It is a known fact that the GRE test-takers from India, with their ingenious knowledge in Mathematics, have an edge over the others in acing the Quant section. Only a small percentage of the students struggle to score well in this Section. While a considerable amount of effort is required to push the Quant score beyond 160, it takes perseverance, planning and practice to score a perfect 170. That said, it is also important not to underestimate the Quant questions.
As we know, the Quantitative Reasoning section tests the student on four major topics: Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry and Data Interpretation. It is necessary to keep in mind that the section is not designed to test your knowledge on various formulae and concepts but to gauge how well you critically interpret the given problem and arrive at the right solution.
In the webinar at Galvanize Test Prep this week, our Quant Expert Sowmya Subraminiam, alumna of IIT-Madras and San Jose` State University, compiled a set of useful tips to achieve a perfect 170 in the GRE Quant. These are given below:
- Avoid calculation mistakes
- Avoid conceptual mistakes
- Meet every itinerary on the checklist given
- Practice until you can solve a problem upside down
- Learn from your mistakes and never repeat
Avoid Calculation Mistakes:
The GRE is a time-bound exam. Each Quant section is timed for 35 minutes and has 25 questions. So, you are left with less than a minute to solve each question. Also, the test is a potpourri of different types of problems; including the ones you are comfortable with and the ones that you are not!
When you get a problem belonging to a topic that you are not comfortable with, you could get nervous and make small calculation mistakes. Knowing your vulnerability, ETS would have cleverly included the obvious-but-wrong answer as one of the options. Some of the most common calculation mistakes that students do are:
- Not reading the question properly and MISINTERPRETING the question
- Calculating what is NOT asked
- Not following the correct method
- Not using the right formula
- Errors in Rounding- off
So, make sure to stay calm and solve every problem step by step to avoid calculation mistakes.
Avoid Conceptual Mistakes
Conceptual mistakes tend to occur in three topics: Geometry, Data analysis and Data Interpretation. A conceptual mistake, as the name suggests, occurs when you’ve understood the concept wrong. In most cases, especially in the questions on Geometry, students tend to interpret or assume values from the image given. But, one must take care to note down the values, if and only if the values are mentioned in the problem.
For example, if two similar triangles are given and you are required to find angle X; given the value of angle Y of the other triangle, then, while applying any of the rules of the similar triangles, you should not assume that the angle is 90 degree or 60 degree, just by looking at the picture.
Meet every itinerary on this checklist
To ease the process of avoiding mistakes while taking the GRE Quant, we have come up with a golden checklist. You can ensure that you meet all of the points while taking your practice tests so that it becomes a habit to naturally follow them in the actual GRE.
- Practice Time Management
- Read the question properly
- Implement ZONEF, PIES
- Apply shortcuts & go for approximations (wherever applicable)
- Back substitute in MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) and MAQs(Multiple Answer Questions)
- Mark all the correct answers in MAQs
- In Data interpretation, pay attention to units and scales. Look above and below the graph keenly for values in x and y axis.
- Stick to our study plan and take at least 5 Mock Tests
- Review your mistakes in each Mock Test and avoid them
- Maintain a pocket notebook of formulae and shortcuts for the last minute perusal.
Practice until you can solve a problem upside down
It is true that practice makes a man perfect. So, the amount of effort you put in to practice for your GRE Quant will turn out to be fruitful on the exam day. If you are unsure of how much to practice, then practice until you are thorough and you can solve any problem upside down.
Learn from your mistakes and never repeat
After each practice test that you take, spend time on analysing the results of the test. Pay attention to the sections where you have lost marks and try to improve on them. If you are able to solve a particular topic quickly and correctly, note them down, so that in the GRE you can attempt these questions first and save time for the tougher ones.
Remember that cracking your Quant section with a perfect 170 is neither improbable nor impossible. Watch the webinar recording here to know more about the ZONEF & PIES techniques and acing the GRE.