GRE Sample Math-Test Questions: Analyzing Data and Graphs

By Ron Woldoff, Joseph Kraynak

The folks who developed the GRE have included several questions in the math sections of the exam to test your ability to make sense of data presented in tables and graphs. The following examples are similar to what you will find on the exam.

Sample questions

These questions are based on the following data.


  1. Approximately what ratio of examinees taking Test B scored a perfect 300?

    (A) 1 out of 100

    (B) 1 out of 90

    (C) 1 out of 50

    (D) 1 out of 20

    (E) 1 out of 10

  2. If a Test A examinee is among a group of 40,000 examinees with the same score, what could be the examinee’s score?

    (A) 20

    (B) 40

    (C) 90

    (D) 180

    (E) 210

  3. A Test A examinee improving his score from 100 to 120 surpasses approximately how many other examinees?

    (A) 40,000

    (B) 80,000

    (C) 150,000

    (D) 240,000

    (E) 300,000

Answers and explanations

  1. D.

    The table shows that on Test B, a score of 300 placed the examinee in the 94th percentile ranking. This means that the examinee scored higher than 94 percent of the other examinees. Therefore, 5 percent of the examinees, or 1 out of every 20 examinees, scored 300.

  2. E.

    In the first graph, the line for Test A examinees crosses the 40,000 line at two points: 30 and 210. However, 30 isn’t an answer choice, so if you chose Choice (A) or (B), you fell for the trap of not looking far enough on the chart. This examinee could also have a score of 210, which is an answer choice and the correct answer. Choice (C), 90, is the group of 40,000 like scorers on Test B, another trap. Choice (D), 180, is the score at which the two testing trend lines cross.

  3. C.

    Using the line chart, you see that approximately 70,000 examinees scored 100 and 80,000 scored 110. By jumping from 100 to 120, the examinee surpasses about 70,000 + 80,000 = 150,000 examinees. Note that the graph label says that the test scores are in “increments of 10,” so you know that no one scored, say, 105 or 109. You only need to account for students with scores of 100 and 110.