The GRE general test is one of the most highly accepted graduate admissions tests worldwide. The test can be used for both graduate school, business school, and even some law schools—measures analytical writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. How you do in the test reflects the thinking you’ll do in professional and graduate schools, including business and law.
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The analytical writing aspect of the test helps to measure your ability to think critically, your analytical writing skills, including your ability to support complex ideas with relevant reasons and evidence. The verbal reasoning aspect measures your ability to analyse and draw motivation from incomplete data, understand multiple levels of meaning and draw conclusions from the discourse. The final section of the test and the one this article is focused on is the quantitative reasoning aspect which measures your ability to solve problems using mathematical models, understand, interpret and analyse quantitative information, and apply arithmetic, geometry and algebra to solve questions.
There are many reasons for wanting to improve your GRE math score. It could be because you’ve written the test before and did poorly in the math section, or because you found from your analysis that math is your weak spot.
But no matter the reason, after reading this article, you’ll be able to do better when next you come across a GRE math test. It is known that people are different, and the same methods and strategies cannot be used for everyone to pass a test or improve in one. The following tips, however, were carefully drawn out to try and help everyone in improving their GRE math score.
Table of Contents
1. Be Confident
Confidence is critical when writing any test, and this is even more so when it comes to the GRE math test. It is essential to keep your composure because even the slightest flicker of fear and uncertainty can cause significant damage to how you go about the rest of your test. So, when preparing and writing your GRE test, be sure to be confident in your ability, and you’ll be surprised how much difference it would make.
2. Practice Test
It is being said countless times that practice makes perfect, and in this case, it is very accurate. Although questions are never repeated in the GRE, practising previous questions is not a futile endeavour because it gives you an idea the types of questions that are set and what to expect when writing the exam. So, practice as much as possible before your examination date, and you’d be good to go.
3. Keep an Error Log When Practicing
Keeping an error log helps you keep track of the mistakes you made while practising, hence ensuring that those mistakes won’t be repeated during the preliminary test.
4. Apply the Pareto Principle
The Pareto principle maintains that 80% of your outcomes come as a result of 20% of the work you put into it. And following this rule for your GRE entails that you prioritise the 20% of factors that will produce the best results. This means that you need to focus on the areas where you can make the most progress in your GRE math test. And to know these areas, you need to practice frequently.
5. Learn the Fundamentals
This particular tip may seem too obvious, but it still most times overlooked by many test candidates. Knowing the fundamentals of mathematics such as exponents, integers, and properties of the triangle can exceedingly help you in doing better in your GRE math section. At the same time, focusing only on the fundamentals can ultimately jeopardise your work.
6. Answer Word Problems Carefully
Word problems are a tricky thing in every math exam. This is because you are not only solving the mathematical problem; you are also solving the English issue. You have to understand the meaning of the literary part of the question to solve the mathematical part. This is why it is crucial to be very careful when answering word problems.
7. Don’t Use More Than Two (2) Minutes on Any Question
It is ubiquitous to be tempted to take your time with a question to get it exactly right, but that is not a good idea. You see, in the quantitative reasoning aspect of the GRE, you’re given about eighty (80) minutes to answer about fifty (50) questions. That gives you barely over one and half minutes per question. Some questions can be straightforward while others can be severe pain, so it is advised never to spend more than two minutes on even the hardest of questions because that could be detrimental to the time you’ll have to finish the rest.
8. Don’t Waste Time on Problematic Questions
As said earlier, you don’t have much time for the exam to begin with, so spending too much time on a problematic question isn’t right for you. It is better to leave the question and answer it with your remaining time when you’re done with the rest than to spend too much time trying to figure the question out. There is every possibility you might not even get the correct answer, which would mean you used the time for nothing.
9. Never Leave a Question Unanswered
If you don’t have a hint as to what the answer to a question might be, it is better to guess wisely than to leave it entirely. Your guess might be correct, giving you an extra point. But leaving it altogether guarantees your losing any chances of getting the point for good. In guessing wisely, you can use the method of elimination. This involves eliminating the answers that seem the most unlikely, leaving you with the most likely correct answer. To do this, though, you have to be extra confident in yourself and your knowledge.
10. Analyse Graphs and Tables Thoroughly
This particular tip is useful for data interpretation questions. Do not rush to answer the problems. Study the titles, labels, units and the general trends of the data beforehand. This will help you understand how the variables interact with each other, and what general conclusions can be drawn from the presented information. Finding the correct answer will be made easier if you already fully grasp the data given.
Writing the quantitative reasoning aspect of the GRE can be scary, and retaking, it can be even more frightening. But as long as you follow these tips (practice very well, save time, analyse your questions well e.t.c) and most importantly trust in all your hard work, and you’ll find that it’s easier than you imagined.