Transforming Quantitative Comparison on the GRE: Effective Strategies for Excellence


The GRE Quantitative Reasoning section, known for its challenging mathematical problems, includes Quantitative Comparison (QC) questions. These questions assess your ability to compare two quantities without precise calculations. This guide offers effective strategies to master GRE Quantitative Comparison questions, providing confidence and efficiency.

Understanding QC Questions

Quantitative Comparison questions form a significant part of the GRE Quantitative Reasoning section. You compare two quantities labeled “Quantity A” and “Quantity B,” choosing from options like A > B, B > A, A = B, or the relationship cannot be determined.

Unique Features of QC Questions

What sets QC questions apart is the emphasis on logical comparison rather than exact calculations. You must leverage mathematical reasoning skills.

Strategies for Success

  1. Thoroughly Understand Directions: Grasp the question format before diving in, knowing that exact values aren’t required.
  2. Identify Given Information: Analyze the provided information in both columns, noting any patterns, constants, or variables.
  3. Use Approximation: Save time by making educated guesses through rounding or using simple fractions.
  4. Visualize the Problem: Simplify complex problems by creating mental images or diagrams.
  5. Test Values: If approximation falls short, plug in easy values to determine the relationship between Quantity A and Quantity B.
  6. Watch for Special Cases: Be alert to unique cases or exceptions.
  7. Eliminate Choices: If the exact relationship is unclear, eliminate options to make an informed decision.
  8. Prioritize Questions: Manage time by not dwelling on challenging questions; mark and return later.
  9. Practice Regularly: Familiarity with different QC question types enhances your skills.

Common QC Question Types

  1. Arithmetic Expressions: Basic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  2. Algebraic Expressions: Manipulating equations and expressions.
  3. Geometric Figures: Involving calculations related to shapes.
  4. Number Properties: Assessing understanding of number properties.
  5. Inequalities: Expressions with inequality signs.
  6. Ratios and Percentages: Questions requiring a grasp of ratio and percentage concepts.

Example Problems

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Final Thoughts

Mastering GRE Quantitative Comparison questions involves practicing specific strategies. Focus on understanding relationships rather than exact values, utilizing approximation, visualization, and testing values. With practice, confidence in handling these unique questions will grow. Good luck with your GRE preparation!

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