How are GRE scores used?

The GRE is used by a graduate school admissions office to access your probable success in their graduate program. Other factors, such as undergraduate grades, interviews, and letters of recommendation, can also figure into this assessment. The importance of GRE scores (and the individual section scores) varies from school to school, so you may want to contact the graduate schools you're applying to for more information. Be sure to ask whether they will use the scores for each section (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing assessment); what score is necessary in each section used (or what total is required); and what scores are used if you take the test more than once.
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