GRE for Nursing School: What You Need to Know

February 15, 2024
7 min read
Contents

”Rohan

Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Chief Resident in Anesthesiology, Weill Cornell Medicine, & Admissions Officer, Columbia University

Reviewed: 2/15/23

Are you passionate about pursuing a rewarding career in nursing and ready to take the next step toward an advanced degree? Welcome to your one-stop guide for all things related to the GRE and nursing school admissions! 

Achieving proficiency in the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a pivotal step in your journey toward becoming a nurse. In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of the GRE in the nursing school admissions process and provide you with the crucial insights required for success. 

Say goodbye to uncertainty and hello to a brighter future in nursing—let's dive into the world of the GRE and what it means for your nursing school aspirations.

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What Is a Good GRE Score for Nursing School?

As you prepare for the GRE, it's essential to understand the GRE scores for nursing school programs to set realistic goals and enhance your chances of admission. Keep in mind that nursing schools differ in terms of their expectations and requirements, so it's crucial to research your desired programs for specific information.

Your GRE scores can make a significant impact on your overall application, as they provide nursing schools with insights into your aptitude for graduate-level work.

A good GRE score for nursing school is one that meets or exceeds the program's typical requirements, helps you stand out in a holistic application review, and showcases your readiness for graduate-level nursing education.

ETS offers a useful comparison to help you understand what constitutes a good GRE score and how it stacks up against other scores.

Comparing GRE Scores

Here are some top GRE scores, competitive GRE scores, and average/below average GRE scores to give you an idea of what’s expected at different nursing schools.

Top Scores Competitive Scores Average Scores Below Average Scores
Top 10% Top 25% Top 50% Below 50%
Verbal: 163-170 Verbal: 158-162 Verbal: 152-158 Verbal: <151
Quantitative: 165-170 Quantitative: 159-164 Quantitative: 153-158 Quantitative: <152
Writing: 5-6 Writing: 4.5 Writing: 4.0 Writing: <3.5

Source: Nurse Journal

When you compare GRE scores, you can get helpful information about how well-prepared you are academically and how likely you are to succeed. This knowledge can guide you in making informed decisions and creating personalized strategies for your future goals.

Average GRE Scores for Nursing Schools

Generally, a competitive GRE score for nursing school programs falls within the 50th to 75th percentile for both Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections, translating to scores between 150-160 in each section. 

While average GRE scores provide a useful benchmark, it's important to remember that schools often consider other factors alongside your GRE scores. 

Most nursing schools adopt a holistic review process, taking into account your academic performance, work experience, recommendation letters, and personal statements.

Understanding the average scores for nursing school programs helps you set meaningful goals and better prepare for the examination. However, keep in mind that the GRE is just one aspect of your application, and nursing schools will evaluate your candidacy based on a combination of factors that demonstrate your potential.

Scores on the GRE: General Test 

The following are average GRE scores:

GRE Section Score Range
Verbal Reasoning 150.37
Analytical Writing 3.6
Quantitative Reasoning 153.66

Source: NurseJournal

Knowing your scores on the GRE: General Test can give you insight into your academic abilities. This understanding can guide you in making informed choices as you map out your educational and professional path.

How to Prepare for the GRE

studying

A well-planned approach to studying is essential to help you perform well and meet or exceed the average GRE scores for nursing school programs. Let's explore effective strategies for GRE preparation, including developing a study plan, utilizing resources, practicing with mock exams, and employing section-specific techniques.

Developing a Study Plan

  • Time management: Allocate sufficient time to prepare for the GRE, ideally starting at least two to three months before your test date. Create a study schedule that balances your work, personal life, and GRE preparation.
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses: Evaluate your current skills in each GRE section and identify areas where you excel and those that require improvement. 

Utilizing Study Resources

  • GRE prep books: Numerous GRE prep books are available, offering comprehensive content reviews, practice questions, and test-taking strategies. 
  • Online courses and resources: Online platforms provide GRE courses, video lessons, practice questions, and interactive quizzes to supplement your learning. 
  • Study groups and tutoring: Engaging with a study group or a top-scoring GRE tutor provides additional support and motivation. 

Strategies for Success in Each Section

  • Verbal Reasoning: Focus on building your vocabulary, mastering reading comprehension techniques, and practicing critical reasoning questions.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Strengthen your basic math skills, learn shortcuts for complex calculations, and practice problem-solving strategies.
  • Analytical Writing: Develop your essay-writing skills by outlining, drafting, and revising essays within the time limit. Practice analyzing and critiquing arguments effectively.

By implementing these strategies and working diligently, you can optimize your GRE performance and aim for a competitive score that aligns with the average GRE scores for nursing school programs, propelling you closer to your nursing career goals.

Tips for Acing the GRE

Acing the GRE for Nursing School requires a combination of diligent preparation, effective test-taking strategies, and stress management. Here are some essential tips to help you excel on the big day:

General Test-Taking Strategies

When approaching the questions, it is crucial to read them carefully in order to avoid any misinterpretation. It is advisable to allocate your time wisely, ensuring that you do not spend an excessive amount of time on a single question. 

In multiple-choice questions, employing the process of elimination can be helpful in enhancing the probability of selecting the correct answer. By systematically eliminating the options that are unlikely to be correct, you can increase your chances of arriving at the right choice.

Managing Test Anxiety and Stress

In preparation for the test, it is beneficial to develop a relaxation routine that can help alleviate stress and anxiety. Engaging in activities such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or visualization can assist in calming the mind and promoting a sense of tranquility. 

It is also crucial to maintain a positive attitude and remind yourself of the diligent efforts you have put into your preparation. Additionally, ensuring that you get a good night's sleep, consume a balanced meal, and engage in regular exercise can contribute to staying energized and focused during the test. 

Taking care of your physical and mental well-being plays a vital role in optimizing your performance.

Meditation

Maximizing Scores in Each Section

In the Verbal Reasoning section, it is important to prioritize context clues as a means to deduce the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary. Additionally, rephrasing complex passages can aid in enhancing understanding. 

For Quantitative Reasoning, it is crucial to exercise caution by double-checking calculations for accuracy. Utilizing estimation techniques can be valuable in verifying the reasonableness of your answer. 

When it comes to Analytical Writing, it is essential to organize your thoughts effectively. 

This can be achieved by formulating a clear thesis statement, constructing concise paragraphs, and providing robust supporting evidence. 

By implementing these tips, you can confidently tackle the GRE for nursing school and increase your chances of achieving a competitive score, propelling you one step closer to your dream nursing career.

FAQs: GRE for Nursing School

If you have any remaining questions, you can find your answers below!

1. Do You Need to Take the GRE for Nursing School?

Whether you need to take the GRE for nursing school depends on the specific requirements of the programs you are interested in. While many graduate nursing programs do require the GRE, others might waive this requirement based on your undergraduate GPA, work experience, or other factors. 

Some schools may also accept alternative standardized tests. It's essential to research the admission requirements of your target nursing schools to determine if the GRE or another standardized test is necessary for your application.

2. What Is a Good GRE Score for Nursing?

A good GRE score not only meets or exceeds a nursing program's requirements but also sets you apart from other applicants during the admission process. A good GRE score for nursing programs can vary depending on the specific school and its expectations. 

In general, a competitive score falls within the 50th to 75th percentile for both the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections, which translates to scores between 150-160 in each section. For the Analytical Writing section, a score of 4.0 or higher is often considered desirable.

By achieving a competitive score, you showcase your dedication, hard work, and aptitude for success in graduate-level nursing education.

3. Is GRE Required for a Master's in Nursing in the USA?

The GRE requirement for a Master's in Nursing in the USA varies depending on the specific program and institution. Some nursing schools require GRE scores as part of the admission process, while others may waive this requirement based on your undergraduate GPA, work experience, or other factors. 

Additionally, certain schools might accept alternative standardized tests in place of the GRE. It's essential to research the admission requirements of your target nursing schools to determine if the GRE or another standardized test is necessary for your application. 

Always check the specific criteria for each program you're interested in, as requirements can differ significantly between institutions.

Final Thoughts

The GRE serves as an essential component of the nursing school admissions process for many graduate programs. A competitive GRE score not only demonstrates your aptitude for graduate-level work but also sets you apart from other applicants. 

As you prepare for the GRE and your future nursing career, remember to set realistic goals, develop a personalized study plan, and utilize effective test-taking strategies.

However, it's important to keep in mind that the GRE is just one aspect of your overall application. 

Nursing schools generally adopt a holistic review process, considering various factors such as academic performance, work experience, recommendation letters, and personal statements. Therefore, while achieving a competitive GRE score is essential, it's equally important to dedicate time and effort to other areas of your application.

By understanding the role of the GRE in nursing school admissions and mastering the strategies discussed in this article, you'll be well-equipped to tackle this challenging examination and take a significant step toward your dream nursing career. Good luck, and may your hard work and dedication pave the way to a rewarding future in nursing!

Nursing graduate

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