Last Updated: March 14, 2021
How to Ace the GRE Quantitative Section?
The GRE Quant Section tests fundamental mathematics skills, the capability to grasp and interpret data from charts, and the ability to apply logical skills to solve problems. With a little practice, hard work, and patience you can get a perfect score.
Acing the quantitative section includes an in-depth study of mathematical content that is not restricted to an advanced level. According to ETS, a mathematical exam can be considered tough even if it only deals with basic foundational math that is generally overlooked. Students should then prepare themselves with the concepts that they have been exposed to from their school days rather than learn advanced math seriously for this section.
Areas of Concern for GRE Quant Section
The questions that are asked in this section are mostly in the format of word problems which are either set in a real-world situation or in a mathematical situation. The skill that has to be developed is to translate the word problems into mathematical figures and graphs that can help the student solve the problem easily.
The GRE Quant Section concentrates primarily on 4 major areas namely
- Arithmetic: integers, numbers, root, ratio, arithmetic operations, exponents, percentage, sequences, etc
- Algebra: linear, quadratic equations, coordinate geometry, slopes of lines, equations, etc
- Geometry: Area, perimeter, volume, polygons, similar figures, Pythagorean theorem, angle measurement, etc.
- Data analysis: mode, mean, median, charts, probability, permutations, combinations, frequency distribution, etc
How to Score in the Arithmetic Section?
- Understanding the number family such as prime, positive, negative, even, and odd numbers are the key to scoring in Arithmetic.
- Familiarity with elementary mathematics such as ratios, decimals, percentages, probability, etc. could be established through preparative materials such as Kaplan's Maths Guide and workbooks.
- The various rules associated with logical reasoning could be written down and reviewed periodically as logical reasoning always has the upper hand in solving these problems more efficiently when compared to formulas.
- Practice should be initiated with simple questions followed by challenging problems.
- Students often consider mathematics to be the easiest section, but small mistakes can make a dent in the score. Use the time allotted to understand the language and go through all answer choices.
How to Score in the Algebra Section?
- Basic algebra concentrates on variable manipulations and simplifying equations.
- Learning Algebra requires a specific amount of knowledge in arithmetic. Thoroughly refresh arithmetic knowledge before approaching this section.
- Focus on the three types of factoring along with expanding and simplifying algebraic expressions.
- Practice problems of equations with exponents, fractions, square roots, and absolute values.
- Scratch paper must be used to solve these problems rather than attempting to solve them mentally. This technique avoids confusion and increases speed.
- Changing signs are the areas of common mistakes to look out for in Algebra. Continuous practice and a clear understanding of concepts can resolve these problems.
How to Score in the Geometry Section?
Students can master primary knowledge in geometry by going through planar geometry involving lines, angles, and basic shapes.
Geometric formulas for basic calculations should be memorized.
Learn both coordinate geometry and solid geometry.
Brush up that knowledge on the Pythagorean Theorem.
Concepts on proofs, trigonometry, and radians are not part of GRE Quant. So skip those topics.
Diagrams must always be constructed for these types of questions. Illustrations are always a shortcut to solving geometry problems efficiently in lesser time than required.
How to Score in the Data Analysis Section?
- Data Analysis includes questions from statistics involving mean, median, mode, frequency distributions, charts, tables, and graphs.
- Tackling these questions begin with scanning through the presented data to get a fundamental idea and focusing only on the conditions required for answering the questions.
- It is mandatory to keep an eye open to characteristics such as axes of graphs, units of measurements, and orders of magnitude to avoid standard conversion errors.
- The more they practice, the better are the chances of scoring in these questions.
Scoring 166+ in the Quant Section
Most of the students taking the GRE General Test score an average of 160 in the Quantitative section. In this scenario, it is always the 1 or 2 points that one can earn which causes a huge difference in the final grade. Acing the test would imply gaining a score above 165 in the section which is the only definitive part of the test.
Considering that the other two sections are based on language skills and cannot have fixed scores despite preparing for them, it is always the quantitative section scores that students rely on. Most of the questions in this section focus on high-school math and hence scoring becomes relatively easy.
To receive that final few scores that can boost one’s grade, one should prepare for the multiple-choice multiple-answer questions which can prove to be tricky when compared to the rest. Students can lose their score if they miss marking even one right answer from the different correct answers provided. This will require strong foundational knowledge of arithmetic and algebra to ensure that one doesn’t miss even one right option from those available.
Also, acing the test implies creating lesser careless mistakes during the test. Copy the numbers and figures right and always figure out the content of the word problems without jumping to conclusions.
General Prep Tips
- Sample tests must be continuously taken to get acquainted with the question types and the time that you could afford to spend over each.
- Keep tracking your tests for the questions which you get wrong, spend more time practicing those questions.
- Limit the number of steps used to solve each problem. Resort to shortcuts wherever possible.
- Attempt the Data Analysis questions after the other topics since they take up lesser time.
- Scratch paper must be used if one has opted for the paper-based test to minimize errors and to avoid confusion. Drawing figures and converting word problems into arithmetic or algebraic representations will also aid the student in minimizing mistakes.
- If one has applied for the computer-based test instead of paper-and-pencil, ensure that they practice on an online platform to get acquainted with the system. Use a computer-based calculator as well to mimic the online GRE test.