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If you are feeling a bit apprehensive about Quantitative Comparison questions on the GRE exam’s Math section, you are not alone. QC questions demand a lot! It requires careful analysis and quick thinking. So, in this blog post, we’ll unravel the mysteries of QC, equipping you with valuable insights and strategies to navigate this section with confidence and come out on top. 

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Format of GRE Quantitative Comparison Questions

Quantitative Comparison (QC) is a question type that appears in the GRE Quantitative Reasoning section. In a QC question, you are given two quantities, Quantity A and Quantity B, and you must determine the relationship between them. The four answer choices are:

  1. Quantity A is greater.
  2. Quantity B is greater.
  3. The two quantities are equal.
  4. The relationship cannot be determined.

Also read: New shorter GRE General Test

Tips for GRE Quantitative Comparison

Quantitative Comparison questions are unique to the GRE, and they can be tough for some test-takers. Here are a few tips and techniques that can help you master QC questions and improve your GRE score.

Tip 1: Understand the basic principles of QC questions

The first step to mastering Quantitative Comparison questions is to understand the basic principles of how they work. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. You do not need to calculate the exact value of either quantity to answer the question.
  2. You only need to determine whether Quantity A is greater than Quantity B, Quantity B is greater than Quantity A, or the two quantities are equal.
  3. If you can prove that one quantity is greater than or equal to the other, you can eliminate the answer choices that say the opposite.
  4. If you cannot prove that one quantity is greater than or equal to the other, the answer is either “The relationship cannot be determined” or “The two quantities are equal.”

Tip 2: Identify the Type of Relationship

When comparing the quantities, it’s crucial to identify the type of relationship between them. Is it a direct comparison, an inverse relationship, or something more complex? Understanding the relationship will guide you in selecting the correct answer choice. Look for patterns and associations between the quantities, and analyse any given information carefully to deduce the relationship accurately.

Checkout: GRE Math questions with solutions

Tip 3: Use Real Numbers

One effective technique in solving Quantitative Comparison questions is to plug in real numbers for the variables given in the answer options. By substituting concrete values, you can simplify the comparison and arrive at a conclusive answer. Start with simple values and avoid complicated numbers to make the calculations more manageable. However, keep in mind that plugging in numbers is not always the best strategy, so be sure to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach based on the given question.

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Tip 4: Analyse Extreme Cases

In some cases, considering extreme values can help determine the relationship between the quantities. Test scenarios where one quantity is at its maximum and the other at its minimum or vice versa. By evaluating the results in extreme cases, you can gain insight into the behaviour of the quantities and identify the correct answer choice.

Tip 5: Utilise Approximations

Quantitative Comparison questions often involve complex calculations, and precise calculations may be time-consuming. In such cases, it’s beneficial to employ approximation techniques to simplify the computations. Rounding numbers or using estimation strategies can save you time and enable you to focus on the comparison rather than getting bogged down in arithmetic.

Check how GRE-ready you are with this GRE sample test

Tip 6: Master Algebraic Manipulation

Developing a strong foundation in algebraic manipulation is crucial for success in the Quantitative Comparison section. Be proficient in simplifying expressions, solving equations, and manipulating inequalities. By applying algebraic techniques, you can transform complex expressions into more manageable forms and compare the quantities more efficiently.

Watch: GRE prep demo videos

Tip 7: Evaluate Each Statement Independently

When solving a Quantitative Comparison question, carefully analyse each statement provided independently. Evaluate whether each statement alone is sufficient to determine the relationship between the quantities. If one statement alone is sufficient, you can select the corresponding answer choice without considering the other statement. Understanding the independence of each statement will guide your decision-making process.

Checkout: 10 New GRE practice questions

Tip 8: Be Mindful of Assumptions

While solving Quantitative Comparison questions, be cautious about making assumptions that are not explicitly stated in the given information. Stick to the facts presented in the question and avoid drawing conclusions based on personal biases or prior knowledge. Overlooking key details or making unwarranted assumptions can lead to incorrect answers.

Tip 9: Learn, Practice, Analyse & Repeat!

Like any other skill, mastering Quantitative Comparison requires practice. Familiarise yourself with a wide range of QC questions and solve them under timed conditions. Review your answers and understand the explanations for both correct and incorrect responses. The more you practise, the more you will become accustomed to the types of questions and the strategies required to solve them efficiently. Utilise official GRE practice materials, free GRE prep resources, and prep books to access a variety of Quantitative Comparison questions.

Tip 10: Identify Common Traps

The GRE often includes certain traps and tricks in the Quantitative Comparison section. Be aware of common mistakes that test-takers tend to make. For example, falling for misleading comparisons, assuming equal values, neglecting negative signs, or misinterpreting the given information. By recognizing these traps, you can avoid making similar errors and improve your accuracy.

Tip 11: Manage Your Time Wisely

Time management is crucial on the GRE, and the Quantitative Comparison section is no exception. Allocate a specific amount of time to each question and stick to it. If you’re unsure about a particular comparison, it might be better to make an educated guess and move on to the next question rather than spending too much time on a single problem. Remember, all questions carry equal weight, so it’s essential to maintain a steady pace throughout the section.

Tip 12: Review GRE Math Concepts

To excel in Quantitative Comparison, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of fundamental maths concepts. Review key topics such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data interpretation. Refresh your knowledge of formulas, rules, and properties that frequently appear in the GRE. Strengthening your maths foundation will enhance your problem-solving abilities and boost your confidence.

Also read: Role of GRE scores in college admissions

Bottom Line!

If you find yourself struggling with the Quantitative Comparison section despite your efforts, consider seeking additional resources and support. Join study groups, take GRE quantitative practice tests, hire a tutor, or enrol in GRE preparation courses. 

Take a free demo class with Jamboree experts who have been training students for over 30 years to ace the GRE. Book your slot here.

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