GRE quantitative reasoning section, also known as the GRE math section, is a lot easier to manage than the GRE verbal section, and students can definitely get a perfect score in this section. If planned well, getting full in the quantitative section is quite easy. If you are not good with numbers or are confused about what the GRE Quant section is about, this blog is for you.
We have discussed some tips and techniques in this blog which will give you insight into how to improve math GRE score.
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Before we move on to understanding the tips & strategies required to ace the GRE quant section, let us first understand a bit about the GRE Quantitative section.
Overview of GRE Quantitative Reasoning
The quantitative reasoning section tests your ability to solve mathematical problems. The section shows how well you understand, analyze and interpret the problems. To ace this section, you need to know basic mathematics concepts, arithmetic, geometry, data analysis, and algebra skills.
The quantitative reasoning section has a score range of 130 to 170.
Some quantitative reasoning questions are based on real-life settings, while others are purely mathematical. Many questions are word problems, which must be translated and modelled mathematically.
The quantitative reasoning measure has four types of questions which are given below. You can click on the links to see sample questions.
- Quantitative Comparison
- MCQs - select any one answer
- MCQs - select more than one answer
- Numeric Entry Questions
Each question appears either independently or as part of a set of questions called a Data Interpretation set.
You can use a basic calculator during the test. If your test is computer-delivered, the calculator will be given on-screen; if the test is offline, handheld calculators will be provided at the test centre.
Let us look at the quantitative reasoning syllabus before we understand how to improve math GRE scores.
Quantitative Reasoning Syllabus
In the quant section, you will be quizzed on topics from four different sections: arithmetic, algebra, geometry & data analysis. Here are the topics that you will need to study:
- Arithmetic: properties and types of integers (divisibility, factorization, prime numbers, remainders and odd and even integers); arithmetic operations, exponents and roots and concepts (estimation, per cent, ratio, rate, absolute value, the number line, decimal representation and sequences of numbers).
- Algebra: operations with exponents; factoring and simplifying algebraic expressions; relations, functions, equations and inequalities; linear and quadratic equations and inequalities; simultaneous equations and inequalities; setting up equations to solve word problems; and coordinate geometry, including graphs of functions, equations and inequalities, intercepts and slopes of lines.
- Geometry: parallel and perpendicular lines, circles, triangles — including isosceles, equilateral and 30°-60°-90° triangles — quadrilaterals, other polygons, congruent and similar figures, three-dimensional figures, area, perimeter, volume, the Pythagorean theorem and angle measurement in degrees. The ability to construct proofs is not tested.
- Data Analysis: basic descriptive statistics, such as mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation, interquartile range, quartiles and percentiles; interpretation of data in tables and graphs, such as line graphs, bar graphs, circle graphs, boxplots, scatter plots and frequency distributions; elementary probability, such as probabilities of compound events and independent events; conditional probability; random variables and probability distributions, including normal distributions; and counting methods, such as combinations, permutations and Venn diagrams.
These topics are usually taught during high school (10th - 12th grade). You can also use official GRE prep books to study for these topics.
Let us now move on to understanding how to improve GRE math scores.
Top 10 Tips To Improve GRE Quantitative Reasoning Score
One thing to note about GRE quantitative reasoning section is that the questions are very basic, but they are just presented in a way that may be confusing. Therefore, it is important that you stay focused and that you have all your concepts clear.
With that being said, here are some of the tips that will give you insight into how to improve GRE math score:
- Do Not Rush
This is one of the most important tips when it comes to solving the GRE math section. Do not ever rush through the problems. Always stay calm and read & understand the problems very carefully. If you just rush through the questions, the chances of you making a mistake are very high because you may miss out on some important details in the question. Therefore, consider all the little details in the question and then move on to solving the problem this is how you can improve GRE math score.
- Keep an Eye on The Clock
You should not rush through questions, but you cannot spend much time on one question. Always learn to balance your time effectively and allot time slots for all the questions you solve. This is also applicable during your preparation process.
Remember not to spend too much time trying to solve one really difficult question and ignore the easier ones because all the 20 questions in a section have the same weightage.
- Visualise the questions
When you encounter a difficult question on GRE, you can use visualization to solve it. What this means is that you need to picture what you read or draw a rough sketch of your visual on scratch paper. This method will help you simplify the question, and then you will be able to answer it better.
- Process of elimination
When you cannot find the correct answer and are stuck on a question, you can use the process of elimination. In this process, you simply eliminate the options based on how irrelevant or wrong they sound in the context of the given question and then end up with that one option that sounds the least incorrect to you. Then you choose that option and proceed.
- Be careful when making answer choices
Always check if you have marked the correct answer choice. The answer choices may look very similar, and you may get confused. Some questions may also have multiple answers, so selecting only one answer choice will not work. Therefore, you must make sure that you have chosen all the correct answers.
- Answer everything
There is no negative marking on GRE, so ensure you answer everything and do not leave any questions. You can try and make an intelligent guess if you are running out of time. If you are lucky, you may get some points, but if not, you are not going to lose anything because there is no negative marking.
- Simplify the numbers
When you come across numbers with a lot of zeroes at the end, just cancel the zeroes mentally and then try to calculate. You can always add the zeros at the end of the resultant number, and you will get the correct answer.
- Double-check when you come across irrational numbers
When working with irrational numbers, always check if the calculation is right because when you have square roots in the equation, you will need to be careful when squaring them or multiplying them with other equations because there’s always the possibility of making a mistake somewhere.
- Do not mess up calculations
Always pay attention to calculations and make sure you are calculating the right numbers. The chances of making silly mistakes during calculations are a lot.
You also need to learn all the multiplication tables so that you can tackle the calculations effectively and you will not have to waste much time using the calculator.
- Practice a lot
The best way to improve the GRE quantitative score is by practising as much as possible. It is also important that you practice smartly and not solve every question you encounter. Look at what is important and make a proper study plan to study everything correctly. Start your prep early and study smartly.
Also, try to practice difficult sums so you can tackle them in the test.
You can refer to the official GRE prep guide by ETS to get a good idea of the questions you may come across. You can also find various practice test PDFs online, which can be downloaded for free.
Those were the top 10 tips that will help you improve GRE quantitative score.
You must stay calm, alert and patient throughout the test because it is not hard, but if you are not careful, you may lose marks just because of silly mistakes.
Therefore, keep practising a lot, clear all your basic math concepts and start keeping an error log which will help you see a particular pattern in the mistakes you make, and you will be able to address them easily.
Another way where you can track your performance better is with the Yocket GRE Prep tool. This free GRE prep tool helps you undertake quantitative tests and presents a scorecard wherein you understand better where you need to work on. Since our free tool has limited access to the GRE preparation, most students have invested in the premium version, Yocket GRE Prep+. Here students have access to more GRE prep tests, the option to pause and save their test progress during mini and full-length tests, and much more.