Important Tips For GRE & Common Math Formulas

Tips For GRE:

  • Plan

To be on the top of your game you would need to understand your weaknesses. An arts major may find it difficult to deal with mathematical equations while a science major may find it difficult to deal with verbal reasoning.

Before taking the GRE you must give yourself at least 6-8 months for preparation. Focus on your weaknesses because that is what is going to make the difference. QS LEAP has up to 7000 questions divided into three difficulty levels. You should start with a level you are comfortable with and then move up a difficulty level.

  • Time Management | Be regular

Devote a fraction of your day studying regularly. Never lose touch with a topic for a last minute preparation. Try learning one new word every day to improve your vocabulary. Focus on analogies, antonyms and sentence completion. Go through official test prep material. High school mathematics book provide a great base as GRE test prep material for quantitative aptitude. Create a study schedule for yourself and follow it regularly.

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  • Practice

Practice as many problems and mock-tests as possible. Get used to using on-screen calculator. Assess the complexity of problems you can begin with in both quant and verbal. A practice partner and an instructor are very helpful in dealing with complex problems. Here are individual practice methods you can apply for each section:

  • Analytical Writing: One should regularly read articles, magazines and newspapers to be more comfortable with accurate sentence construction. Think of it as a newspaper article and look for the questions your article wants to answer. Some common questions an article answers are: Where? When? Who or To Whom? What? How? And Why?Be careful of the time. Get used to working under test conditions and time constraints. Brush up your grammar. Understand proper use of tenses, prepositions, punctuations and phrases.
  • GRE Vocabulary Test:
  1. Increase your vocabulary by about 1500 words. Go through GRE high frequency words. Try making a mental map of words that have same meaning (synonyms) or sound same but have different meanings. These words help in test completion and  reading comprehension.
  2. Study qualitatively. Explore common features about the new words you are learning. Common features like meaning of a word, synonyms, antonyms and sentence construction around the word should be of priority.
  3. Get involved in conversation with a qualified GRE instructor to understand complex problems. QS LEAP provides you with highly qualified tutors whom you can ask questions free of cost. You can also participate in online group discussions to understand the solution to your problem comprehensively.
  4. Try solving as many problems as possible within the time constraint. Start with a difficulty level you are comfortable with.
  • Quantitative Reasoning:
  1. Understand properties of important types of number. Most commonly occurring number families are: Integer, Prime, Odd, Even, Negative and Positive.
  2. Familiarise yourself with concepts like Ratios, Decimals, percentages, rates, Permutation and Combinations and Probability.
  3. One must take care of rules while solving inequalities.Some of the common rules where people make mistakes in are:
    1. ) One should change the sign of inequality if you multiply both sides by a negative number. Ex.  if  a > b then -2a < -2b (keep in mind the change in the sign of inequality)
    2. ) Change in sign of equality also occurs when you take reciprocal of both the sides. Ex.  if a > b  then 1/a < 1/b
  4. Practice solving simultaneous equations in two and three variables. Learn about variable manipulation to solve an equation and get to the result.
  5. Go through formulas for volumes and areas of basic geometrical figures. Here is the list of most common ones:-> Area of Triangle = Base * Height /2 = (ref. fig)Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 3.14.12 PM– > (b * a * sinC)/2  = (b * c * sinA)/2 = (c * a sinB)/2-> Area of rectangle = length * Breadth
    -> Area of square = side^2
    -> Area of parallelogram = base * height
    -> Area of Circle = pi * r^2 where pi = 3.14159
    -> Volume of a cone = pi * r^2 * h/3  where r is the radius of base and h is the height of the cone
    -> Lateral surface area of a cone = pi * r * l where l is the slant height of the cone
    -> Total surface area of the cone = lateral surface area + pi * r^2
    -> Volume of cylinder = pi r^2 h
    -> Curved surface area of cylinder = 2 pi r h
    -> Total surface area of cylinder = curved surface area + 2 pi * r^2
    -> Volume of a sphere = (4*pi*r^3)/3
    -> Surface area of a sphere = 4 pi r^2
  6.  In coordinate geometry important concepts include distance formula, section formula area of triangle in a coordinate plane and equation of a straight line. One must familiarise himself/herself with basic properties of these formulas and equations.
  7. Make yourself comfortable with statistics concepts like Mean, Median, Mode, Frequency distribution, Charts and graphs

Remember that hard work has no substitute. You have to devote your time and effort to achieve success. With focused approach targets will be easily achieved. All the best!

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