The GRE Quantitative (math) section can be a panicky sweat-fest to the unprepared. Don’t get caught with your pants down. Know these three keys that will make the GRE Quantitative section curl up in the fetal position and beg for mercy.
One: Know what to know
In the quantitative section of the GRE there is a lot of very specific (and by “specific” I mean “nit-picky”) material to cover; quadratic expressions, factorials, permutations, geometric progressions, and more. You’ve probably seen most of this material before–maybe not since 6th grade–but still. A little review and practice now can bring it all back.
Bad news: you need to go over a monstrous steaming load of concepts to get ready for the GRE Quantitative. And you need to see how each math concept will actually be tested when it shows up in a GRE quantitative question. Only then can you decide how much time to spend studying and practicing each GRE quantitative concept. This is where a good instructor can save you weeks of woe. The instructor can tell you exactly where to spend your time and, more importantly, where not to spend your time. For example, “Do I need to memorize all the formulas for the volume of 3d objects?” (NO), “Do I need to know how to find the prime factors of 225?” (YES).
Two: Know the GRE Quantitative section’s weak points
A swift kick in the nethers can take down even the most fearsome adversary, and the GRE Quantitative section is no exception. The GRE Quantitative section has oodles of vulnerabilities, if you know where to look. For example, the GRE math answer choices are carefully structured. The GRE ninja-in-the-know will know which answer choices are most likely to be correct before they even read the question.
The GRE master will also know how to maximize their time, when to punt, how to short-circuit the GRE traps, and more. The best GRE prep courses will reveal the GRE’s weak points. Even better, they can give you step-by-step instruction on how to take advantage of those weaknesses.
Third: Know how to prepare
How much time should you spend studying for the GRE math section? What essential prep step do the most math-skilled skip, killing their GRE quant score? Which GRE resources really help you prepare, and which ones will take your time and money and not help at all? An experienced GRE prep coach can give you the answer to all of these questions and more.
Did you know that some of the biggest test prep names in the business put out GRE math practice problems that are utterly worthless? You can spend all day every day from now until test day practicing “GRE math problems” that you’ll never actually see on the real GRE. You can actually pay good money to big-name websites for the privilege of practicing math that is not tested on the GRE.
Get educated on these things now, before you spend gobs of time studying the wrong stuff in the wrong way.
Cody Blair has shown students better ways to beat the GRE for over fifteen years. A National Merit Scholar, former test-prep coordinator for Texas A&M University, and award-winning podcaster, Mr. Blair is a full-time educator living in College Station, Texas. You can find more GRE prep information and study skills at his website, studyprof.com.© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.