A Guide to the GRE/The Two Types of GRE Math Questions

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The Two Types of GRE Math Questions[edit]

There are two types of GRE math questions: quantity comparison, and ordinary problem solving.

Quantity Comparison[edit]

A quantity comparison question will give two quantities and ask the test taker to compare them. For example:


1. Ashley's pet cockatoo eats \tfrac{7}{4} as much bird food as her pet parakeet. Ashley has no other pets.


Quantity A: the percentage of total bird food eaten by Ashley's cockatoo
Quantity B: 65%


(A) Quantity A is greater.
(B) Quantity B is greater.
(C) The two quantities are equal.
(D) The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.


(The correct answer is (A)).

Problem Solving[edit]

A problem solving question asks a "normal" multiple choice or open-ended question which requires mathematical reasoning to solve.


11. Vivie's pet cockatoo eats as much bird food as her pet parakeet. Vivie has no other pets. What fraction of the total bird food is eaten by Vivie's cockatoo?


(A)\tfrac{7}{4}
(B)\tfrac{4}{7}
(C)\tfrac{11}{4}
(D)\tfrac{11}{7}
(E)\tfrac{7}{11}


(The correct answer is (E))

The question prompt may be multiple choice or may be open-ended, asking test takers to bubble in the value. Additionally, some may have three or seven choices and more than one correct answer. This will be clearly indicated. Also, approximately four problem solving questions around questions 17-20 will be based on a chart.