How the GRE Computer-delivered Test is scored:

While it is definitely helpful to know how the test is scaled, what raw score targets you should be aiming for; the most important thing you should be focusing on in your prep is how to improve your current score.

In this format, The Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning measures are section-level adaptive. Test-takers are evaluated on their performance on two separate Quantitative and Verbal sections, of which the computer selects the second section of a measure based on the performance on the first section. Within each section, all questions contribute equally to the final score. For each of the two measures, a raw score is computed. The raw score is the number of questions answered correctly.

While each individual section of the GRE is comprised of 20 questions that are not adaptive. Depending on a test taker's performance in the first section, the second section (also 20 questions) will be either low difficulty, average difficulty, or high difficulty. For this reason the test is not the same. This presents us with a kind of problem, i.e. if test-takers are being presented with questions of varying difficulty, then how are raw scores reliably convert to scaled scores.

It infers many students that because the scaled score on the new GRE ranges 40 points (from 130 to 170), and because there are 40 total questions in each content area, the scaled score goes up one point for every correct answer chosen. It's not the case. Because the second section varies in difficulty, raw scores are not directly tied to scaled scores. Instead, the test looks at not only the number of questions you answered correctly, but also at how difficult those questions were.

The ETS has their own special process to evaluate scaled scores, and because of that, there is a not a completely straight 1:1 fit between raw and scaled scores. It is very important to score well in the first section of both the Quantitative and Verbal sections. This is necessary in order to bump you up to the medium or high difficulty second section, where you can begin to separate yourself from the bottom third of test-takers. Here is a visual breakdown of how it works:

Additionally, because each section is only 40 questions, answering just two or three more questions correctly can mean a big jump in percentile rank

The more practice tests you take, the more of a feel you will get for how many questions you need to answer correctly to hit your target score. And once you are consistently answering enough questions to hit that target score, keep practicing and working to raise your score even more