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How to Tackle One-Answer Choice Questions in GRE Math

One-Answer Choice Questions in GRE Math

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The GRE Math section is tricky, especially when you encounter the dreaded one-answer choice questions. These questions require you to select a single answer from a list of five choices, and if your answer is not among them, you’ll have to go back to the drawing board. The goal should be to master the approach that helps you solve GRE math questions quickly and correctly. In this blog post, we’ll share some useful tips and tricks on how to tackle one-answer choice questions in GRE Math and hopefully boost your overall score!


  1. Steps to Tackle One-Answer Choice Questions in GRE Math
  2. Sample GRE Math Questions: One-Answer Choice Questions

Steps to tackle one-answer choice questions in GRE Math

If you didn’t find your answer among the five choices provided, it’s best to assume that your initial response is incorrect. Take the following steps:

STEP I: Firstly, re-read the question thoroughly. You might have missed an essential detail or misinterpreted the information.

STEP II: Secondly, check your computations. There may be an error, like mistyping a number on the calculator.

STEP III: Thirdly, reconsider your solution method. There might be a flaw in your reasoning.

STEP IV: Fourthly, examine the answer choices. Sometimes, you are explicitly asked which of the options has a specific property. You can either consider each option separately or identify a relationship between them that will lead you to the correct answer more quickly. Alternatively, you can work backwards from the answer choices by substituting them in an equation or inequality to determine which one works. However, be cautious, as this method may take more time than using reasoning.

If the question requires approximations, scan the answer choices to see how close an approximation is needed. Also, scanning the choices briefly before solving the problem may provide you with a better understanding of what the question is asking.

 If computations are involved, it might be necessary to carry out all computations precisely and round off only your final answer to obtain the required degree of accuracy. In some cases, you may find that estimation is sufficient and will help you save time on long computations.

Sample One-Answer Choice GRE Math Questions

These questions are multiple-choice questions that ask you to select only one answer choice from a list of five choices.

Multiple-choice Questions — Select One Answer Choice Sample Questions

  1. What is the value of x if 5x + 32 =4 – 2x?
  1. -4
  2. -3
  3. 4
  4. 7
  5. 12


Solving the equation for x, you get 7x = -28 and so x = -4. So, the correct answer is A.


  1. Which of the following numbers is farthest from the number 1 on the number line?
  1. -10
  2. – 5
  3. 0
  4. 5
  5. 10


Circling each of the answer choices in a sketch of the number line   (Figure 4)  shows that of the given numbers,

-10 is the greatest distance from 1.

Figure 4

Another way to answer the question is to remember that the distance between two numbers on the number line is equal to the absolute value of the difference between the two numbers. For example, the distance between – 10 and 1 is |-10-1| = 11 and the distance between 10 and 1 is |10-1| = |9| = 9. The correct answer is choice A.

Figure 5



  1. The figure above shows the graph of the function f, defined by f(x)= |2x| + 4 for all numbers x. For which of the following functions g, defined for all numbers x, does the graph of g intersect the graph of f?
  1. g(x) = x – 2
  2. g(x) = x + 3
  3. g(x) = 2x – 2
  4. g(x) = 2x + 3
  5. g(x) = 3x – 2


You can see that all five choices are linear functions whose graphs are lines with various slopes and y-intercepts. The graph of Choice A is a line with slope 1 and y-intercept shown in Figure 6

Figure 6


It is clear that this line will not intersect the graph of f to the left of the y-axis. To the right of the y-axis, the graph of f is a line with slope 2, which is greater than slope 1. Consequently, as the value of x increases, the value of y increases faster for f than for g, and therefore the graphs do not intersect to the right of the y-axis. Choice B is similarly ruled out.

Note that if the y-intercept of either of the lines in Choices A and B were greater than or equal to 4 instead of less than 4, they would intersect the graph of f. Choices C and D are lines with slope 2 and y-intercepts less than 4. Hence, they are parallel to the graph of f (to the right of the y-axis) and, therefore will not intersect it. Any line with a slope greater than 2 and a y-intercept less than 4, like the line in Choice E, will intersect the graph of f (to the right of the y-axis). The correct answer is Choice E.


  1. A car got 33 miles per gallon using gasoline that costs $2.95 per gallon. Approximately what was the cost, in dollars, of the gasoline used in driving the car 350 miles?
  1. $10
  2. $20
  3. $30
  4. $40
  5. $50


Scanning the answer choices indicates that you can do at least some estimation and still answer confidently. The car used  gallons of gasoline, so the cost was dollars.

You can estimate the product by estimating   a little low, 10, and estimating 2.95 a little high, 3, to get approximately (10)(3) = 30 dollars. You can also use the calculator to compute a more exact answer and then round the answer to the nearest 10 dollars, as suggested by the answer choices. The calculator yields the decimal 31.287…, which rounds to 30 dollars. Thus the correct answer is Choice C.


  1. A certain jar contains 60 jelly beans — 22 white, 18 green, 11 yellow, 5 red, and 4 purple. If a jelly bean is to be chosen at random, what is the probability that the jelly bean will be neither red nor purple?
  1. 0.09
  2. 0.15
  3. 0.54
  4. 0.85
  5. 0.91


Since there are 5 red and 4 purple jelly beans in the jar, there are 51 that are neither red nor purple and the probability of selecting one of these is . Since all of the answer choices are decimals, you must convert the fraction to its decimal equivalent, 0.85. Thus the correct answer is Choice D, 0.85.

Regardless of your current level of proficiency and individual learning style, consistent and dedicated practice can improve your skills on the GRE Quant. Sign up for a free GRE Quant demo class! with a Jamboree expert and ask your doubts directly from our experienced faculty.

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