GRE Sample MathTest Questions: Comparing Quantities
About onethird of the GRE math questions are Quantitative Comparisons (QC), with plenty of traps to trip you. A QC question shows two quantities, intuitively labeled Quantity A and Quantity B. The quantities can be numbers, variables, equations, words, figures, and so on. Your job is to compare the quantities and determine whether one is greater, they’re equal, or the relationship can’t be determined from the information provided.
Sample questions
For the following questions, choose from these answer choices:
(A) Quantity A is greater.
(B) Quantity B is greater.
(C) The two quantities are equal.
(D) The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Given the equation,
what is the relationship between quantity x and quantity y?
Questions 2 and 3 are based on the following information:
Square ABCD is in the xycoordinate plane, and each side of the square is parallel to either the xaxis or the yaxis. Points A and C have coordinates (–2, –1) and (3, 4), respectively.



n > 0
Answers and explanations

D.
If you chose Choice (B), then you fell for the trap. Just because
doesn’t mean that x = 2 or y = 3. They could be 20 and 30, for example. Or x and y could also be negative, such as –2 and –3.

A.
Draw the xycoordinate plane and place the points A and C as directed. These are two points of the square, and you know they’re the opposite corners because the question tells you the sides of the square are parallel to the axes. Measure the width and height and multiply for an area of 25. (Or to save time, you can measure the width or the height and then square that value to find the answer, because the width and height of a square are equal.)

C.
Drawing a line from point A to point C splits the square into two 454590 triangles. The side ratio of this triangle is
so if two of the sides are 5, then the hypotenuse is

D.
If n equals 2, then Quantity A is greater; if n equals
then Quantity B is greater. All you know is that n is positive, not whether it’s an integer or a fraction that’s less than 1.