How hard is it to get a 290 on the GRE?

How hard is it to get a 290 on the GRE? Getting a 290 on the GRE can be challenging but achievable with proper preparation. Learn effective study strategies and tips to boost your score.

How hard is it to get a 290 on the GRE?

The GRE: An Overview

The GRE is a standardized test commonly used by graduate schools in the United States and many other English-speaking countries as part of their admissions process. It measures skills in verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. Each section is scored on a scale of 130 to 170, with the average score falling around 150.

The Difficulty of Achieving a 290

Scoring a 290 on the GRE places you in the 14th percentile, meaning you would be outperformed by 86% of test-takers. This suggests that achieving such a score is not a straightforward task and will require significant effort and preparation. The difficulty level tends to vary depending on an individual's strengths and weaknesses in each section of the exam.

Preparation Tips

The road to obtaining a 290 on the GRE involves a structured study plan and consistent practice. Here are some tips to help you on your journey:

1. Understand the GRE Format: Familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam, including the types of questions, time limits, and scoring patterns. This will allow you to allocate your study time effectively.

2. Identify Weaknesses: Take a diagnostic test or use online resources to identify the areas where you struggle the most. This will help you prioritize your study efforts and focus on improving those specific skills.

3. Develop a Study Schedule: Create a realistic and comprehensive study plan that considers your personal commitments. Break down your study sessions into smaller, manageable chunks to prevent burnout and facilitate better retention.

4. Use Study Materials: Utilize study guides, practice tests, and flashcards specifically designed for GRE preparation. These materials will familiarize you with the types of questions asked and improve your test-taking strategies.

5. Seek Additional Resources: Consider joining a study group, hiring a tutor, or attending GRE preparation courses. These resources can provide you with valuable insights, advice, and support throughout your preparation journey.

6. Practice Time Management: Since the GRE is a timed test, it is crucial to practice time management skills during your preparation. Monitor your progress and ensure you are able to complete each section within the given time frame.

7. Analyze Your Mistakes: Regularly review and analyze the mistakes you make during practice tests or mock exams. This will allow you to identify patterns of errors and focus your efforts on areas that need improvement.

8. Stay Motivated and Confident: The GRE can be a challenging and mentally demanding test. Maintain a positive mindset, celebrate your small victories, and stay motivated throughout your preparation. Confidence plays a crucial role in test performance.


Achieving a score of 290 on the GRE is not an easy feat. It requires dedication, consistent effort, and effective study strategies. However, with a structured study plan, access to appropriate resources, and a positive attitude, you can improve your chances of reaching your desired score. Remember, the GRE is just one aspect of your graduate school application, and a strong overall application can compensate for a lower GRE score. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is the GRE scored?

The GRE is scored on a scale of 130 to 170 for both the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections. The Analytical Writing section is scored on a scale of 0 to 6.

2. Is a score of 290 considered good on the GRE?

A score of 290 is slightly below average compared to the average GRE score of test takers. However, whether it is considered good or not depends on the specific requirements of the graduate programs you are applying to.

3. How many questions do I need to answer correctly to get a score of 290?

Scoring on the GRE is not directly based on the number of questions you answer correctly. It is a computer-adaptive test, meaning the difficulty of the questions adjusts based on your previous responses. Therefore, the number of questions answered correctly does not solely determine your score.

4. What is the average time needed to prepare for a 290 score on the GRE?

The time needed to prepare for a specific score on the GRE varies for each individual. It depends on your baseline knowledge, study habits, and the amount of time you can dedicate to studying. On average, several weeks to several months of consistent study is recommended to achieve a score of 290 or higher.

5. Can I improve my score from 290 to a higher score?

Yes, it is possible to improve your score from 290 to a higher score with dedicated and focused study. By identifying your weaknesses, using effective study strategies, and utilizing available resources such as study materials, practice tests, and tutoring, it is possible to see improvement on the GRE.