Tackling the GRE Math Section

Tackling the GRE Math (quantitative section) can be a daunting proposition for many test takers. It probably brings back nightmares of your high school calculus and geometry exams. However, the GRE Math is an easier beast to tackle compared to other standardized exams such as the GMAT.

The good news for ‘quantphobics’ is that the GRE quantitative section tests only basic mathematical concepts. If you are clear enough on your mathematical high school concepts, you would be able to sail through this section very easily. Often, the difficulty comes in interpreting the questions which are worded in unfamiliar ways. Thankfully, the GRE also allows you to use a basic calculator during the exams.

The GRE math section tests your:

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  1. Understanding of basic mathematical concepts and skills
  2. Ability to solve problems with quantitative methods

The quantitative section can be divided into four main areas: algebra, geometry, arithmetic and data analysis. Algebra deals with exponents, algebraic expressions, equations and inequalities. Geometry covers areas such as lines, circles, triangles – among other shapes. The arithmetic section presents problems in operations, properties of numbers, factors and powers. Finally, data analysis deals with statistics, interpretation of data, probability, permutations and combinations.

The questions are presented across various formats such as multiple choice, quantitative comparisons, numerical entries and data interpretation. Don’t spend too much type on one question type or quantitative areas. Make sure that you have solved questions across each of the four areas mentioned above.

There are many prep resources that will prepare you for the GRE Math section. Remember that a high score in the quantitative section of the GRE might make all the difference when you apply for your master’s programs. To tackle this section well, it would be a good idea to memorize basic equations and formulae.

We also recommend taking a lot of practice tests for this section. Testing your knowledge under timed conditions will you give you a fair idea of your abilities in this section. Remember that you can do well enough in the math section with some strategic preparation, even if you are not very confident about the section to begin with.

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