If you are here to read this article, it could mean two things –
Either ways, we will provide you with all the information that we know about how important the math formulas are and where you should be ideally looking for them.
GRE’s quantitative reasoning section comprises of four main areas – Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra and Data analysis questions. Each area comprises of many sub-areas that you should concentrate on. For example, Algebra alone covers about 11 sub-areas, enough to make your head go spinning if you did not put your best efforts on them. On the other hand, if you are open to relearning those areas that you might have forgotten from the high school exams, this should come as a “No big surprise, I am game!” from your heart.
Preparing for it is no rocket science; but it is imperative that you have a strong hold on the basics of mathematics that you have studied until the high school; surely it is not very difficult, is it? If you are a “less than average student” on mathematical skills, you do have to put your best on preparation because this is one section that will help you score your best, this is also one section that could boost your total score! With enough preparation, you can score very well in this section due to which the competition to score high in this section is also equally high.
When you begin your preparation from the scratch, the best place to look for the math formulas is your school books! There is no question which will appear in the GRE test that would use the formula you did not learn until your high school. When it is that easy, then why are there so many prep courses for quantitative reasoning section, you might wonder. The prep courses and tutors teach you not just the math formulas; but also how best you can use several shortcuts in mathematical formula to make best use of the limited available time in the test.
When we are looking at the best places to look for math techniques, the next hub for information after your school books is ETS. ETS being the administrators of GRE test, they provide you with basic math conventions that you should be aware of while preparing for the test. They have a separate webpage (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning) with documentation on the formulas review and conventions that could be downloaded and studied at your own convenience. The webpage also details on the sub-areas in quantitative reasoning section that you should cover while preparing for the test.
The revised version of GRE test no longer emphasises your computation skills. You are provided with an on-screen calculator. The below webpage in the ETS website (www.ets.org) provides you with simple tips while using an on-screen calculator.http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/calculator/
Reading this will help you a lot in the sense that you can familiarise yourself on using an on-screen calculator and you do not have to panic in the test centre where you are required to be using the calculator. If you do not spend enough time familiarising yourself with the calculator along with the quantitative section preparation, you will waste time in the test centre, where you ideally should be working on the questions and not familiarising yourself with the calculator!
There are a hundred other places to look for while you are preparing for quantitative reasoning section. All GRE tutors, prep masters and the course materials that they provide for quantitative section cover all the math formulas and techniques that are essential for you to be prepared for the test. Not only do they provide you with formulas, they also provide as many examples, shortcuts and any alternate methods in arriving at the solution quickly. There is no single expert in providing you the formulas and techniques.
If you choose to join a prep course or private tutoring, all your mathematical needs will be fulfilled here. This does not in any sense mean that you can just neglect your basics from your school books! If you take time to do your homework, studying with the tutors / masters will be a cake walk. Otherwise, you might have to take up additional time in learning the math formulas first before you begin the actual course.
If you think self study will help you best and choose not to join any prep course or private tutoring, you can find math formulas and techniques in the GRE guides that you use to prepare for the test. Almost all the prep masters have their own version of guides that you can make good use of. Each book contains illustrations of all math formulas possible with hundreds of practice questions with solutions and even full test practice tests to try out. Some prep masters have separate guides for cracking quantitative reasoning section. Choose the right book when you opt to buy them.
It is also important that you look for math techniques on the internet. Along with the numerous available online resources for GRE preparation, there are many websites that provide you with math techniques and interesting tips to crack the quantitative section. It is best to not take these for granted, you may never know, you could find some very important methods if you keep looking.
The below are a few websites that cover the math formulas of GRE comprehensively. You can make use of them in addition to many other resources you come across.http://www.gremathformulas.com/ http://www.sparknotes.com/testprep/books/gre/chapter2.rhtml http://www.wtamu.edu/academic/anns/mps/math/mathlab/gre/math_help.htm
With all these tips and techniques at hand, you can never go wrong! Not in Quantitative reasoning.