The quantitative reasoning section measures the ability of the student to reason quantitatively and the ability to solve problems using quantitative methods. This section also tests the understanding of basic arithmetic, algebra and other math concepts.
Questions in the Quantitative Reasoning Section are a combination of pure maths-based questions and some real-life scenario-based questions where you can analyse an issue and apply mathematical skills for problem solving.
How many Quantitative Reasoning Section(s) are there in the GRE? What is the structure/format of the Quantitative Reasoning Section in the GRE?
The Computer-delivered GRE general test is a sectional adaptive test. This means that the performance on the first quantitative section shall determine the level of questions in the second quantitative section. The first section assesses a student’s mathematical aptitude at a broader level, whereas the second section determine a student’s quantitative aptitude on a scale of 130 to 170.
There are two sections of 20 questions that are 35 minutes each in the Quantitative Reasoning. Remember that the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section can be tricky. Most students think that they can make a perfect score of 170 but it is not as easy as they think. The average GRE score is usually between 150 – 152 for the GRE Quantitative Reasoning Section.
What are the different types of questions in the GRE Quantitative Section?
The quantitative section consists of questions based on Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Data Analysis. Within each there are sub-topics that cover the area of questions that come in the Quantitative Section, they are:
Arithmetic: Integers, Fractions, Exponents & Roots, Decimals, Real Numbers, Ratio and Percentages.
Algebra: Operations with Algebraic Expressions, Rules of exponents, Solving Linear Equations, Solving Linear Inequalities, Functions, Graph of Functions, Coordinate Geometry and Solving Quadratic Equations.
Geometry: Lines & Angels, Polygons, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, 3D Figures & Circles
Data Analysis: Graphical & Numerical methods for describing data, Counting Methods, Probability, Distribution of Data and Data Interpretation Examples.
These subject questions are categorised into two i.e. Quantitative Comparisons and Problem-Solving Questions, within the problem-solving questions you will get questions which are either one answer choice, one or more answer choice, multiple choice or numeric entry questions.
What should be my strategy to prepare for the GRE Quantitative Section?
The ETS (Educational Testing Service) GRE test is a Multi-Stage Test, which means that it will first have the Quantitative Ability Section, containing mostly medium-difficulty level questions. The difficulty level of questions in the second Quantitative Ability Section varies as per a student's performance in the previous section. For instance, if you perform well enough or on an above average level in the first Quantitative Ability Section, then the second Quantitative Ability Section may have all high-difficulty questions.
On the other hand, if you perform below average in first Quantitative Ability Section, then the Quantitative Ability Section may have all medium or low-difficulty questions. This holds true for the Verbal Reasoning section as well.
The unscored section that is a part of the GRE could either be an additional section of Verbal or Quantitative but not analytical writing.
It is very important for students to get familiar with the format of the test and particularly the quantitative section, so the first step ideally should be to give a couple of practice tests or look at resource that specifically talk about the question types such as quantitative comparison questions, data interpretation questions etc., that come in the quantitative section. If you are familiar with the format and the questions that are easier for you to solve, it helps in preparing a strategy of the order in which you will attempt the questions. Students have confidence knowing that there is a particular type of question that they are good at and are more likely to give the correct answer very quickly.
Once that is done, student should list down the scores required for the universities or colleges that they are interested in. This would help set a target or a goal and the prep for the exam can be done accordingly.
Once the target is clear it is best to give a practice test to know where you stand or perform, before you start the actual prep. This will also give you an opportunity to assess what your strengths and weaknesses are within the quant section and make a study plan accordingly. There are many free GRE tests available online. The idea is to then consistently practice these areas and progress to a higher difficulty level once you get a familiar with a particular kind of questions with a particular difficulty level. GRE practice questions are useful tool to make a study plan for your test prep. It will give you an idea of your strengths and weaknesses. This holds true for the verbal section as well as the analytical writing section.
There are many strategies to tackle the quantitative section, these include pacing yourself during the exam, skipping the difficult questions and answering the ones that you know first and then coming back to the difficult ones. This will help you manage your time better.
It is also important for students to learn from the mistakes they made in their practice exams, the idea is to understand why the mistakes were made and then being able to resolve the issue.
The most important part of preparing for the GRE Quantitative section is to follow the three steps below:
- Revise the basic formulae needed for GRE Quant
- Keep practicing the difficult GRE Quant questions
- Understand common hacks for solving the GRE Quant section
As a part of your GRE prep, it is also important for you to get familiar with the online calculator and its functions, for the computer delivered GRE test, you will get an online calculator so it is important to be aware of the functionality of it in order to manage time efficiently.
Get in touch with our representatives to know about more tips and study techniques to tackle the quantitative section.