What is GRE?

GRE stands for Graduate Record Exam. It is basically a test which is taken by students all over
the world in order to get admission in national and international universities for higher education. Students who
are interested to pursue Masters and even Doctoral degrees in various fields like Business, Biological Science,
Engineering, etc. are supposed to take this test.

If you’re planning to sit in the GRE general exam and are wondering about the ways to prepare for the Quantitative
section of GRE, then we’re here to help you out. Here in this article, we would have a detailed discussion on the
Quant, i.e. GRE Math section and clear all your doubts.

Skills which GRE Math Intend to Measure

Students who are planning to do their graduation or post-graduation in reputed universities generally take-up the
GRE exam. Hence the Quantitative section of GRE exam intends to measure a student’s basic problem solving skills,
their understanding of the rudiments of mathematics and obviously their ability to solve problems quickly by using
proper formulations and tricks and their potentiality to apply the mathematical concepts logically.

Level of Math in GRE Exam

The level of questions in the GRE math section is of very basic type. The syllabus is limited to the sums you’ve
practiced in high school. The only difference between the typical high school sums and that of the GRE Quant section
is the difficulty and trickiness. While you could easily score good marks in high school by practicing 2 or 3 types
of sums, for GRE you need to practice thoroughly and rigorously. Until you gain the ability to solve tricky problems
within a short span of time, it is quite impossible to score good marks in GRE.

GRE Quant is Adaptive:

The GRE math section is divided into two sections, with 20 questions each and the time allocated to each section
is 35 minutes. GRE Quant section is adaptive in nature between the sections. That is, the difficulty level of the
second section depends on the performance of the first section. In simple words, if you aim for a perfect score,
then you have to go through a more difficult path in the second section of Quant.To learn more about problem solving strategies for the GRE Math exam, click here.

GRE Quant: Content

The Quant section of GRE comprises of basic questions from the fields of

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Data Analysis


First, let us discuss the topics which you should cover for the Arithmetic questions. As we have already stated,
the GRE Math section aims to test your basic mathematical skills; you should never neglect the basics of Arithmetic.
Topics like

  • Prime numbers
  • Factorization odd and even numbers
  • Divisibility
  • Ratio-proportion-variation
  • Percentage and rate calculation
  • Absolute value determination
  • Number system


Next, we come to the Algebra part. As you may know, Algebra is a vast section of Mathematics. There are innumerable
number of topics in this part; it might not be possible for you to cover all of them, but the topics which you
can never neglect are,

  • Linear and Quadratic Equations
  • Simultaneous Equations
  • Functions
  • Inequalities
  • Roots and surds
  • Exponents
  • Coordinate geometry
    • straight lines
    • slopes
    • parabola-hyperbola-ellipse
    • circle


For the Geometry section, you can hardly skip a topic. You’ll have to cover everything starting from

Lines and Circles

  • Polygons
    • Triangles
    • Quadrilaterals
    • Lot more
  • Three-dimensional figures
  • Pythagoras theorem
  • Angle measurements
  • Mensuration
    • Area
    • Perimeter
    • Volume

Data Analysis:

In Data Analysis section topics include,

  • Statistics:
    • Mean
    • Median
    • Mode
    • Standard deviation
    • Quartiles
    • Percentiles
  • Data Interpretation Set:
    • Interpretation of data in tables
    • Graphs like line graph
    • Bar graph

    The GRE Math section includes a variety of challenging questions, including those on data interpretation. That’s why we’ve created our Introduction GRE Data Interpretation Questions page, where you’ll find helpful tips and strategies for interpreting graphs, tables, and other data sets. With a variety of practice questions, you’ll have ample opportunity to practice your skills and improve your score on the GRE. Our Introduction GRE Data Interpretation Questions page is sure to be immensely beneficial to you, so don’t hesitate to click here and start mastering data interpretation today!

  • Probability:
    • Individual and compound events
    • Random variables
    • Probability distribution
  • Counting methods:
    • Combination and Permutation
  • Venn diagram

GRE Quant: Test Pattern

GRE Quant section consists of four types of question pattern. They are,

Comparison Questions

  • Multiple choice Question – one correct answer
  • Multiple choice Question �” one or more correct answers
  • Numeric entry questions

Comparison Questions

In comparison question type, you will be asked to compare two entities to derive a relationship between them. You
will be given four answer choices and the choices are always standard for all comparison type questions. In other
words, the choice list and the order of the choice list are static.

Sample Question

Quantity A Quantity B
54% of 360 150
  1. Quantity A is greater.
  2. Quantity B is greater.
  3. The two quantities are equal.
  4. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Without doing the exact computation, you can see that 54 percent of 360 is greater than one half of 360, which is
180, and 180 is greater than Quantity B, 150. Thus the correct answer is Choice A; Quantity A is greater.

(This Question is taken from the following URL – https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/comparison/sample_questions)

Cracking Comparison Questions:

  • Don’t waste time in unnecessary calculations. Just simplify and evaluate the value of one or both the numbers.
  • If the comparison is based on a geometrical figure, quickly redraw the figure with the details which are fully
    determined by the information and check what changes happen to the undetermined part.
  • If the comparison is between algebraic equations, quickly substitute comfortable numbers to the variables in the
    equation and then compare the results.
  • If finding a relation between two algebraic or arithmetic expressions seems difficult, then first simplify them
    as much as possible and then try to compare.

More Comparison Sample Questions

Are you struggling with GRE comparison problems? You’re not alone. Many test-takers find these questions to be among the most challenging on the exam. That’s why we’ve created our Sample GRE Comparison Problems page, which is packed with practice questions and detailed explanations to help you improve your skills. Whether you’re looking to fine-tune your approach to comparison problems or just want to get a better handle on this part of the GRE, our Sample GRE Comparison Problems page is sure to be immensely beneficial to you. So why wait? Click here to access our Sample GRE Comparison Problems page and start improving your skills today!

Multiple Choice Questions (one correct answer)

This type is a simple Multiple Choice Question, where there will be one correct answer in the choice list and you
have to find it. You will be given five choices.

Sample Question

A car got 33 miles per gallon using gasoline that cost $2.95 per gallon. Approximately what was the cost, in dollars,
of the gasoline used in driving the car 350 miles?

  1. $10
  2. $20
  3. $30
  4. $40
  5. $50

Scanning the answer choices indicates that you can do at least some estimation and still answer confidently. The
car used (350/ 33) gallons of gasoline, so the cost was Open parenthesis, (350/33)(2.95) dollars. You can estimate
the product (350/ 33)(2.95) by estimating (350/ 33) a little low, 10, and estimating 2.95 a little high, 3, to
get approximately (10)( 3)=30 dollars. You can also use the calculator to compute a more exact answer and then
round the answer to the nearest 10 dollars, as suggested by the answer choices. The calculator yields the decimal
31.287… which rounds to 30 dollars. Thus the correct answer is Choice C, $30.

(This Question is taken from the following URL – https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/multiple_choice_one/sample_questions)

Cracking Multiple Choice Questions-(One Correct Answer)

Try elimination method to reject the choices that seem totally irrelevant quickly.

  • For algebraic and arithmetic equations, you can Simply substitute the answer choices one by one in the equation
    and find the right answer.
  • Pay attention to the units as sometimes there may be a trap in the answer choices.
  • The right answer may be in decimals or as a whole number or a fraction. So be quick to convert your answer to
    required form and find its nearest possible choice.

Multiple Choice Questions (one or more correct answers):

These are also multiple choice questions with one or more than one correct answers in the choice list. You have
to find all correct answers in the choice list or sometimes a specific number of correct answers if specified in
the question. There is no credit for partially correct answers.

Sample Question

Which of the following integers are multiples of both 2 and 3?

Indicate all such integers.

  1. 8
  2. 9
  3. 12
  4. 18
  5. 21
  6. 36

You can first identify the multiples of 2, which are 8, 12, 18 and 36, and then among the multiples of 2 identify
the multiples of 3, which are 12, 18 and 36. Alternatively, if you realize that every number that is a multiple
of 2 and 3 is also a multiple of 6, you can identify the choices that are multiples of 6. The correct answer consists of Choices C (12), D (18) and F (36).

(This Question is taken from the following URL – https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/multiple_choice_more/sample_questions)

Cracking Multiple Choice Questions-(One or More Correct Answers)

Check whether the number of right answers to be chosen is specified in the question. This may save your time. If
there is no specification, you have to find all the possible right answers.

Remember, sometimes there may be only one right answer in the choice list. This type of question and choice list
can easily make you fit in the trap or waste your time too much.

Numeric Entry Questions

In this section, you won’t find answer choices, and you need to type the correct answer in a box. There will be
a single box if the answer is an integer or a decimal and two boxes if the answer is a fraction. Rounding off should
be done if specified.

Sample Questions

One pen costs $0.25 and one marker costs $0.35. At those prices, what is the total cost of 18 pens and 100 markers?


Multiplying $0.25 by 18 yields $4.50, which is the cost of the 18 pens; and multiplying $0.35 by 100 yields $35.00,
which is the cost of the 100 markers. The total cost is, therefore, $4.50+ $35.00=$39.00. Equivalent decimals,
such as $39.5 or $39.500, are considered correct. Thus the correct answer is $39.50 (or equivalent).

(This Question is taken from the following URL – https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/numeric_entry/sample_questions)

Cracking Numeric Entry Questions

  • Pay attention to labels given before or after the answer box as they may indicate the format of answer you need
    to enter.
  • Pay attention to the degree of accuracy you are directed to round-off the answer. If not specified enter the exact
  • As there is no choice list to confirm your answer, always double check your computations and if possible solve
    it with an alternate method to be sure.

Data Interpretation Set:

Questions from the section of Data Analysis may appear individually separate and distinct or as a set of questions
based on a group of data. This pattern is called Data Interpretation questions. Data Interpretation Set questions
may be based on a set of data from a table or a graph or a statistical chart.These type of questions may fall either
into multiple choice type or numeric entry type.

Sample Question

Annual Percent Change in Dollar Amount of Sales at Five Retail Stores from 2006 to 2008 :

Store Percent Change from 2006 to 2007 Percent Change from 2007 to 2008
P 10 -10
Q -20 9
R 5 12
T 17 -8

If the dollar amount of sales at Store P was $800,000 for 2006, what was the dollar amount of sales at that store
for 2008?

  1. $727,200
  2. $792,000
  3. $800,000
  4. $880,000
  5. $968,000

If the dollar amount of sales at Store P was $800,000 for 2006, then it was 10 percent greater for 2007, which is
110 percent of that amount, or $880,000. For 2008 the amount was 90 percent of $880,000, which is $792,000. The correct answer is Choice B, $ 792,000.

Note that an increase of 10 percent for one year and a decrease of 10 percent for the following year do not result
in the same dollar amount as the original dollar amount because the base that is used in computing the percentage
is $800,000 for the first change but $880,000 for the second change.

(This Question is taken from the following URL – https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/quantitative_reasoning/data_interpretation/sample_questions)

Cracking Data Interpretation Set:

  • Stay focused only on the part which you have to solve and information regarding it.
  • There may be too many information present in the question which may not be needed to solve the problem. Focusing
    on all given information can confuse or waste your time.

Breaking the Barrier: Word Problems

One of the most important parts of GRE Quant, which is often dreaded by the students is the word problems of Algebra.
But in reality, they are not that hard and can fetch you good marks once you apply the right tricks. For word problems,
it is very important that you read the problem carefully. Without reading it, you won’t be able to figure out the
process in which you should carry on.

Most of the algebraic word problems are need to be started by picking up a variable and forming the right equation.
Once the equation is formed, there is nothing much left to do. But don’t just rush to form the equation until you
collect all data. For that, it is advised to write down all the relevant data provided to you in the sum. The variable
which you would assume is the one (or more than one) entity which needs to be found out. It won’t be ascertained
with a quantity. The common word problems in GRE math comes from topics like time and distance, percentage, age,
cost and profit etc. Make sure you practice these parts thoroughly.

Special Tips for Statistics:

The level of GRE Statistics questions in GRE is not very hard and can be solved easily if you practice smartly.
Here I’m providing some free URLs to GRE statistics sample questions and formulas. Hopefully, they would help you
in preparing for the Statistics questions in a better way.

Statistics Formula Flash Cards

Statistics GRE Math Questions

Cracking overall GRE Quant:

Choose right preparation materials.

  • Evaluate a study plan with respect to time period you are left with.
  • Get familiar with basic formulas and conventions.
  • Take practice tests regularly and focus on the areas where you seem weak. Timed practice tests will help you to
    get used to the time management.
  • Get used to all types of expected question formats.

How to Choose Right Preparation Books:

Following are the factors which you must take into account before you buy yourself a proper practice book for GRE

  1. A proper GRE practice book should maintain the standard and pattern of the GRE questions. Honestly, if you buy
    a GRE prep book which covers question patterns of other tests, it is of no use to you, no matter how good the
    book is.
  2. The book should explain each and every problem in an elaborate way. Just solving a problem in two lines is definitely
    not going to help the test takers. If the book contains a proper study plan and time management strategies, then
    that would be an additional bonus.
  3. Finally, the book should have enough number of practice sets so that the test takers can perform tons of tests
    before they actually sit for the exam.

Best GRE Math Books: Recommended

    1. Magoosh ($14.24) �” Magoosh is a California based publishing house which has been bringing books on GRE and SAT
      exams for a long time. This book would help you in preparing all the sections of GRE as well as help you in coming
      up with various exam strategies. Add to that they have their own app and online practice tests to help you further.
      But some users claim that this book lacks a bit when it comes to explaining the solutions properly. You can buy
      this book from Amazon.
    2. ETS ($17.40) �” ETS offers several books to the GRE test takers; the speciality of these books is they come with
      exam guides and CDs which let the examinees take online tests. But some test takers find it too difficult to
      understand the explanations given in these books. You can buy their book from Amazon.
    3. Manhattan ($20.52) �” At an affordable price, this book is quite a hit among the GRE examinees due to its extensive
      set of resources when it comes to the GRE exam. This book elaborates each unit of the GRE math section and is
      available on Amazon in various price ranges. While a few examinees find this book and its formatting a bit confusing, most of the
      test takers are thoroughly satisfied with this book.

Also, there are ample numbers of free GRE Tests available on the internet which you can try to sharp-up your skills.

How to Choose a Study Plan:

This question is a bit difficult to answer as it depends on a number of factors. GRE math syllabus is largely based
on the syllabus of your high school. So, if you’re fresh from school, then it might be easier for you to crack
the Math section. Also, it depends on your problem solving speed. On an average, a student should at least take
a period of 3 months to prepare.

There are various online GRE prep courses to help you out. But the GRE math prep course from Khan Academy is possibly
the best one as it covers all the parts of GRE math methodically. Here we’re providing some URLs to various online
GRE math prep courses. The duration of these courses varies from 1 month to 3 months to 6 months.


For more comprehensive tips and strategies specifically tailored for the GRE Math section, be sure to check out our GRE Math Tips. This page offers a comprehensive list of tips and techniques that can help you improve your score on the Math section. Whether you’re a recent high school graduate or someone who has been out of school for a while, these tips can be immensely helpful in preparing for the test. Click here to access the GRE Math Tips Page and start improving your skills today.

Formulas and Conventions

There are tons of formulas which you need to keep track of, if you’re thinking of appearing for the GRE. But here
we’re listing only those set of formulas which are an integral part of the GRE examination:

    1. Circles (Let r=radius and d=diameter)

Area: A=π r^2Circumference: C: π2r or πd

    1. Squares (Let s=side length)

Area: s2
Perimeter: 4s

    1. Rectangles (Let L=length and W=width)

Area: L x W
Perimeter: 2L + 2W

    1. Triangles (Let b=base and h=height)

Area: 1/2bh

    1. Trapezoids (a=top parallel side, b=bottom parallel side, h=height)

Area: (a+b)/2 x h

    1. Slope

y=mx + b

The steepness of a line on the coordinate plane can be calculated using the slope formula. The b is where the
line crosses the y-axis and is called the “y-intercept.” The x and y can be any point along the line; you’ll
always have these three numbers. Simply solve for y to get your m.

    1. Distance, rate, time


    1. Interest rate

Simple interest is the type of interest where the rate of growth is always applied to the original principal.
Let p=principal, r=rate, and t=time

V=P [1+(r/100n)]

Compound interest is when the rate of growth is applied to the current principal. Let n=number of times compounded

V=P [1+(r/100n)]^nt

If you’re planning to get a decent score in the GRE Math section, don’t even think of sitting for the exam without memorizing these basic formulas.

(These Formulas are taken from the following URL – https://gre.economist.com/gre-advice/gre-quantitative-section/overview-gre-math/most-important-gre-math-formulas)

To delve deeper into the formulas and equations tested on the GRE, we have two comprehensive resources: GRE Formulas and GRE Equations. These pages provide detailed explanations of each formula and equation, along with examples and practice questions. By using these resources, you can gain a better understanding of the concepts and boost your chances of success on the GRE Math section.

To access GRE Formulas and GRE Equations, simply click on the links provided. The ‘GRE Formulas’ page covers the formulas mentioned in this section in more detail, as well as additional formulas related to geometry, trigonometry, and algebra. On the other hand, the ‘GRE Equations’ page covers the different types of equations tested on the GRE, including linear, quadratic, and exponential equations. Both pages offer valuable insights and practice opportunities to help you excel on the GRE Math section.


Conventions are assumptions to be considered while solving mathematical concepts. The assumptions about geometric
figures, numbers, quantities, etc. in GRE Quant is conventional to the high school level.

Some Examples:


All numbers are Real Numbers.
Prime number is an integer > 1
One dozen=12


|x|=absolute value of x; Q || R=lines Q and R are parallel

Algebraic equations are to be solved in the
Order Of Operations.


All figures are assumed to lie on the same plane, unless specified.
Geometrical figures are not drawn to scale

Data Analysis:

Bar graphs, circle graphs, line graphs are all drawn to scale.

IF E and F are two events and they are mutually exclusive, then P(E and F)=0

To know more about mathematical conventions, click here https://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_math_conventions.pdf

Why should you take the GRE Practice tests?

Taking the practice tests is important because they help the test takers in getting familiar with the GRE Math question
pattern and the syllabus. Also, the potential examinees can be habituated with the usage of online calculators
and practice their time management skills.