Question of the Day: GRE Math
There is a single two-word expression that must be banished from your vocabulary if you are going to succeed on the GRE quantitative reasoning section: “math anxiety.” Many students experience this dreadful nexus of emotions when preparing for the exam and often risk complete stultification on test day, all thanks to such high-intensity emotions. However, these feelings are only a detriment, and the best antidote for them is adequate preparation in the skills needed for test day. Whether you need GRE tutoring in Atlanta, GRE tutoring in Houston, or GRE tutoring in San Francisco, working one-on-one with an expert may be just the boost your studies need.
During the period of preparation itself, the greatest temptation is to be paralyzed to the point of fearing even to face the work to be done. However, a carefully planned regimen of exercises can help you build the skill set needed for a confident attitude in the face of all mathematical difficulties. Like a runner preparing for a 10K race, the GRE mathematics student should begin with small strides. Given enough initial work, you can then pass on to specialized exercises, difficult word problems, and baffling probability questions, which will furnish the “hills” that will help to challenge and strengthen your growing mathematical “muscles.” Because of the technical nature of mathematics, you can work through sets of focused exercises. You can find just such practice content on Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools website. Our GRE Math Question of the Day offers an easy way to get into the habit of thinking about your mathematics once a day. Every day, we feature a practice GRE Quantitative Reasoning question; answering it reveals the correct answer as well as a full explanation of how the question can be approached and solved. Answering the question correctly helps you to gain confidence in your mathematical skill, and missing the question provides a valuable learning opportunity and the chance to fine-tune your comprehension of a particular concept that you may not have even realized you didn’t fully understand. With the help of these resources, perhaps in addition to that provided by an able tutor, you can plan your path through each concept—from basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry to complex word problems—stage by stage and step by step. Varsity Tutors also offers resources like free GRE Quantitative flashcards to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider a GRE Quantitative tutor.
Armed with these skills, it is then also necessary to learn a number of tricks that help you pass quickly through questions, avoiding the horrible situation of having too little time for too much work. Even the most confident mathematician can lose confidence when faced with the ominous ticking of the last seconds of an examination clock. To avoid this situation, the requisite math skills are a necessity. However, further test-day skills can help you allow enough time to complete all the problems in the Quantitative Reasoning section and, what is optimally desired, to have enough time to review any problems that were difficult and needed a bit of extra work. Such skills include methods of eliminating options, quickly doing mental math, reading cues from the problems, and learning how to use the simple calculator in the most efficient manner possible. In addition to the GRE Quantitative Question of the Day and GRE tutoring, you may also want to consider taking some of our GRE Quantitative practice tests.
There is nothing to be feared from the GRE Quantitative Reasoning section. Although many students have allowed their mathematics skills to atrophy over the years, the “mental muscles” needed for this section can be revived easily with a proper exercise routine. The question difficulty is nowhere near the level anticipated by most students. The only thing necessary is to avoid becoming your own worst enemy. Both during the time of preparation, as well as on test day itself, math anxiety can stop you in your tracks. However, trust our observation of numerous students’ experience in preparing for the GRE: no matter how long it has been since you have taken a math course, you can have confidence and success on test day!