Tips for Mastering the Math Section of the GRE
Part of the The GRE Test For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Success on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Math section has a great deal to do with applying logic and common sense. Following are some tips for how to do your best on this section of the test:
Before you start
Lose the calculator (it’s not allowed). The proctor will provide scratch paper.
Remember that the GRE tests algebra, geometry, and arithmetic, not calculus or trigonometry.
Memorize formulas before you take the test. The GRE doesn’t provide them.
Following are some tips for those tricky Quantitative Comparison questions:
Triple-check your answer before hitting the Confirm button on the computer, because the answers to Quantitative Comparison (QC) questions often aren’t the obvious, first-response answers.
Remember that the answer choices are the same for every question. Choose A if Column A is greater; B if Column B is greater; C if the two columns are equal; and D if insufficient information is given. E is never a choice in the QC-question realm.
If the columns seem to be equal, do the required calculations to prove that they are.
Play the what if game by plugging in 1, then 2, 0, –1, –2, and 1⁄2. If the answer depends on what you plug in for the variable, choose D.
And now for some Problem Solving tips:
Note what the question specifically asks you to find: perimeter, area, length, degree, fraction, percentage, and so on.
Before you begin working on a problem, read the answer choices. You may be able to estimate and answer without working out the solution.
Plug answer choices into the question to see which one works. Do the easy choices first; you may not have to do the hard ones.