The GRE is a Section Adaptive Test such that, a good performance on the first section will lead to a second section with questions of higher difficulty level and therefore higher score per question, thereby significantly improving the chances of scoring very well on the test.
The total scaled score for the Quantitative Reasoning Section varies from 130 to 170. There is a similar scaled score range for Verbal Reasoning Section. The score is determined by a test taker’s performance over two sections each of Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning, totalling to 40 questions each (2 sections of 20 questions each). But each test taker gets five sections instead of four, which means, either the Quantitative Reasoning or the Verbal Reasoning Section appears three times instead of two. The additional section resembles the other sections, but is an undisclosed, un-scored section, colloquially called a dummy section. The purpose of the dummy is research for future test takers. As the name suggests, the performance on this section does not affect your score, but test takers are unable to identify which amongst the five sections is the un-scored one.
The scaled scores for quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning are displayed immediately upon completion of the test. These are called unofficial scores. The official score card becomes available in the test taker’s GRE account within two weeks of the test, and displays the final score for all sections including Analytical Writing Assessment.
Educational Testing Services (ETS), the agency that conducts the GRE, allows the test takers to select up to 4 programs where their official GRE score will be sent for free. These four programs must be selected on the test day at the test centre only. Sending official scores to any programs after the test day incurs an additional score sending fee as displayed on the official GRE website.
If a test taker is dissatisfied with the score, he can retake the test by paying the test fees. A retake is possible only after three weeks of the test. For such test takers, GRE provides a free service called Score SelectTM, wherein, test takers with multiple GRE scores can select which score must be reported to the university, thereby hiding scores of other attempts.
Scores of a Subject GRE test are usually made available within 4 weeks to the test taker and reported to the universities in a similar manner to scores for the GRE General Test.