GRE Role in Application

How Much Weight Does the GRE Carry in an Application?

The GRE is an integral part of the graduate school application process, and can be an important part of the business school application process as well (more on that below). That said, the importance of GRE scores can vary greatly from school to school and even from graduate program to graduate program within the same university. For some majors, for example, a graduate degree is necessary to work in the field. These graduate programs might weigh GRE scores differently than other fields where a graduate degree is more of an extra advantage.

As with all standardized tests, the GRE is an equalizer allowing graduate programs to view students from different schools and experiences through the same lens. For most schools it is a required part of the application process and regardless of how significant it is viewed it should be taken seriously. The GRE is also used by some schools to award scholarships, fellowships or teaching assistant positions.

Applicants should look at the reported scores of the schools they would like to attend to determine what scores they should target. There are often questions in online forums about whether certain degree programs value certain parts of the test more highly. For example, would an engineering graduate program care more about the Quantitative Reasoning score than the Verbal Reasoning score? It's hard to say. Some programs with many applicants with high Quantitative Reasoning scores might view those who also have high Verbal Reasoning scores as having an advantage. It's best to use the target school's published numbers of scores of incoming students as a gauge.