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Need help for math section GREŽ!

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Need help for math section GRE! #1 (permalink) Mon Jul 30, 2007 20:27 pm   Need help for math section GRE!

Hi, I am preparing for the GRE and have recently taken two practice tests. Prior to taking the first practice test I only studied a bit for the verbal and got a 580 verbal, 470 math. I continued to study mainly for the verbal portion and a little math and scored 640 verbal and 400 :shock: in the math section. So overall, my score on the first test was 1050 and my score on the second test was 1040. I understand that my verbal score may have increased because I have been studying more for that section, but I am confused why my math score decreased. Is it possible that I was given an easier verbal section and a harder math section on the second test? Anyway, it seems that most people do much better on math and my main problem is that I can't remember the "rules" for simple algebra and geometry problems. Like in triangle problems, I can't remember which side should be longest, etc. I am very stressed out about this math score especially since I did pretty good in the math courses I have taken. Does anyone have any hints or tips for me to improve this section? Obviously I am going to have to start studying seriously for it. Did anyone else have a hard time with the math section and then improve their score? Please help! Thanks!
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need help for math section gre! #2 (permalink) Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:05 am   need help for math section gre!

Hey Runner123,

The math really isn't that bad. I am awful at math and scored 710 on the GRE the other day (my diagnostic was 540). But you do have to remember the rules. Here's the triangle ones:

1. Pythag ratios: 3:4:5 and 5:12:13

2. difference of other two sides < third side < sum of other two sides

3. with isoceles triangle w/ a 90 degree angle, the side ratios are x:x:xroot2

4. a triangle w/ 30, 60, and 90 degree angles, the side ratios are x:2x:xroot3

5. area of triangle: 1/2basexheight

6. third side squared = square root of other 2 sides squared

You just have to practice more and you'll get the hang of it.

Remember, with the Quant comparisons, watch out for squares and square roots b/c these have 2 answers so often cannot be determined (Ans:D). If you do not have enough equations to solve for the same no. of variables, the answer is also D.

Other tips:

(a) don't calculate, estimate
(b) remember you shouldn't have to do much calculation to get the answer - this is why you MUST remember the concepts, they are the key to success (e.g. I had multiplication rules in my GRE)

Good luck!

PS. You may want to do more exercises, there is a book on amazon that covers math concepts for SAT, GRE etc. You should buy that and practice w/ it. Its called the ULTIMATE MATH REFRESHER and will help you remember the stuff you need. There is calculation involved but while that part is not necessary for the GRE it will be good prep. That's what I did and look what happened to my score!
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Need help for math section GRE! #3 (permalink) Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:20 am   Need help for math section GRE!

hi Runner,
I recommend using the kaplan's or the barrons math workbook for studying the math. they have a mix of different difficulty levels and cover all the math the GRE tests. The prince rvw books have too many easy questions compared to the actual test.

You should make use of the forums and go to this website as well. Also make sure you take more computerized practice tests. some people say the kaplan tests are harder and the gre power prep tests are easier. maybe take both kinds to be safe.

good luck studying
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Need help for math section GRE! #4 (permalink) Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:41 am   Need help for math section GRE!

As a GRE prep teacher, I see many students greatly improve their math scores with a little bit of review. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the GRE can vary quite a bit just by random chance.

In fact, ETS--the company that makes the GRE--says that scores can vary by as much as 40 points up or down for any student taking the test multiple times...a range of 80 points! That means you could score a 640 on the math one day and then score a 560 on the very next day, and ETS would still consider it within the normal range of variation! Conclusion: Take the test several times.

A little practice goes a long way towards improving math scores. My students, on average, go up about 100 points in their math, and I recommend practicing with actual GRE tests. Here is a book put out by ETS with many actual GRE tests. You should also download the free PowerPrep software from ... it has two real GRE practice tests (the computer-based variety).

There are a lot more great GRE tips (free!) at
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Need help for math section GRE! #5 (permalink) Fri Oct 15, 2010 20:54 pm   Need help for math section GRE!

As a GRE coach, I recommend the Arco GRE Math Review and Kaplan's GRE Math Workbook. Both have pleny of GRE math questions, plus explanations that show you how ETS formulates questions and answers. is also a great resource. The more you practice, the better you will do the next time, so just keep at it
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