How To Assess Your GRE/GMAT/TOEFL Performance By Converting Your Score Into Percentile

One of the questions that Ubergrad gets asked frequently is from students wanting to know how good their score is for a particular course or university. We’ll admit that your GRE or GMAT scores can be a little confusing. That’s because it does not give you a perspective of how good or bad you have performed. Without knowing this, your score is just another number.

With a score of 168 in both Quantitative and Verbal, you can be happy about your performance. But how good is it really? Thankfully, there are ways to know where you stand among your peers. By converting your GRE, GMAT or TOEFL scores into percentiles, it is possible to guess your chances better.

Let us assume that 1 lakh students attempted GRE this year. If you know that 168 in Quantitative puts you in the top 2 percentile and a similar score in Verbal puts in you in the top 4 percentile, it would mean that you rank among the top 2000 in Quantitative and the top 4000 in Verbal.,

To put it simply, if your Verbal percentile is 95%, then it implies that you rank among the top 5 percentile among everyone who has attempted the exam. Once you convert your scores into ranks, you can guess your chances better for the several courses and universities you wish to apply. Isn’t this a better way to gauge your performance?

ETS, the New Jersey based organization that administers exams like GRE and TOEFL periodically releases a ‘concordance’ table that helps students assess their performance by converting their GRE or TOEFL scores into percentile. Based on the performance of all examinees between August 1, 2011 and April 30, 2014, the ETS Concordance table suggests that a score of 163-170 in Verbal should fetch you a 90+ percentile. Similarly, a score of between 165-170 should fetch you a 90+ percentile in Quantitative. You can download the GRE concordance table by clicking here.

Similarly, if you have appeared for the TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT), then a total score of anything above 104 should tentatively put you in the top 10 percentile. This figure is based on all examinees who appeared for TOEFL in 2013. The percentile data for TOEFL examinees can be downloaded from this document.

With GMAT, this task is much easier and does not require a concordance table. At the end of your GMAT test, you are notified of your total score as well as your performance in each of the individual categories. Apart from your AWA and raw score, this window also provides you with your percentile that is based off all the testing population from the last three years. This gives you an instant preview of your test performance.

Does this help? Put across your queries and clarifications in the comments section below

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