GRE Subject Test Score Interpretation

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Tarbuza, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Tarbuza

    Tarbuza New Member

    My fried got his psychology subject test score which is 390. He was asking me what is score around. I presume it is 39% and he is planning to apply to COSC. I presume COSC only accepts 40%. I told him that he is short of 1%. I am not sure whether 390 is 39% percent or not.
  2. Myoptimism

    Myoptimism New Member

    In the old test that one can download from the gre site, a score of 390 would equate to a 4 percentile score. No, that is not a typo, I did not forget to add a zero. A score of 720 on the older test would be a 94%ile vs 92%ile on the newer test with the same score.

    I don't think your friend is even close unfortunately.


    [email protected] New Member

    Charter Oak State College awards 18 semester-hours of credit for scores at or above the 40th percentile.

    Your friend should look again at the document that gave his 3-digit score (390). The percentile rank (i.e., what percentage of examinees did worse than him) should be there, too. There is no simple relationship between the 3-digit score and the percentile rank. But looking at, I see that a score of 400 is at the 4th percentile; so I'm afraid he missed it by quite a bit more than 1%. The 40th percentile score is somewhere between 500 and 600.
  4. ncavac

    ncavac New Member


    For the GRE in Psychology here is a basic breakdown of scores and %
    from scaled score of 250 to 350 = 1%
    from scaled score of 360to 370 = 2%
    from scaled score of 380= 3%
    from scaled score of 390to 400= 4%
    from scaled score of 410= 6%
    from scaled score of 420= 7%
    from scaled score of 430= 9%
    from scaled score of 440= 10%

    well you get the drift now to score at 40% to 58% you need to score 550 to 590.
    Anything above 660 you are in the 81% and eligable for 30 credits for the test.

    info on

  5. Mel

    Mel New Member

    When I took them GRE exams were scored from 200 to 800, and you got 200 points for just writing your name. According to the chart at the GRE website, it looks scores on the Psychology test range from 300 - 800, meaning in reality your friend earned 90 points out of 500 possible, not a great score at all, only better than 3% of the test takers. Another 50 points would still only be 9th percentile - your friend needs to score about 550 to be at 40%, which means he knows as much as 40% of students taking this test (mostly students who have completed a degree program in psychology).

    [email protected] New Member

    Mel wrote:

    > mostly students who have completed a degree program in
    > psychology

    Mostly college seniors (4th-year students) about to complete a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and hoping to go straight on to grad school, no?
  7. Mel

    Mel New Member

    Yes, about to complete theri program. The point being that a score in the lower percentiles means you haven't learned very much if you are in a similar position. In some disciplines, it is not taken just by those planning on grad school, meaning it's also not just the top students.
  8. Rob Coates

    Rob Coates New Member

    When I was applying to grad school in psychology in the 80s, many of the programs I applied to did not even consider the results of the psyc. portion of the GREs, just the Verbal and Quantitative scores. I believe it was due to the lack of strong predictive validity data with the psyc. test. I'd be interested to know if the predictive validity has now been well established or if it's still a problem.
  9. Jodokk

    Jodokk Member


    I would not wish to group all DL folks into one group, but certainly one thing I have seen is that those who do well with the big three are people who are very good at taking tests. Any tests. So I would think that the predictability of testing is certainly in question regarding success in a rigorous Masters or Doctorate program. I admit with no shame whatever, that I have tested out of three years of school and I am awful at sitting around whilst a professor attempts to impress the class with his or her entertainment value and pads out a semester with two weeks of material. This doesn't characterize all post-secondary B&M classes but a full 50% I've had the sad experience of attending.
    I aced that psych GRE with two weeks of prep and two cursory classes. Passed the lit with no lit classes at all and only the wonderful princeton guide and many years of loving reading.
    Could I make it through a lit Masters program? I would probably need a lobotomy first. Too Darned ADD! So, tests have very little predictive power in my experience.
    But, thats just me. Could be wrong.
  10. June

    June New Member

    practice test scores

    Does anyone know how to interpret performance on a practice exam? I know the rule of thumb with CLEP is 50% right=good to go, but I really don't know what I'm shooting for with these GREs.

    I haven't chosen a program yet; I just downloaded the English and Psych samples to see how I'd do "cold."

    [email protected] New Member

    > Does anyone know how to interpret performance on a
    > practice exam?

    It's explained; e.g., in the Psychology booklet see pages 41 to 43.

    > I know the rule of thumb with CLEP is 50% right=good to go

    How can that be? No safety margin, no allowance for the added stress of an actual exam, and no shooting for an A (which, depending on the exam, may require a score of from 58% to 69% )?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2004
  12. June

    June New Member

    I'm with ya, Mark! Personally, I wouldn't be happy taking a CLEP if I had only gotten half the practice questions right, but I borrowed the "rule" from Lawrie Miller's site as an example.

    I am itching to try those GRE's! But I've got to study for my real classes today.

    GUNSMOKE New Member

    Info from Empire State College

    What follows is a reply to my inquiry about the possibilities of earning credit from ESC with two specific GRE subject exams, I hope this information will be of assistence to someone here.


    Scaled Score

    Mathematics 540 600 640 680 730 780 830 900 980
    Psychology 460 490 510 530 560 580 610 650 690

    TOT CREDITS 6 9 15 18 24 27 30 33 36

    Introductory 2 3 5 6 8 9 10 11 12
    Advanced 4 6 10 12 16 18 20 22 24

    Good luck to all!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2004

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