The quantitative reasoning section of the Graduate Record Examination General Test requires students to interpret quantitative information and apply mathematical concepts such as geometry and statistics. The revised GRE General Test, introduced in August 2011, features a scoring scale ranging from 130 to 170 instead of the previous 200- to 800-point scale. However, scores from the previous test remain valid for five years after test day.
An 800 on the quantitative reasoning section of the previous GRE is in the 94th percentile, which means that 94 percent of students who took the test scored below an 800. However, an 800 on the old test is equivalent to a 166 on the new test, which is not a perfect score. This discrepancy occurs because the revised GRE offers greater differentiation for high-range students, according to Educational Testing Service.
ETS recommends that schools carefully evaluate students who received an 800 on the previous quantitative reasoning test, since these students earned the highest score possible at that time. If you are concerned about how your scores will be considered, contact the admissions department of the graduate program for more information.
Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.