What Is A Good GRE Score For Psychology?

William Cohen
Published by William Cohen
Last Updated On: January 31, 2022

What sets psychology apart from other schools is that it has several types, such as clinical, industrial, cognitive, and forensic.

The requirements for each of these may be different, but you’ll probably have to take the GRE for all of them.

Each graduate school can determine the minimum GRE score needed for application requirements.

Over the course of 10 years, I’ve helped countless students prepare for the GRE and enroll in their desired graduate school, including psychology programs.

Today, I’ll explain everything you should know about GRE scores for psychology.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • The GRE Psychology test is a requirement of many psychology graduate programs.
  • Students need different GRE scores depending on the rank of their desired program.
  • Apart from the GRE, the rest of the application is also important for graduate program admission.

GRE for Graduate Psychology Programs

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GRE is a standardized test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

ETS offers GRE general test and subject tests.

For graduate psychology programs, you’ll have to take the GRE psychology subject test [1].

Previous psychology knowledge is needed for the GRE psychology test.

This is why mostly undergraduate psychology students take the test.

“The GRE® Psychology Test measures achievement in the field of psychology and helps departments evaluate applicants' readiness for graduate school.

The test measures content taught in undergraduate programs that is important for graduate study in the discipline.” ETS

The test can be taken in paper or computer-based format, and it’s priced at $150.

The computer test is available year-round, but the paper-based test is only provided three times a year at certain locations.

ETS takes two weeks to send the official results, but you’ll probably need weeks or months to prepare for the GRE. This is why you should plan when to take the test.

You want to have enough time to submit the results with your application.

Note: Some schools offer a GRE waiver. A waiver can be especially helpful if you’re applying late in the season.

Expect that you’ll probably need a high GPA and extensive work experience if there’s a GRE waiver.

Also, many schools are waiving GRE due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

It’s best to contact schools you’re interested in to find out if there’s a waiver involved.

GRE Psychology Test

hand view of a person writing on a paper

GRE psychology test is made up of 205 questions.

Each question is multiple-choice, and there are five options to choose from.

The test taker has to select only one answer.

The question may be based on a graph or an experiment.

All the questions are the most commonly encountered terms in undergraduate-level courses in the field of psychology.

The total score is made up of 6 subscores:

  • Biological
  • Cognitive
  • Social
  • Developmental
  • Clinical
  • Measurement/Methodology/Other

Check out the top 5 GRE Psychology prep books we’ve put together to help you achieve the best possible score.

GRE Scores According to Psychology Program Rank

Different schools will require different GRE scores. The average good GRE score you need to enroll in a psychology program is 152 on Verbal and 140 on the Quant section.

Here are good GRE scores for psychology based on the program’s rank:

Program Rank Verbal Score Quant Score
1-10 161-156 155-159
11-50 158-162 151-155
51-100 155-159 148-152

GRE Scores According to Percentiles

Scores on the GRE tests are always shown in percentiles.

For psychology results, the 50th percentile is seen as average, the 70th percentile is good, and the 90th percentile is great.

Here’s the breakdown of verbal and quant scores according to percentiles:

Percentile Verbal Score Quant Score
50th 152 149
70th 157 150
90th 163 157

Application Requirements for Graduate Psychology Programs

man arranging documents

GRE test scores are an important part of your psychology school application.

However, the admissions committee also takes other factors into consideration.

  • Transcripts — Schools will assess your previous academic performance via school transcripts. This includes your coursework, grades, and overall performance. Psychology graduate schools usually want a 3.0 GPA, and some schools won't even consider a student whose GPA is lower.
  • Personal statement — A personal statement is a great way to stand out from the crowd. Here you can talk about your experience and qualifications and how you would fit the school’s program.
  • Resume — Even if you aren’t happy with your GRE score, a stellar resume can make up for it. If you are applying for a program that needs specific experience, emphasize the work you’ve done. You can also mention skills and experience you have from other professions if it applies.
  • Letters of recommendation — Expect that you’ll need 2 to 4 letters of recommendation. You can ask former advisers, mentors, or employers for these. Ask them to talk about aspects of your work that the school will take notice of, and remind them to send the letter once the application deadline approaches.

Case-study analysis — Some schools will ask you to complete this analysis. It can focus on something or someone, individual or imaginary.

This way, the school can check your analytical skills and how well you fit into the program.


How Accurate Is a Multi-Drug Screen Test?

Yes, it’s possible to get into a psychology program with a low GRE score.

Schools will also take other factors into consideration, such as your GPA, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities.

What GRE Psychology Score Do You Need?

Psychology graduate programs will ask you to take a GRE psychology test. If you went to psychology undergraduate school, you’ll be familiar with the questions that appear on the test.

However, don’t disregard test prep. Students usually spend several weeks preparing for this GRE test.

It’s best to check directly with your desired school what average GRE scores they accept.

You can also check the tables above to get an idea of the score you may need.


  1. https://www.ets.org/gre/subject/about/content/psychology/

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