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## Tips to Improve Your GRE Quant Section Score

By Niamh Ollerton

Updated October 31, 2018 Updated October 31, 2018We all have our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to academia. Some of us have a greater understanding of qualitative study (the poets), while others thrive in a quantitative environment.

Although some candidates aren’t as confident in the quant reasoning section of the GRE test, it doesn’t mean it has to defeat you. But preparation is key and knowing exactly what you’re up against in the exam will help you get ready for it.

## What you’re up against

Within the Quantitative Reasoning section there are two 35-minute sections, which each contain 20 questions.

This section of the GRE assesses your basic maths skills, understanding of elementary mathematical concepts, ability to reason quantitatively and to model and solve problems with quantitative methods.

Some questions incorporate real-life settings, whereas others are posed in mathematical settings. In fact, many of the questions are ‘word problems,’ which must be translated and modeled mathematically.

## What does the GRE cover?

Students are tested on their skills, abilities and knowledge in:

Luckily for the more poetic candidates, the GRE doesn’t include calculus, trigonometry, or high-level mathematics.

## GRE quant section

Students taking the GRE will face four types of questions in the Quantitative Reasoning section:

Each question appears either independently as a discrete question or as part of a set of questions called a data interpretation set. All questions in a set are based on the same data presented in tables, graphs or other displays of data. For the computer-based test, the calculator is provided on-screen.

The GRE quant section is scored on a 130-170-point scale in one-point increments. It’s also a section-adaptive test, which means your performance on the first 20-question subsection of Quant determines the difficulty of questions in the subsequent 20-question subsection. To earn a score close to 170, you’ll therefore need to access the more difficult second subsection.

## Tips to nail quant reasoning section in GRE

## Quantitative Comparison Questions

You’ll be asked to compare two quantities — Quantity A and Quantity B — and decide whether Quantity A is greater, Quantity B is greater, the two quantities are equal or if the relationship can’t be determined from the information.

TipsSample questionQuantity A: The least prime number greater than 24Quantity B: The greatest prime number is less than 28

ExplanationFor the integers greater than 24: 25, 26, 27, and 28 aren’t prime numbers, but 29 is a prime number, as is 31 and many others. Therefore, 29 is the least prime number greater than 24, and Quantity A is 29.

For the integers less than 28: 27, 26, 25, and 24 aren’t prime numbers, but 23 is a prime number, as is 19 and other lesser integers. Therefore, 23 is the greatest prime number less than 28, and Quantity B is 23.

The correct answer is Choice A, Quantity A is greater.

## Multiple-choice Questions — Select One Answer Choice

TipsRemember the answer is there. If your answer isn’t included in the five answer choices, you should assume your answer is incorrect and do the following:

Sample questions1) If 5x + 32 = 4 – 2x what is the value of x?ExplanationSolving the equation for x, you get 7 x = -28, and so x = - 4. The correct answer is Choice A, - 4.

2) Which of the following numbers is farthest from the number 1 on the number line?ExplanationCircling each of the choices in a number line sketch shows that - 10 is the greatest distance from 1.

Another way to answer the question is to remember that the distance between two numbers on the number line is equal to the absolute value of the difference of the two numbers. For example, the distance between -10 and 1 is 11 and the distance between 10 and 1 is nine. The correct answer is Choice A, - 10.

## Multiple-choice Questions — Select One or More Answer Choices

TipsSample questionWhich of the following integers are multiples of both 2 and 3?Indicate all such integers:

ExplanationYou can first identify the multiples of two, which are eight, 12, 18 and 36, and then among the multiples of two identify the multiples of three, which are 12, 18 and 36. If you realize every number that’s a multiple of two and three is also a multiple of six, you can identify the choices that are multiples of six. The correct answer includes choices C (12), D (18) and F (36).

## Numeric Entry Questions

TipsSample questions1) One pen costs $0.25 and one marker costs $0.35. At those prices, what is the total cost of 18 pens and 100 markers?$

ExplanationMultiplying $0.25 by 18 yields $4.50, which is the cost of the 18 pens. Multiplying $0.35 by 100 yields $35.00, which is the cost of the 100 markers. The total cost is therefore $4.50 + $35.00 = $39.50.

Equivalent decimals, such as $39.5 or $39.500, are considered correct. The correct answer is $39.50 (or equivalent).

Rectangle R has length 30 and width 10, and square S has length 5. The perimeter of S is what fraction of the perimeter of R?ExplanationThe perimeter of R is 30 + 10 + 30 + 10 = 80, and the perimeter of S is (4)(5) = 20. Therefore, the perimeter of S is 20/80 of the perimeter of R. Because the fraction doesn’t need to be reduced to lowest terms, any fraction equivalent to 20/80 is also considered correct. For example, both the fractions 2/8 and 1/4 are considered correct. The correct answer is 20/80 (or any equivalent fraction).

This article was originally published in October 2018 .Want more content like this Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.

Written byNiamh was Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.

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