320 GRE Score – Is 320 a Good GRE Score?

Baffled about where a 320 GRE Score ranks among test-takers?

  • Understanding the GRE Scoring Scale: Grasp how the scoring system works from 260 to 340.
  • Is a 320 Score Good or Bad?: Find out what a score of 320 signifies for your targeted programs.
  • Tips for Improving a 320 GRE Score: Learn practical strategies to boost your results.

Explore how a 320 GRE Score amplifies your chances for successful business school applications.

Understanding the GRE Scoring Scale: From 260 to 340

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examination, is a crucial component of many graduate school applications. An understanding of the scoring scale can be a useful tool in navigating this test and the larger application process. Put simply, the GRE scoring scale ranges from a total of 260 to 340, calculated based on the scores of two distinct sections: Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.

The Scoring Breakdown

The lowest possible score in the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections is 130, while the highest possible score is 170. Therefore, your total GRE score can range from 260 (130+130) to 340 (170+170).

To give a bit more detail:

  • Verbal Reasoning: This section checks your capacity for understanding, interpreting, and analyzing written material. Each sentence, passage, or set of questions is designed to evaluate your understanding of the English language and your ability to think critically.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: This section evaluates your capability for understanding, interpreting, and analyzing mathematical problems. Its focus lies in basic mathematical concepts, including algebra, arithmetic, geometry, and data analysis.

Score Interpretation: Where Do I Stand?

While knowing the scoring structure is great, placing your score in context is key. Remember, the value of your GRE score is relative and is often viewed in consideration of individual personal goals and the requirements of your target program. Some programs may prioritize a high score in Quantitative Reasoning (for example, STEM-related programs), while others may look for outstanding Verbal Reasoning scores (like arts and humanities programs).

Is 320 a Good GRE Score?

The question of whether a 320 is a good GRE score depends on the specific programs you are aiming at. Just for perspective, according to ETS, the creators of the GRE, a 320 is considerably higher than the average scores for Verbal (150) and Quantitative (153) sections.

Understanding Average Scores

First off, let’s dispel a commonly held myth: the GRE is not scored on a curve. The scaling of scores is determined in advance by psychometric analyses. So what does that mean for a 320 GRE score? In essence, a score like this is significantly above average.

If you’re aiming for top business schools, take note: Stanford GSB, Kellogg School of Management, and MIT Sloan School of Management, among others, have recorded average GRE scores around 325 for their 2023 intake. So, while a 320 may be an impressive score in a broader context, it may still fall short for such competitive programs.

Consider this data when setting your GRE goal:

  • Stanford GSB: Average GRE score was 330 for the 2019 intake
  • Kellogg School of Management: Average GRE score was 326 for the 2019 intake
  • MIT Sloan School of Management: Average GRE score was 326 for the 2019 intake

Is 320 a Bad GRE Score?

The term “bad” is highly subjective and dependent on the median score of your target program. A 320 might be below the average for very competitive schools, but it could be a perfect score for many other programs.

A low score for a program would usually fall below the 25th percentile of admitted students. To give that context, a low score for the majority of programs would be below a 145 on Verbal or a 147 on Quant. A 320 is quite far about those numbers, which makes it a reasonably competitive score for many programs.

Targeting Your Score

To increase your chances of admission, set your target GRE score within the average scores range of your target schools. If your goal is to pursue a top-tier program, anything above the 75th percentile score of the accepted students for that program gives you a solid chance.

320 GRE Score Percentile

In a global context, a 320 GRE score would place you in approximately the top 20% of all test-takers; that’s a significant accomplishment. This is roughly equivalent to achieving above 1800 on the SAT. This could possibly place you at a vantage point, but remember that percentile rankings change slightly every year.

Interpretation of Percentile Rankings

Percentile rankings indicate the percentage of scores you have outperformed. In essence, a 320 score, which is in the 80th percentile, means you have scored better than 80% of all test-takers. This can serve as a good point of reference when comparing the competitiveness of your GRE score for different schools.

How Hard Is It to Get a 320 GRE Score?

Scoring 320 in the GRE is no minor feat – it requires intensive study and rigorous preparation. However, dedicated practice, efficient time management, and strategic planning can guide you towards your goal.

Planning Your Study

A thorough study plan involves consistency, reviewing concepts, solving a variety of problems, and most importantly practice, practice, practice. Creating a study plan that balances both the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning sections, while also taking your strengths and weaknesses into account, is advised.

GRE Question Types

The GRE tests you on a wide variety of question types, so understanding these is a key part of your preparation. In Verbal Reasoning, you will face questions like Text Completion, Sentence Equivalence, and Reading Comprehension, while in Quantitative Reasoning, you will encounter Quantitative Comparison, Multiple-choice, and Numeric Entry questions.

Practice Tests

Regularly taking full-length practice tests is a must. It helps in simulating the GRE exam day environment and also helps you recognize your strengths and weaknesses.

Getting a 320 on the GRE isn’t easy, but with the right strategies combined with hard work, it is achievable. A score of 320 is high enough to make you stand out to many graduate schools. However, remember the ultimate goal: to present a strong overall application. Your GRE score, while significant, is just one component. A comprehensive profile showcasing your leadership capabilities, work exposure, academic achievements and community service will offer the best shot at your dream seat in a graduate program.

Can You Get into Business School with a 320 GRE Score?

A score of 320 is considerably above the globally averaged GRE score and can be deemed respectable in general. However, if your aim is to enroll in a business school, you’d want to ask a pertinent question: Is a score of 320 considered competitive in the world of B-schools?

Aiming for the Top-Tiers

Business school applications, in many instances, are a high stakes game. Top-tier institutions tend to attract a large pool of high-performing aspirants, which naturally escalates their median GRE scores. For highly competitive schools like Stanford’s Graduate School of Business or Harvard Business School, a score of 320 might not give you a distinctive edge. In these institutions, the median GRE score often exceeds 325.

However, this doesn’t suggest that a score of 320 unequivocally precludes your chances for top-tiered institutions. Alongside your GRE score, the admissions committee will consider various other factors including your undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, work experience, and essays.

Casting a Wider Net

If you’re not wedded to the idea of studying in an Ivy League business school, numerous well-known B-schools gladly accept candidates with a GRE score around 320. The Michigan Ross School of Business, for instance, reports an average GRE score of 320 for its MBA Class of 2023. This implies that, with a strong profile backing you, a score of 320 certainly grants you a reasonable chance in such institutions.

Should You Cancel a 320 GRE Score?

Choosing whether to cancel a GRE score can be a complex decision. While a score of 320 is undeniably above-average, you, as a test-taker need to understand whether it meets the standards of your application strategy.

Contextualizing Your Score

It is crucial to evaluate your GRE score in relation to the specific requirements of the programs you’re applying to. If your target institutions are some of the top-ranked programs globally, and their average GRE scores are around 330, a score of 320 might fall slightly short. In such cases, re-attempting the test or canceling the score could be wise.

Holistic Impact

However, before making this decision, consider the other components of your application. Do you have strong letters of recommendation, a distinctive personal essay, or substantial work experience in your tank? If the answer is yes, then maybe you needn’t worry too much about falling 10 points short on your GRE. After all, a balanced application is preferred over a singularly high GRE score.

Tips to Improve Your 320 GRE Score

Even with a score of 320, there’s room for improvement! Here are some fundamental tips and strategies that can further refine your score:

  1. Focus on Weak Areas: Whether it’s geometry in Quant or reading comprehension in Verbal, ensure to prioritize areas that need improvement.
  2. Simulate Test Conditions: Regularly practice entire sets of questions within a set time limit. This will drastically improve your time management skills.
  3. In-depth Review: After completing your regular practice sets, don’t just glance over the answers. Review each question methodically, dissect your approach, and understand where you went wrong for those you missed.
  4. Vocabulary Building: For climbing higher in the Verbal section, focus on building an advanced vocabulary. Flashcards and word lists can be instrumental in this endeavor.
  5. Self Care: Regular breaks, a balanced diet, and a stress-free mindset might seem unconnected to your GRE score, but they’re the pillars that hold your preparation together.

320 GRE Score to GMAT

If you’re considering taking the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) in lieu of the GRE, you might wonder how your GRE score might stack up as a GMAT equivalent.

A GRE score of 320 roughly maps to a GMAT score of approximately 640.

If you are applying to B-schools, this piece of information is crucial for two primary reasons:

  1. Choice of Test: Based on your strengths and temperament, you can choose whether taking the GRE or GMAT would optimize your chances of scoring high.
  2. Understanding Conversion Impact: Understanding the conversion helps you put your scores into perspective when applying to schools that accept both GRE and GMAT scores.

GRE Scores 260 to 340


Conclusion: Embracing Your GRE score and Planning Your Business School Journey

As we wrap up, let’s summarize the journey we’ve taken understanding the implications and potential of a 320 GRE score. While a score of 320 is undoubtedly impressive and lands you in the top 20% of all test-takers globally, its weight considerably depends on your personal goals and targeted programs.

Remember, a GRE score is merely one ingredient in the recipe of a successful business school application. Some programs place significant gravitas on GRE scores whereas others might weigh your essays, recommendation letters, or personalities gauged from interviews to an equivalent or higher magnitude.

The paramount strategy is simple yet crucial: Aim for a GRE score that positions you comfortably around or above the average score in your dream institution. This approach, supplemented with a holistic focus on presenting a well-rounded application, will maximize your chances of success. Thus, your GRE score – a 320 or otherwise – should be recognized as an opportunity and never a limitation. Confidently embrace your score and the skills it represents – that’s the best way to embark on your business school journey.