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Quantitative Portion of the GRE

Posted on February 7th, 2013 by Jenny Frankel

exam80699889As part of the application process for a degree in math, international students who are interested in attending a graduate program in the U.S. will often have to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The GRE consists of three parts: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. Unsurprisingly, the most important section for math majors is the quantitative portion of the GRE. This not to say that students should not strive to get high scores on the other portions of the exam; high scores overall are greatly beneficial to students applying to graduate school. However, the quantitative portion of the GRE is of central importance.

The Parameters

The quantitative portion consists of two sections of 20 questions. Students will have 35 minutes to complete each section. There might also be an unidentified quantitative practice section, which does not count towards a student’s overall score. The testing service includes this section for its own purposes, but students will not know which if any section of their exams are for practice only, so they should treat all sections as if they will count toward their overall scores.

Some questions will be multiple choice which require one to select the best answer, while others will involve entering a numerical solution to a problem. Let us look at what types of questions one can expect.

Types of Questions

There are a number of different types of questions in the quantitative portion of the GRE. They are intended to test one’s basic abilities in the areas of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and data analysis. Students will be expected to be able to perform elementary operations on algebraic formula, understand ratios, utilize the properties of right triangles, and demonstrate an understanding of basic statistics, such as how to calculate the mean and median of a collection of numbers. Students can practice for this portion of the exam by studying these areas.

Written by Jenny Frankel

Jennifer is the Director of Financial Services at Envisage International. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Florida where she holds a Masters in International Business and a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She has lived and worked abroad in Chile, Costa Rica and London, and traveled extensively in South America, Europe and Asia.

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