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3 Easy Steps to Your Best GRE Exam Score

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Introduction 

Back when I first took the GRE exam I didn’t have a score goal in mind while preparing to take the exam. So on top of a challenging exam, I had no clue what score to aim for. Studying with intention and purpose for my ideal goal would have decreased my overall stress, time and energy.

Read: Managing Stress During Your CRNA Journey and Beyond

The great news is that you still have time to find and set your goal score so you not only do well and succeed on the exam but you can focus on other aspects of your application. Thus making you a stronger candidate for CRNA school. 

When considering the GRE goal you need for CRNA school, it’s always important to first look at the minimum score required for the program you plan to apply to. Once you find this score then going one step further to find the average score of the last matriculating class is even better. But to get you started here’s what you need to know to begin working on your goal GRE score. 

What is a great GRE score 

According to Kaplan, the best scores are verbal: 163-170 and quantitative: 165-170 and writing: 5.0-6.0 which would put you in the top 10% of all GRE exams. However, a great GRE score for you in my opinion is the one the CRNA school accepts and you later get accepted to their program. 

What goal score should I set

The best way to go about setting a GRE exam score goal is to again research the CRNA program you plan to apply to. I know this is starting to be a running message but it is true. But there is so much information you can gather from just checking out the CRNA programs website or by sending them an email if you can’t locate the information you need. This serves two purposes- you get the information you need and also get your name on their radar. 

This is fairly easy, just follow the following steps: 

  • Step 1:  Research information 

First, look up all the GRE information available for the CRNA program you plan to apply to. You can usually find this information in the section of the prospective program’s website about CRNA school admissions or FAQ’s. You may also find information on sites such as All CRNA Schools or various forums.

  • Step 2: Gather the information 

Once you have the information you need regarding the GRE exam scores, you need to organize it in a table. Here’s an example. 

Let’s say you are ready to start applying to CRNA schools soon. You would create a table like this one below. And in the first column you will list the programs you are interested in applying to:

School 

What They Say 

Verbal Score 

Quant Score 

Analytical Score

Samford University 

    

Rush University

    

Now that we have the CRNA schools down in which you are interested in, then next you would use the information you gathered online or by reaching out to the program and enter it in the corresponding space. So for Samford: minimum scores- “Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five years, verbal: 153; quantitative: 144; analytical writing 4.” Write this all down in the table. 

School 

What They Say 

Verbal Score 

Quant Score 

Analytical Score

Samford University 

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five years

153

144

4

Rush University 

    

And then you move on to the next school. Rush University: “GRE scores. To be competitive, you should have the following scores: Verbal: 150 or higher, Average verbal for admitted students: 156, Quantitative: 151 or higher, Average quantitative for admitted students: 154, Analytic writing 4.0 or higher, Average analytical writing for admitted students: 4.0.” So, their site specifically says if you want to be competitive with the incoming applicants this is what you should strive for. So jot that information down. 

School 

What They Say 

Verbal Score 

Quant Score 

Analytical Score

Samford University 

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five years

153

144

4

Rush University

To be competitive, you should have the following scores: Verbal: 150+, Quantitative: 151+

156 (avg.)

154 (avg.)

4

Now you have all the information you need in the table. This next step is where you will determine your goal score. 

  • Step 3: Figure out your goal score

Once all the information is gathered in the chart, you want to find the highest scores within each column. Then shoot for 2 points higher than this score in the verbal or quant score section. And equal to or slightly higher for the analytical section. So you are likely within competitive range, but not too high so you don’t expend all your energy studying towards a super high and unnecessary score. Remember, you have to focus on the whole application so you want to balance out what you are working on. 

School 

What They Say 

Verbal Score 

Quant Score 

Analytical Score

Samford University 

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past five years

153

144

4

Rush University

To be competitive, you should have the following scores: Verbal: 150+, Quantitative: 151+

156 (avg.) 

154 (avg.) 

4

Goal Score 

Highest number in each section + 2 

158

156

4+

This would be the goal you need to set for your GRE score. This here is the score YOU need to be competitive and get your CRNA school application noticed and be invited to an interview. 

Read: What GRE Score Do You Need For CRNA School

Final Thoughts

Setting a GRE score goal can be just as important as doing well on the exam. As I mentioned in the last article, your GRE score is only a small section of your overall application. But the reality is you’re always being compared to other applicants so you still want to meet or exceed your goal to be a considered a competitive CRNA school applicant. 

P.S. Leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Also be sure to get on the waiting list for the launch of CRNA Chase Academy coming in the next few weeks!

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