When the percentage distributions are broken down by type of question or type of exam, the results are more complex. For example, when a student takes a GRE examination on the writing section, they are asked to write an essay or an essay-like report based on a topic. These types of tests include Essay and Analysis Reports, Report and Dissertation, and Analysis and Argument Papers. Other types of GRE exams, such as General Knowledge, are not primarily concerned with a topic, but are instead more concerned with analyzing data or using the tools of analysis to solve a problem.
Percentage distributions for both types of GRE examinations reveal that those taking Analytic and Verbal questions tend to score higher than those taking Quantitative and Analysis questions. Those taking Verbal and Analytic exams also tend to score higher on Analysis and Argument essays than those taking Quantitative and Analysis exams. However, those taking General Knowledge exams tend to score lower on Analytic and Verbal exams than those taking Quantitative and Analysis exams.
Percentages for subjects do not necessarily reflect the percentage of the total population of students who will take the examination. Students who have already taken an examination, or students who are enrolled in an approved study program at an accredited institution of higher learning, will most likely receive an increased percentage of a particular subject or two on their standardized examination.
As noted, percentages for these examinations reflect the percentage of individuals who will take an examination based on the types of questions and types of exams that were taken. It is important to remember, however, that each type of test has a different distribution among the types of individuals who will take the examination. The percentage distribution can be misleading, however, when looking at specific type or subtype of the examination taken.
For example, Verbal examination is based on the number of times that a question is asked and the amount of information that is asked on the test. Most Verbal tests also have a written portion, with no time allotted for reading comprehension or response. The number of questions required for writing can make a huge difference in the percentile that a student receives on their GRE examination.
Likewise, for the quantitative examination, the percent distribution of the number of times a question is asked and the amount of information that is given in a question can make a huge difference in the percentile that a student will receive on their examination. The percentage distribution for Analytic examination can show a high percentile for certain types of questions and low percentile for other types of questions. When a Student takes a GRE examination on Analysis test, a low percentile on the test is often the reason for lower percentile in a percentage distribution.
Finally, the Percentile Distribution on an Analytical Test can be a very good indicator of how many students take the test based on the level of difficulty that a student will face on the examination. A low percentile for the test indicates that the test will be easier for the student. Many students taking an Analytical Test will have less trouble passing than students who do not take an Analytical Test. Because of the small number of students that take this type of test, the test has a very large percentile distribution.