top of page
Single post: Blog_Single_Post_Widget

320 GRE Score: Is This Good? What Schools Can You Get Into?

GRE  | Indore | Gre Score |  oversea Education

If you have taken or are planning to take the GRE, you’ll need to know what GRE score will give you your best chance of admission to grad school. Is a GRE 320 score good? Should you aim higher? Lower?

In this article, we discuss how good a 320 GRE score is by analyzing both percentiles and average GRE scores of popular programs. We also talk about how important it is to get a 320 GRE score and what you can do to reach (or even exceed!) this score level.

Is 320 a Good GRE Score?

The fact of the matter is, most grad programs don’t look at total GRE scores but rather your individual scores for Verbal and Quant. Therefore, how good a GRE 320 is depends on two key factors:

  • What individual percentiles you scored in on Verbal and Quant

  • What kinds of GRE scores your programs want

Let’s start with percentiles. Percentiles tell you what percentage of test takers scored lower than you on a particular section or the test as a whole. The higher your GRE percentile is, the more competitive your score is.

Each year, ETS calculates individual percentiles for Verbal and Quant (as well as for Analytical Writing, though this score is separate from your total score). As such, how your scores add up to 320 can very: you could get 160 on Verbal and 160 on Quant, 165 on Verbal and 155 on Quant, etc.

Generally, you’ll want to get a higher score on the GRE section more closely related to your field. For example, if I were applying to English PhD programs, I’d benefit most by aiming for a higher Verbal score. We’ll cover this idea in more detail later.

Now, what are the current GRE percentiles exactly? The following table offers a 10-point range of GRE scores (that are most likely to add up to 320) and their corresponding percentiles:

Interestingly, Verbal percentiles are consistently higher than Quant percentiles. This is because more test takers score highly on Quant than they do on Verbal, making Quant a more competitive section. Thus, to get the same percentile on both Verbal and Quant, you’d need to earn more points on Quant than you would on Verbal


So what percentiles are considered “good”? Broadly, anything above the 50th percentile (median) can be considered a good score, and anything above the 75th percentile a great score.

Using this definition, we can say that all scores in this chart are good GRE scores. We can also argue that a Verbal score of 157 or higher and a Quant score of 160 or higher are great scores since both are close to the 75th percentile.

Ultimately, though, whether a GRE 320 is good isn’t determined solely by percentiles—you must also know what your specific programs are looking for in regard to GRE scores.

GRE Score 320: What Are Your Chances of Admission?

What’s more important than percentiles? Knowing what kinds of GRE scores your grad programs want. And the best way to figure this out is to see what the average GRE scores of your programs are.

Typically, you’ll want to aim for GRE scores at or above your program’s averages. If your programs’ averages are around 320, this will be a good score for you as it’s likely to make you a competitive applicant. But if your programs’ averages are more than 320, you’ll need to aim higher to give yourself a better chance of admission. (And if the averages are lower than 320, you can either aim lower or still go for 320 to give yourself a very high chance of acceptance.)

How Important Is Getting a 320 GRE Score?

Ultimately, how important getting a GRE 320 is depends on where you’re applying.

Some programs—usually competitive ones—will strongly consider GRE scores during the admission process. Why? Well, with a more selective admission process, these programs need more application components to use in order to evaluate potential students.

So if one of your programs is fairly competitive and has an average 320 GRE score, getting at least 320 will be critical. Not getting this score doesn’t mean you’ll be automatically rejected but does mean it’ll be harder for you to make a good impression on the admission committee (and thus get accepted).

In addition, master’s programs tend to place slightly more emphasis on GRE scores than doctoral programs do. This is most likely due to the fact that PhD programs typically focus more heavily on relevant work or research experience than standardized test scores. Because master’s students often have less experience in their fields than PhD students do, GRE scores tend to play a bigger role in admission.

For some programs, such as MFA programs, GRE scores might be required but aren’t that important. Some programs will even outright say that they don’t place a lot of emphasis on GRE scores. With these programs, getting below 320 won’t look that bad, as long as you have a strong portfolio, statement of purpose, etc.

Another factor to consider is which GRE section is more important to your field or program.Typically, grad programs look more closely at one score (either Verbal or Quant)—and some don’t even look at the less relevant score at all!

Verbal scores are more important to writing- and reading-heavy programs, such as those in the arts and humanities and social sciences. On the other hand, Quant scores are more important to math-related programs, such as those in the STEM fields.

For example, a top-ranked PhD program in engineering will want to see a super high Quant score and (most likely) at least an average or above-average Verbal score. In this case, getting 320 overall isn’t as crucial as getting a high Quant score. Thus, you’d probably have a better shot at admission if you were to get 168 on Quant and 150 on Verbal (adding up to 318) instead of 160 on both sections.

Once you have your study plan, make sure you’re doing everything you can to hit your target score of 320. Here are some of our top GRE tips:

  • Understand the format of the test: Learn the overall GRE structure as well as its question types and content so that there are no surprises for you on test day.

  • Use high-quality resources: You’ll get the best GRE practice by using official and highly rated unofficial materials, including PDFs, prep books, and practice tests. And the best part is, many of them are free!

  • Know which section you need to target: When aiming for 320, you’ll likely need to score higher on Verbal or Quant (versus simply aiming for 160 on both). Figure out which of the two sections is more important to your field and then start dedicating a little more of your prep time to that section.

  • Learn key strategies: Know how to attack different question types on test day as well as how to use your time wisely so that you can give yourself your best shot at hitting 320.

If you are looking to work or study in the US, Get in touch with ADMIVO, a company of repute for Admissions Consulting and Employement services. A Guaranteed preparation in town. Delivered Successful results. University Counseling | Internship | VISA | Analytics | GRE | GMAT | TOEFL | IELTS | SAT | PTE | BIG DATA | HORTONWORKS PREPARATION.


bottom of page