scores contribute equally to the total GRE score, a discrepancy might exist in the individual scores of both sections. For instance, some test-takers may perform exceptionally well in the Verbal section but struggle in the Quant section, or vice versa. Consequently, the equality of the scores depends largely on the test-taker’s strengths and weaknesses.

Is 291 a Good GRE Score?

‘Good’ in the context of the GRE score is a relative concept and varies depending on the specific requirements of the university or program you are aiming to be accepted into.

Average GRE Scores

As noted by the ETS, the average GRE scores for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections were around 150 and 153 respectively in recent years. This sets a composite average score at 303, which means a score of 291 falls below this average.

Defining a Good GRE Score

While the average scores set a reference, the definition of a good GRE score boils down to your specific situation. What graduate programs are you targeting? What is the average GRE scores of these programs? Ultimately, a good GRE score is the one that meets or surpasses the score requirements for the programs you’re interested in.

When 291 is Good

In some contexts, a 291 score could demonstrate a level of competence and commitment to graduate studies. For instance, if your target school’s average scores are in the low 290s or below, a 291 could give you a competitive edge.

Is 291 a Bad GRE Score?

The same flexibility applies to what constitutes a ‘bad’ GRE score—it’s a subjective determination that depends on both the median scores of your target schools and the holistic strength of your entire application.

Reference to Percentile Scores

If you’re aiming at prospective graduate programs with the 80th percentile scores of around 159 for Verbal Reasoning and 163 for Quantitative Reasoning–totals to an average score of 322– a 291 would be a poor score.

291 in Competitive Programs

For programs that receive applications from numerous high-achieving students, like those in Ivy League universities, a 291 GRE score might make admission challenging due to intense competition.

291 GRE Score Percentile

Your GRE score percentile rank is a measure of how your score compares to all the other GRE test takers. The higher your percentile, the more competitive your GRE score is.

291 Score in Percentiles

With a 291 GRE score, you may find yourself in around the 20th percentile of all GRE test takers—meaning you’ve performed better than about 20% of the individuals participating in the same exam cycle.

291 Score: Acceptance Rates and Scholarships

Your acceptance rates at universities can vary significantly depending upon the program’s average GRE scores. More prestigious programs tend to have higher average scores, so a 291 could potentially limit your options. Likewise, scholarship eligibility could be affected since higher percentile scores are often more attractive for scholarship awards.

How Hard Is It to Get a 291 GRE Score?

Achieving a 291 score on your GRE, just like with any other score, requires consistent effort, strategic preparation, and an understanding of the test format and question types.

Estimating Study Time

The amount of time required to hit a 291 score varies greatly among students. It might range from a couple of weeks to a few months, depending on your existing skill level, your understanding of the subject matter, and your test-taking abilities.

Resources for Preparation

Consider using a blend of study materials such as GRE prep books, online resources, and possibly a tutoring service or study group. Resources such as Manhattan Prep, Magoosh, Kaplan, and the Official GRE Super Power Pack could be helpful.

Work on Weak Areas

Identify your weak areas—whether in the Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning sections—and focus a good portion of your study efforts there. For some, the Quantitative Reasoning section might prove harder due to a lack of familiarity or comfort with mathematical concepts and strategies.

Practice Exams

Don’t underestimate the value of practice tests. They simulate the actual GRE experience, testing your knowledge under similar timed conditions, and can provide a realistic understanding of your score range before the test day.

Can You Get into Business School with a 291 GRE Score?

Naturally, the next question you might have is, “What are my chances of getting into a business school with a 291 GRE score?” This is a complex question because the answer overall depends on an array of factors including the prestige of the business school in question, its acceptance rate, GPA requirements, among others.

Acceptance Rates and the 291 Paradox

When looking at the acceptance rates of business schools, one might naturally presume that higher GRE scores would result in a higher likelihood of acceptance. However, things aren’t as linear. Besides the GRE score, business school acceptance has a nexus with several other elements like your undergraduate GPA, work experience, recommendation letters, to name a few. In certain scenarios, an extraordinary performance in these areas could possibly offset a GRE score of 291.

Competition In Business School Applications

For any business school, an applicant’s competitiveness is gauged in relation to the pool of applicants for that particular year. The more competitive the pool, the higher the average GRE scores will be, thereby affecting those with lower scores. Hence, a 291 GRE score could potentially decrease your competitiveness in such a scenario.

Benchmark GRE Scores for Business Schools

Having a benchmark score for your desired business schools can offer a perspective about where a 291 GRE score stands. For instance, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business admits students with an average GRE score of 320, a significantly higher range than 291. On the other hand, schools like the University of Texas at Dallas accept students with a lower average GRE score of 314, which, though still higher than 291, is closer.

Should You Cancel a 291 GRE Score?

Cancelling a GRE score should ideally be a last resort. The GRE testing procedure allows every test-taker to decide whether or not to cancel their scores immediately after completion of the test, before you even know your official score. This is a decision nobody takes lightly.

Pros and Cons of Cancelling Your Score

Cancelling your scores prevents universities from seeing a potentially low score. However, deciding to cancel might not be as beneficial as it sounds. Your GRE score isn’t the only factor graduate programs consider when reviewing your application. Your GPA, letters of recommendation and personal essays can also massively contribute to your application. Eisenberg suggests considering all these factors before cancelling your GRE score.

When Cancelling Might Be an Option

Because there’s no “pass” or “fail” in GRE and the acceptability of a score depends on the requirements of your target schools, cancelling might be an option if you are confident that your score (here, 291) will significantly negate your prospects of admission into your desired program.

Alternatives to Cancelling Your Score

Instead of cancelling a 291 score, another more pragmatic approach could lie in retaking the GRE. A lower first score can boost your motivation to prepare better for the next attempt. Alternatively, if retaking is not an option for you, focussing on making other aspects of your application package compelling can offset a 291 score. Concentrate on obtaining strong letters of recommendation, writing a powerful Statement of Purpose, and showcasing your real-world experience or skills relevant to the program you’re pursuing.

Tips to Improve Your 291 GRE Score

Being proactive about improving your score is likely to be a more productive decision than cancelling your score. Here are some targeted methods to improve your GRE score from 291:

Understanding Your Shortcomings

For a 291 score, identify areas of weakness that led to the relatively low score. These could span time management issues, issues with comprehension, or lack of practice and familiarity with the exam pattern.

Focusing on the Basics

Ensure you thoroughly understand the fundamentals, especially in the quantitative section where basic concepts of algebra, arithmetic, geometry and data analysis are tested.

Exploring Effective Study Materials

Access a range of both free and premium resources including Manhattan Prep, Magoosh, and ETS’ Official GRE Guide. You can also use online forums like Reddit’s r/GRE for tips and morale boost from various candidates worldwide.

Regular Practice

Regular practice is key to improving your accuracy and speed. Leverage the practice tests available online, especially those on the ETS website. Start with untimed tests first to concentrate on accuracy and understanding, then move on to timed tests to improve your speed and work on managing the ‘exam stress’.

291 GRE Score to GMAT

When it comes over to the GMAT, understanding where a 291 GRE score stands can provide a valuable perspective especially for those considering both exams.

GRE to GMAT Conversion

ETS offers a conversion tool to estimate GMAT scores from GRE scores. With a 291 GRE score, you’ll find yourself with an estimated score of about 400 on the GMAT, which is considerably lower than the reported GMAT mean score of about 565.

Implication of a 400 GMAT Score

While a 400 GMAT score might seem low when considering the overall mean or average score, it’s crucial to remember that each business school has its unique average GMAT scores. Comparing your respective score to your target school’s median or average GMAT scores will give you a better perspective of how much value your score holds.

Prospects for Improvement

If your converted score from GRE to GMAT is lower than expected or required, it makes sense to reassess your strategy and explore ways to enhance your performance if you intend to take the GMAT as well. Given the GMAT’s structure, you might want to concentrate on improving your reasoning and interpretation skills.

GRE Scores 260 to 340


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

Regardless of your current GRE score, whether it’s 291 or something else, it’s essential to understand that this score is only one portion of your complete application. The journey to a business school goes beyond your GRE or GMAT score—it’s about your vision, your plans, your experiences, and in many ways, your resilience.

A 291 GRE score can form the impetus for you to reflect on your strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses, and fuel growth as you march towards your goal. With the right mix of commitment, right resources, and strategic planning, you can navigate through the labyrinth of the competitive business school admissions landscape. Remember, every journey is unique, and yours is no different. Embrace your score as a starting point, and get set for a rewarding journey ahead.