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How I scored a 169 in GRE quant

Last updated on April 11, 2021, 5:46 a.m. by heramb

A basic guidance on how to start preparing for gre-quantitative in order to score a merit of above 165 marks in the quant section.


Hello guys, thanks for reading our blog

I’m Heramb Joshi and I'm writing this one in order to give you all guidance on how to prepare for the GRE quant section based on my knowledge.


If you ask me about the amount of time required for preparing for GRE quant then:

A consistent practice of 1-2hrs daily, for 2-3 months is more than enough to bring you up from ground level to 164+ marks in quant. Just as the Verbal section, quant also requires special skill to score a bit more above this threshold and close the line of merit (in terms of indian students, it’d be 320).


If you cut your preparation plan down to weeks then here’s what can help you (Assuming that you haven’t tried any quant question set yet)

  • Week 1 - Go through sets of gre question from different resources and get an idea of the type of questions
  • Week 2 to Week 5 (increase your accuracy in this time) - take a brief time to study all the topics we’ve enlisted for you and make sure you do the following things:
  1. Remember formula wherever useful eg: number of diagonals in an ‘n’ sided regular polygon is n(n-3)/2
  2. If there’s no formula, remember the process/technique of solving a question OR derive a formula for yourself. 
  3. Practice questions of ALL topics & ALL difficulty levels. Remember, don’t get bothered by your speed in this period because it’ll increase with practice.
  4. There are various methods to solve a question like using formula / algorithm / substitution to verify or eliminate, etc. choose what works best for you. 
  • Week 6 - Start taking tests for yourself through various online resources available as mentioned in the last gre blog. This is important in order to record your time and accuracy while solving the questions. 

After each test, you get to know the diagnostics for each question (the amount of time required, process of solving the question & correctness of your answer) 

Take 2-3 tests in this time period and in the gap in between, focus on the topics you go wrong in. This is period where you focus on accuracy while solving the questions

  • Week 7 to Week 8 - Use this period to revise the formulas, concepts and techniques to solve the question. Focus on covering the topics you’re weak at.
  • Week 9 and onwards - fix a time table for a cycle of practice - test - analyse - revise and follow this until 2 days before the test. After that, only go through revision stuff and don’t crowd your head with syllabus!


What about the time required to solve each question? (We have 35 minute per set in gre quant section)

  • If you do an estimate, you get roughly 35*60/3 = 105 seconds to solve one question, but it doesn’t really work that way!
  • While solving a question, you’ll dedicate time for different things like reading the question, solving the question, (using the calculator if required), reading the options, selecting the option, rechecking your selection and switching between the question and this is the most desirable sequence of actions.
  • Each question has a different level of difficulty and based on that, you’ll require a variable amount of time.
  1. Easy level questions which involve simple numerical calculation take minimum 30 secs to 1 minute of time.
  2. Medium level questions which involve calculation as well as applied logic take 1 minute to 11/2 minutes
  3. Hard level questions involve either difficult calculation on difficult logic and take more than 2 minutes.
  4. Time consuming questions require even more time because the length of question or figure in context is the maximum time consuming entity and hence, usually these questions belong exclusively to the Data interpretation and statistics category.

(On a personal note: for easy set questions, you shall utilise require 25 minutes for solving almost all the questions and remaining time for bookmarked questions and rechecking. While for harder set, you shall utilise 30/32 minutes for the former and vice versa)


Mistakes you should avoid

  • While practicing, don’t rush while solving the question. Keep accuracy above speed in the beginning.
  • Don’t skip revising formulae for any chapter. GRE uses adaptive question set selection for you based on the first set you solve and will definitely ask you questions you least expect.
  • Don’t focus on the process of solving a question. Use short-cut wherever possible, so you get more time for rechecking
  • Don’t hesitate to give time to reading questions, especially in the DI section. Some questions are worded in a way to confuse you and select the wrong answer. Hard questions involve numeric entry or even closer values, hence you have to be precise while making your observations or reading values.
  • Never get stuck on a question. If it is hard enough to solve, bookmark it and then come back. If unable to solve, try to use substitution or other rigorous methods if time permits.


Here’s a list of topics that GRE expects you to know about to:



Data Analysis


Property and types of integer

Lines and angles

Descriptive statistics such as Median, Mean, Range, Mode, Percentiles, etc.


Power and roots


Interpretation of data based on graphs, circle graphs, scatter plots, etc

Algebraic Expressions – Factoring and Simplifying




Equations and inequalities



Permutation and Combination

Linear and Quadratic inequalities

Number properties


Venn Diagrams

Linear Equations


Three-dimensional figures

Sets Theory

Quadratic equations

Exponents and Roots

Area, Perimeter, Volume


Word Problems

Ratio and proportions

Angle Measurements


Speed, distance, and Time

Simple and Compound Interest


Profit and Loss

Arithmetic Operations


Coordinate geometry

(referred from https://texasreview.in/blog/gre-quantitative-reasoning-syllabus/ )


by heramb
SCTR's Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune

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