Ten Simple Ways to Improve Your GRE or GMAT Math Quantitative Score
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Ten Simple Ways to Improve Your GRE or GMAT Math Quantitative Score

10 simple tips for improving your GRE or GMAT quantitative score

With lots of people going back to graduate school, standardized test scores are becoming more important and can serve as a differentiator between you and the next applicant. Let's prepare for success! These are a few simple tips that can aide you in increasing your quantitative score.

Memorize mathematical squares through 25. (Ex. 6^2=36) The more you improve your ability to perform mental math quickly, the better you will allocate your time and improve your potential score.

Memorize mathematical cubes through seven. (ex. 7^3=343) With six year of experience teaching both GMAT and GRE, the test historically does not require the knowledge of cubes greater than 7. This will again reduce the need for working the multiplication out by hand and will allow you more time to focus on the challenging problems.

Double and half. When encountering two digit multiplication, double the first number and half the second to make the math easier.  For example 12 times 16 might seem initially challenging, but 6 times 32 might seem easier, both yield the same answer (192), but the math difficulty has been reduced.

Practice simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. A great way to practice addition and subtraction is to begin balancing your checkbook by hand. For the multiplication and division, run to the local dollar store and pick up a pack of flash cards. Carry the cards with you and when you have a five minute break in between meetings or while waiting to pick up your child from school, flip through them to re-familiarize yourself. This will keep you from making careless errors.

Break the math into pieces. To calculate 15% of 80 without breaking out a pencil and paper, break the math into pieces: 10% of 80 equals 8 and half of that (5%) is 4. So 15% of 80 is 8+4 or 12. You have taken something originally challenging and made it easy!

Think simple. You not allowed a calculator on the GRE or GMAT so all math must come out to a whole or easy to derive number. If you end up with an answer that has a ton of decimals, you probably did something wrong.

Don’t work a problem to the end. This may be counter-intuitive, but the test is multiple choice. Answers are presented in ascending or descending order. When you are about 2 or 3 steps from your final answer, you should be able to review the answer choices provided and select the correct one without determining that final decimal. This will save you time.

Never spend more than 4.5 minutes on a problem. You will run out of time at the end of the exam.

Manage your time. The GRE and GMAT are structured such that you cannot skip problems. You must answer the question presented to move on to the next. The GRE has 28 questions in the 45 minute allotment. The GMAT has 37 questions with a 75 minute allotment. If you don’t answer all of the questions, your score is penalized more than by answering them incorrectly. So use your time wisely and answer all of the questions.

BREATHE! The most important thing to remember when actually taking the exam is breadth. When you encounter something that looks challenging, take a moment and take three deep breaths. When you now look at the problem again, it will probably seem less intimidating because you have given your brain and body oxygen allowing it to internalize and open itself up for possibility.

Good luck with your test!

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Comments (2)
Renee

Great Article! Very Helpful.

Nice information for GRE preparation. In my experience, I have prepared for GRE through online classes. In this way I have learn time management for my exam and that helped me to improve my score. I will suggest all aspirants to analyse your knowledge and to take online classes for further improvements. Try taking online classes at wiziq.com .

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