Five Topics to Score 165+ on GRE Quantitative Section

GRE Quant topics

The GRE is a standardized test taken for admissions to graduate schools. The quantitative section of the test is becoming ever challenging, and many students feel it’s impossible to score 160 plus out of a total of 170. To help you prepare for the GRE and it’s practice, Tricky tests prep advises you to expert five GRE quant topics to score 165 plus on the actual GRE. The quantitative section on the GRE tests one’s ability to apply mathematical concepts and techniques. A high score on a standardized test shows a school that you have the problem solving skills that they are looking for in a candidate.. A score of 160 or above in the quantitative section of the GRE will resonate with your chance of getting into a good school, especially for business and engineering majors.

The GRE Quant section has five main topics: Number Theory, Algebra, Geometry, Word Problems, and Data Interpretation.

Number Theory: This includes properties of integers and their operations (+, -), factors of a number, divisibility rules, and fractions.

Algebra: This includes solving equations with variables and unknowns on both sides, also called algebraic manipulation or elimination.

Geometry: It is about finding lengths or areas of various shapes like circles or triangles or any other polygon using the know geometry formulas.

Word Problems: It is about solving numeric data given in the form of the verbose statement. The question can be from various topics such as algebra, arithmetic, probability, number theory, geometry, etc.

Data Interpretation: It is about reading data from graphs, tables, and reports.

Number Theory:

The number theory topics include divisibility rules and properties of numbers. It also includes basic properties of arithmetic operations on whole numbers and integers. The most important to prepare for number theory is to understand basic mathematics operations in depth. Number theory constitutes 30 to 40 percent of the GRE quant section.

While preparing this topic, you should grasp and practice to make your mind a human calculator. Remember, using the calculator on exam day will deter your score. It would help if you memorized basic values: under the root of two is 1.4, and under the root of three is 1.7. Likewise, you should understand the role of the fraction to decimals to percents. For example, 1/6=0.16666667=16.67%. If you prepare yourself like this, you can decipher the intricated questions easily, e.g., 5/6 is roughly equal to 16*5=80% as 1/6=16.67%. Although memorizing math basics seems to be an onerous task, it will pay you off on test day.


The algebra topics include

  • basic concepts in linear equations and inequalities,
  • linear function equations with one variable,
  • solving linear equations in two variables by graphing on a coordinate plane.

In a nutshell, algebra plays with equations, unknown variables, sequences, and functions. Basic algebraic potency is required to crack advanced algebra questions. Listing basic formulas on a worksheet is an inevitable task. For Example, a2-b2=(a-b)(a+b) is a common and most used formula in algebra. Find other formulae below;



(a+b)2= a2+b2+2ab




Geometric topics include basic concepts in point-line-plane relationships in Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries. GRE tests two-dimensional diagrams on geometry. It is very unlikely that GRE testes 3D geometry. Further, two-dimensional geometry topics include circles, triangles, rectangle, trapezoid, parallelogram, and quadratic plane. About 25-30 percent of the questions come from this topic.

Moreover, the questions’ nature can be explicit and implicit. Unshackling your geometry imagination in real life is a challenge that one must experience while preparing for GRE. It is a banal exercise to draw or extend a given line or diagram in a geometry question. A convoluted geometry question tests different topics at the same time. Also, GRE test makers love to make a question look difficult with a tedious question statement. Mastery in this topic is very crucial and mesmerizingly easy. You just have to prepare a formula sheet and list the particulars of each diagram.  With this strategy, you can solve any question easily.

Data Interpretation:

Data interpretation considerably checks one’s ability to fetch and read data from different graphs, tables, diagrams, and reports. The most frequently used graphs are bar graphs, pie charts, vertical and horizontal bar graphs, mixed graphs, and line graphs.  The graphs or diagrams come in conjunction with tables or reports. A reader has to read data from the graph, table, and question statement to answer the question.

Data interpretation is the most predicted and usual part of the GRE test, with 7- 9 questions sanding out of 40 quant section questions. In a section, you will find 4-5 data interpretation questions. All questions rely on the same data table or graph mostly. This lets a test taker boost his score with adept skills in this topic.

It is very important to give proper time to this part as you all have to arm yourselves with a proper strategy. GRE is a section adaptive test, and mastery in data interpretation lets you add a weapon to your GRE arsenal. This topic can also test statistics and probability topics.

Word problems:

Word problems are fun that any GRE test taker must enjoy. You can witness questions from any topic under the layer of tedious English sentences. The depth and difficulty level of a question in word problems is dependent on how much you know about a certain subject or concept.  Normally, GRE Quant topics word problems fall under sub-topics such as work rate, distance, mixture and solutions, and averages. However, word problems are halcyon for test makers, where they can present questions from any topic. You can follow mandatory steps to crack a word problem if you know the basics.

The first point would be to identify the type of word problem which you are facing and then proceed accordingly. The next step would be to figure out what all variables are involved in the word problem by going through it carefully and looking for any clues that can help solve it.

Lastly, you should break the problem into small pieces and then follow the steps mentioned above for each piece one at a time. Without 100 percent accuracy in word problems, there is no way to score 165 plus.

How to start GRE preparation

You may be wondering how to get started with GRE Quant topics. We can’t give you a magic pill, but we can provide you with some tips and tricks that should help to ease the process. Here we go:

1) Self-study Mode

If you are going to ace GRE on your own, you must not give up official GRE resources. The most important preparation resource is probably reading and studying the official study materials. The GRE test has been around for decades, so there are plenty of resources available online.

2) Focused Study Plan:

Joining a GRE class will help you get the most in a shorter span of time. With focused learning under proper mentorship, you can ace a good GRE score. If you think that only reading and studying will make you better, you are mistaken. You need to train your brain to gain an edge on test day and induate your GRE quant skills. That’s why we recommend not wasting time and preparing yourself in a dedicated environment.