GRE for PA School: What You Need to Know

July 9, 2024
7 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 10/11/23

Thinking about applying to PA school but don’t know what to expect when applying? This guide will cover everything about taking the GRE for PA school and what you need to know. 

Preparing for Physician Assistant (PA) school requires meeting certain academic requirements. One important aspect is taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a standardized test that assesses verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills. 

PA programs use the GRE scores to evaluate applicants' readiness for the rigorous academic program. However, some PA schools don’t require the GRE.

In this article, we will discuss if the GRE is required for PA school and what a good score is.

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Is the GRE Required for PA School?

As an applicant, taking standardized tests and submitting them to schools can be daunting. However, PA applicants are in luck; not all PA schools require a GRE score. While this is the case, it is recommended that you still take the GRE because it can enhance your application. 

It is essential to check the specific requirements of the PA programs you are applying to. You can find this information on their websites or by contacting the admissions office. 

Some programs may have minimum GRE score requirements, while others use GRE scores as only one of several factors in their decision-making process.

If the programs you’re applying for require GRE scores, you must take the exam and have your scores sent to the schools. However, if the programs do not require the GRE, you do not need to take the exam.

What Is a Good GRE Score for PA School?

You might wonder, “What is a good GRE score for PA school?” A good GRE score for a PA school can vary depending on the program and its requirements. 

Generally speaking, a competitive GRE score is better than the 55th percentile (310 total) or above in each section of the exam. This translates to a score of 150 or higher in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections.

However, it's important to note that a strong GRE score alone does not guarantee admission to a PA program. Admissions committees also consider other factors such as undergraduate GPA, healthcare experience, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. 

Researching the specific PA programs you're interested in and their GRE score requirements and recommendations is always a good idea. This can help you determine what score you should aim for and how to best prepare for the exam.

To get a good score, it’s important that you study hard and practice often. Our interactive GRE pop quiz tool below will help you familiarize yourself with some sample GRE questions so that you can be as prepared as possible! 

Average GRE Scores for the Top 20 PA Schools

Here’s a table showcasing the average GRE score for PA schools.

Ranking PA School Average GRE Score
1 Duke University University
2 Baylor College of Medicine Verbal: 161
Quantitative: 154
Analytical Writing: 4.5
2 The University of Iowa Verbal: 156
Quantitative: 157
Analytical Writing: 4.6
4 Emory University Doesn’t require a GRE score.
5 George Washington University Doesn’t require a GRE score.
5 Oregon Health and Sciences University Doesn’t require a GRE score.
7 Rutgers University School of Health Professions Doesn’t require a GRE score.
8 Northwestern University Doesn’t require a GRE score.
8 Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Doesn’t require a GRE score.
8 Stanford University Verbal: 157
Quantitative: 161
Analytical Writing: 4.5
8 The University of Alabama-Birmingham Not available

Ranking PA School Average GRE Score
8 The University of Colorado Doesn’t require a GRE score.
8 The University of Utah Doesn’t require a GRE score.
14 The University of Florida Verbal: 145-168
Quantitative: 147-169
Analytical Writing: 3.0-6.0
14 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center-Dallas Verbal: 152
Quantitative: 150
Analytical Writing: 3.91
16 Quinnipiac University Doesn’t require a GRE score.
16 Touro University California Doesn’t require a GRE score.
16 The University of Nebraska Medical Center Doesn’t require a GRE score.
16 Wake Forest University Verbal: 155
Quantitative: 153
Analytical Writing: 4.5
20 Northeastern University Doesn’t require a GRE score.
8 Stanford University Verbal: 157
Quantitative: 161
Analytical Writing: 4.5

​​After looking at this table, you’ll have a better idea of what score you should aim for as you prepare to take the GRE.

FAQs: GRE for PA School

If you still have questions about the GRE for PA school, check out these frequently asked questions.

1. Is the GRE Necessary for PA School?

The GRE's necessity depends on the PA school you apply to. Most PA schools require a GRE score, while others do not. It would be best if you took the GRE to increase your options for PA schools to apply to. 

While some PA schools don’t require the GRE, submitting a score can potentially enhance your overall application–so it’s highly recommended that you take the GRE. 

2. How Important is the GRE for PA Schools?

The importance of the GRE for PA school admissions varies among programs. For programs that do require the GRE, the weight placed on the exam can also vary. Some programs use the GRE as a minimum requirement for consideration, while others use it to evaluate an applicant's academic potential.

Generally, the GRE is considered less important for PA school admissions than other factors, such as an applicant's undergraduate GPA, healthcare experience, letters of recommendation, and personal statement. These factors provide more direct insight into an applicant's ability to succeed in a PA program.

3. Can I Get Into PA Schools With a Low GRE Score?

Getting into PA programs requires meeting several requirements, one of which is often a minimum score on the GRE. However, while a high GRE score can help your application stand out, it is not the only factor PA schools consider.

While each program has its own admission requirements, most PA schools use a holistic approach when reviewing applications. They typically consider a combination of factors, such as your academic background, clinical experience, personal statement, letters of recommendation, interview, and overall fit with the program.

4. What Is the Average GRE for PA Programs?

The average GRE score for PA programs can vary depending on the specific program and its admission requirements. Generally speaking, the average GRE score for successful applicants to PA programs tends to be around 300-310 on the combined Verbal and Quantitative sections.

5. Can I Get Into PA School With a 292 on GRE?

Although 292 isn’t a high GRE score, it isn’t an automatic disqualifier for PA schools. Some PA schools do not require a GRE score or have no minimum GRE score requirement; they are:

  • Rocky Vista University - no minimum requirement
  • Northwestern University - no requirement
  • The University of Colorado - no requirement
  • The University of Utah - no requirement

You must get a high GRE score to apply to some of the best PA schools in the country. However, don’t feel discouraged if your score isn’t competitive; there are PA schools that don’t require the GRE, which you can also apply to.

Final Thoughts

Although studying for the GRE can be a daunting task for many applicants, it is an important and valuable component that admissions committees look at to assess a candidate's readiness for graduate-level coursework. 

However, if you’re someone who doesn’t test well, remember there are PA schools that don’t require it. Additionally, there are many other aspects of your application you can focus on to offset a lower GRE score.

Aspiring PA students should thoroughly research the GRE requirements of the programs they are interested in and develop a solid study plan to achieve their target score. 

Good luck with your future endeavors!

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