Home » GRE » GRE Quant » GRE Quant Topic Wise Weightage

GRE Quant Topic Wise Weightage

Introduction to the GRE® Quantitative Reasoning Measure:

The Quantitative Reasoning measure of the GRE® tests your understanding of fundamental mathematical skills and concepts. It also looks to test the ability of the test taker to quantitatively reason out, model and solve problems using these quantitative methods.

A variety of quantitative reasoning questions are framed around real-life scenarios, while other questions are from a purely mathematical angle. Most of the questions are word problems, which need to be translated and worked out mathematically.

What are the GRE® Quant topics?

The skills, concepts and abilities are assessed in the four GRE® Quant topic areas below.

  1. Arithmetic: GRE® Quant topics that generally come under this category include exponents and roots, concepts that cover estimation, percent, ratio, rate, absolute value, the number line, decimal representation and sequences of numbers. Other properties and different kinds of integers, including divisibility, factorization, prime numbers, remainders and odd and even integers; arithmetic operations.
  2. Algebra: GRE® Quant topics under the Algebra category that are covered include operations with exponents, factoring and simplifying algebraic expressions, equations and inequalities. The ability of the students to solve linear and complex equations, solving simultaneous equations and inequalities. This section also has equations in the form of word problems, and coordinate geometry which includes graphs of functions, points and slopes of lines.
  3. Geometry: Geometry as a GRE® Quant topic includes questions and concepts on straight, parallel and perpendicular lines. Questions on area, perimeter, volume and the use of the Pythagorean theorem on other shapes and polygons such as circles, triangles quadrilaterals, three-dimensional figures will be included.
  4. Data Analysis: Data analytics is one of the more important parts of the GRE® Quant topics and assesses for basic statistics which include mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation etc. Interpreting, analyzing and slicing this data in tables and graphs using different types of graphical representation such as, line graphs, bar graphs, circle graphs, box-plots, and scatter-plots. Basic concepts on probability around probabilities of compound and independent events and conditional probability. The use of counting methods covering combinations, permutations and Venn diagrams. These topics are generally taught in middle and high school algebra classes or statistics 101 courses.

The Quantitative Reasoning section, which is divided into two parts, is then further broken down to have around eight quantitative comparison questions, nine questions based on problem solving and three questions centered around Data Interpretation.

Quantitative Comparison questions from GRE® Quant topics require students to not only evaluate the size of the quantities shown, but also to solve and display a level of certainty about their relative size. Sometimes both quantities may be determined by computation or simplification, but some problems may not contain enough information to reach a firm conclusion.

The other two problem types are more likely to be like those in mock tests. Questions focused around problem solving will need students to choose one or more correct solutions to the problem.

Data Interpretation questions are more challenging, as a deeper analysis for presented information is required. Therefore, it is advisable to practice as many timed and un-timed test papers, do math reviews and memorize your basic math formula before the actual exam date. This will not only familiarize you with GRE® quantitative topics but also help you to time manage on test day.

GRE<sup>®</sup> Quant Target Score

What are the GRE® Quant question formats?

The Quantitative Reasoning measure and GRE® Quant topics have four formats of questions.

  1. Quantitative Comparison questions
  2. Multiple choice questions (choose only one answer)
  3. Multiple choice questions (choose multiple answer choices)
  4. Numeric entry questions

All GRE® Quant topic questions are presented either separately or as part of a set of questions called a Data interpretation set. All the questions that make up the Data Interpretation set are based on the same data that is presented in the tables, graphs or any other form of data on the test.

Learning to differentiate between the two types of Multiple-Choice questions is important for test day. Multiple-choice questions which require only a single choice answer will have a "bubble" format that permits only one selection. On the other hand, the multiple-answer multiple-choice questions will have a checkbox format that permits students to check multiple correct answers.

The GRE® test allows students to review and revise their answers at the end of each section.

GRE<sup>®</sup> Quant Topicwise Weightage

What are the most important GRE® math concepts you should know?

You must memorize the standard GRE® math formulas that would be required for solving the GRE® Quant section. The top 10 concepts and the frequency of questions per concept are listed below. From the two 20- question Quant sections, the approximate frequency is as follows:

  • Word problems: 9
    These are basically lines of text or words that need to be translated into basic numeric equations. The information that is provided links together for you to be able to work out the problem. In problem solving it is fundamental to understand the text to arrive at the right answer which can be the tricky part.
  • Algebra: 6
    Algebra basically substitutes variables in place of numbers and relies on some formulas which will need to be known to arrive at the correct answers.
  • Percent/Fractions/Ratios: 6
    A Ratio is basically a fraction that can compare to a whole or part. While percent is part of a 100. Knowing these concepts, you can tackle the Quant questions on decimals as well.
  • Data interpretation: 6
    To be able to visualize the data and the ability to interpret, analyse and make sense of the data. In the GRE®, this data is generally represented in graphs and around two to three questions pertaining to this data will be asked.
  • Geometry: 4
    The questions around geometry cover topics related to lines, angles, triangles, polygons, Pythagorean theorem etc and where the area, perimeter and volume of these shapes will be asked. Memorizing the formulas for these kinds of questions will allow you to answer the questions faster.
  • Statistics: 3
    Basic statistical knowledge that covers mean, median, mode and standard deviation needs to be known to answer the Quant questions.
  • Exponents: 2
    Exponents are a subset of algebra and there are fixed rules that one needs to know on exponents which will allow you to solve the Quant questions. Using variables and arriving at numerical values for the same.
  • Probability/Combinatorics: 2
    Permutations, combinations and the probability concepts are tested in the Quant section. While they might be rare it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts around it and practice questions.
  • Coordinate Geometry: 1
    Questions around coordinates that need to be either plotted on a graph or equation involving variables. While daunting it is also rare on the GRE® Quant section.
  • Arithmetic series: 1
    Arithmetic series, integers and sequences that appear as equations are other concepts that test takers must know. Arithmetic is more complex than just adding or subtracting numbers but also different arithmetic concepts, which include but not limited to divisibility, remainders, exponents, roots etc.Algebra, Data Analysis and arithmetic are the most frequently tested concepts and carry the highest GRE® Quant Topicwise Weightage on the GRE® Quant test. Additionally, a large number of word problems are derived from algebraic concepts. It therefore is advisable to focus on your study and review starting from Algebra.
GRE<sup>®</sup> Quant Time Spent

What is the total Weightage and time allocated to the GRE® Quant section?

There are two math sections in the GRE® Quant section, each being 35 minutes long. You have one hour and ten minutes to complete the Quants topics with no negative marking for incorrect answers. In the quantitative section, your score is determined by the number of questions you get right and hence it is advisable to attempt all questions even if it means to guess!

In addition to the two quantitative sections, there is the possibility of a third unscored experimental or research section which may be Quantitative Reasoning or Verbal Reasoning.

For each of these sections, ETS first calculates the raw score obtained – which means that the number of questions that were answered correctly. This raw score is then converted to a scaled score using a conversion formula which considers the difficulty level of each question. This converted score is your final section score.

A Quantitative Reasoning score ranges from 130–170 points/marks in 1-point increments.

The GRE® test can be a computerized or a paper-based test and It is important to note that the computerized GRE® quantitative test is an adaptive test. This means that the level of difficulty per question changes depending on how well you are doing. This adaptive system is programmed to measure the full range of the test takers ability. On the other hand, a paper-based test is non–adaptive.

For computer-based test versions, an onscreen calculator will be available and for the paper-based test a physical calculator is provided to all students.


Q1. Should I tackle the GRE® Quant questions topic wise or randomly?

A1. Tackling questions topic wise or by the section would be a better strategy rather than answering them randomly. Similar GRE® Quant topic questions are generally placed together. Once each topic is solved completely you can move to the next topic. Even during your review and study preparation for the GRE® Quant topics, it is advisable to proceed topic wise rather than randomly to be completely clear about a concept before moving to the next one.

Q2. What is the basic strategy to get a high Quant score?

A2. One of the main strategies is to prepare a math cheat sheet with all the formulas covering the GRE® Quant topics. This is most helpful during your practice and review sessions. And should ideally be memorized before the GRE® test. While most questions covering the Quants topics will require the student to reason and demonstrate a rational approach, knowing your formulas will help in answering the questions faster and managing your time better on the test date. Planning and starting with a comprehensive study plan to cover the GRE® Quant topics is a must. Then prioritize your learning with Quants topics that you are the weakest in. It is advisable to keep taking timed and untimed practice tests at the end of each GRE® math topic to ensure that your concepts are clear. Keeping a thorough logbook of your mistakes and key learnings is another helpful strategy. Practice, time management, concept clarity and memorizing your math formula along with a good night's sleep prior to test day will ensure a high Quant score.

Q3. What is a good GRE® Quant score?

A3. The GRE® Quant section is scored from 130-170 points. While the average test takers score could range from 150-155, it really depends on the university you are applying to as well as the program which would dictate the ideal score you would need to help get accepted. The highest you can score is 170 and the lowest is 130. What is also important for colleges is the percentile that test takers fall under. Overall a good score is subjective, and you should be above the average range to increase your chances of being accepted into the program that you are applying for.

Q4. Can I retake just the GRE® Quant section of the test if I did not score high enough?

A4. There are options just to retake the GRE® math section, however it depends if all the programs you applied to are open to super-scoring. If not, then you would need to retake the entire test again. There is a possibility that even though one section was better than the other previously, all your scores could be higher the second time around if you went in more prepared with your GRE® quantitative topics and English.

Difficulty level of questions in GRE® Quants

Let’s take a glance at the various difficulty levels that you could expect from the questions on the GRE®.

  • Easy:
  • These are question that don’t require more than 30-40 seconds and one simple step or formula. Usually, a single read is enough to solve these questions. For example, this is what an easy question looks like:
A car crosses a bridge in 5 minutes at a speed of 45mph. What is the length of the bridge?
A. 3.75 miles
B. 18.76 miles
C. 9 miles
D. 3.6 miles
Answer: A

  • Medium:
    these questions require slightly more work, and require you to apply concepts and combinations of formulae. Ideally, you should not take more than 2 or 3 minutes to solve these. Here’s an example of a medium difficulty question:
Leaving his office at 9AM, George drove a distance of 132 miles to meet a client, maintaining an average speed of 70 mph. He spent a full 4 hours with his client and returned to his office at 5:05 PM. What average speed did George maintain on the road?
A. 58
B. 60
C. 62
D. 64
Answer: D. 64

  • Difficult:
    A difficult question first requires you to first identify data that is indirectly given, and then apply the requisite concepts and formulae. As such, these questions take anywhere between 5-7 minutes to be solved. For instance, take a look at this question:
Monty has to drive 200 miles from Blandings Castle to London, and Ronnie has to drive the same distance from London to Blandings Castle. If Monty leaves the Castle at 06:00 a.m. on a day at a speed of 50 mph and Ronnie drives at 60 mph, at what time would Ronnie have to leave London that day so as to reach the Castle 20 min earlier than Monty will reach London?

A. 5:30 AM
B. 6 AM
C. 6:10 AM
D. 6:20 AM
E. 6:30 AM
Answer: D. 6:20 AM
We hope you found this info helpful and eye-opening, and wish you all the best on your graduate school journey!

Now, we all know that a 170 is possible, but did you know that the secret to that is prioritisation? We hope you found this article helpful, and got some insight into how to prioritise while preparing for your GRE®. We wish you all the best on your journey!

Now, to take a look at some of the important Quant formulae, click here.

What do we mean by that? Click here to find out!

Aditya Kardile
GRE Score : 330 ( V : 160 | Q : 170)
Each and every topic is covered in the program. I did not refer to any other books apart from the material provided by quant and verbal guides and the official guide. They give us feedback after every test and tell us our where we need to improve.
Apoorva Saxena
GRE Score : 329 ( V : 159 | Q : 170)
GREedge was my first experience of online coaching. And due to their very methodical approach, it was great one. They were thorough, they were very much involved and they monitored my performance minutely. It actually proved the best of both worlds.
Divya Murali
GRE Score : 334 ( V : 164 | Q : 170)
I took the GREedge one month online course and it was of great use to me. It has lessons on each topic and also practice sessions. At the end there is also full length tests available for practice. Nothing beats Wordbot for vocab building!
Priyanka Sundaram
GRE Score : 307 ( V : 149 | Q : 158)
I was inspired and motivated throughout the program and this helped me to reduce the tension at the last moment. I owe my success entirely to GREEdge. They made me realise my true potential and I am always grateful for it. Thank you GREedge!
Rishikesh Mishra
GRE Score : 309 ( V : 149 | Q : 160)
I think GREedge is the best. I have scored 309 marks in GRE with the help of GREedge.I took the one-month study plan of GREedge and it proved to be very useful. GREedge provides you a perfect interface for learning and then testing your skills.
Chirag Venkateshan
GRE Score : 310 ( V : 150 | Q : 160)
This two-month long program was worth every penny because of the Personal SFAs assigned to me, the detailed schedule, WordBot, and exhaustive analysis of my performance as compared previously successful student. That was a game changer!
Pulkit Verma
GRE Score : 325 ( V : 155 | Q : 170)
What I really liked about GRE Edge was their SFAs (Student Facilitator and Analysts). Every student is assigned two SFAs when they enroll for the program and they help in keeping track of your progress during the preparations.
Uruba Andaleeb
GRE Score : 307 ( V : 150 | Q : 157)
GREedge made GRE way simpler! With so many materials available to prepare for GRE, it was so confusing for me. But GREedge gave me a proper direction, and it was an amazing experience. I would recommend this program to any GRE aspirant.
Rahul Reddy
GRE Score : 320 ( V : 156 | Q : 164)
Opening the GREedge learning tracker excited me every day. It's because it is designed in such a way that it engages students in it and urges them to complete their tasks daily and regularly. It was systematic and personalized. Good work design team :)
Abishek Surya
GRE Score : 310 ( V : 155 | Q : 155)
I never felt alone with GREedge. It was fascinating to see my trainers be as passionate about my ambitions and goals as much as I am! It’s like they’ve got your back, and they want to make it happen for you. I did not have to feel stressed about it.


Call me Back

AdmitEDGE, Guidance Platform
for Admissions, GRE, IELTS & more