Stanford GSB | Ms. Top Firm Consulting
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Harvard | Mr. Mojo
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Ross | Mr. Law To MBA
GRE 321, GPA 3.77
Stanford GSB | Mr. Failed Startup Founder
GMAT 740, GPA 4
Wharton | Mr. African Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Sommelier
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Wharton | Mr. MBA When Ready
GMAT 700 (expected), GPA 2.1
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Kellogg | Mr. AVP Healthcare
GRE 332, GPA 3.3
HEC Paris | Mr. Strategy & Intelligence
GMAT 600 - 650 (estimated), GPA 4.0
INSEAD | Mr. Powerlifting President
GMAT 750, GPA 8.1/10
Harvard | Mr. Green Energy Revolution
GMAT 740, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Ms. Analytical Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Technopreneur
GRE 328, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Schoolmaster
GMAT 710 (to re-take), GPA 3.5 (Converted from UK)
INSEAD | Mr. Sustainability PM
GRE 335, GPA 3.5
Cambridge Judge Business School | Ms. Story-Teller To Data-Cruncher
GMAT 700 (anticipated), GPA 3.5 (converted from Australia)
Kellogg | Mr. Operator
GMAT 740, GPA 4.17/4.3
INSEAD | Mr. Truth
GMAT 670, GPA 3.2
INSEAD | Mr. Business Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Army Marketing
GRE 327, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. STEM Minor
GMAT 740, GPA 3.78
HEC Paris | Mr. Productivity Focused
GMAT 700, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Transition
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
McCombs School of Business | Mr. CRE
GMAT 625, GPA 3.4
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Tech Engineer
GRE 310, GPA 4.0

Prepping for the GRE Test of Your Quant Logic

The GRE math section is, ultimately, testing how you think. This tag applies even more aptly to a specific type of question that appears on the math section called quantitative comparison that gives you two quantities– anything from a simple number to an algebraic representation of a quantity in a given diagram. They always come with the same 4 answer choices, so you can always know what to expect. They are:

A. The quantity in Column A is greater

B. The quantity in Column B is greater

C. The two quantities are equal

D. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given

In GRE parlance, this question type is usually considered distinct from traditional, more straightforward “problem solving” questions.  There is a major difference between the two sections, and that key distinction lies in the word ‘solving’. With quantitative comparison, you want to avoid solving the problem. Instead, you want to be able to think about the problem so that you can answer the question quickly: which side, if any, is bigger?

Thinking logically, however, isn’t always easy. Though it may sound counterintuitive, the more you study a specific concept, the more likely you are to waste time on a quantitative comparison question. The likely reason is that your brain is in solve mode (after all, you’ve been doing a lot of practice), not in look-at-the-big-picture mode. When you take the latter approach, you can approach a problem in a logical fashion, instead of regurgitating a sequence of steps.

If you’ve done enough GRE series questions to the point that you can quickly and confidently add up a series of consecutive problems, you will definitely be able to answer the following question. But, will you be able to spot the quickest way of solving the problem?

Column AColumn B
The sum of the multiples of 7 up until 1000The sum of the multiples of 14 up until 1000

A. The quantity in Column A is greater

B. The quantity in Column B is greater

C. The two quantities are equal

D. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given

Again, by following the formula for adding a series of numbers that differ by a consistent amount, you can solve this problem (though it will take a couple of minutes to do so). Instead, write out the first few multiples for column A and B, and see if you notice any pattern (you may actually notice the pattern without even writing anything down).

Column AColumn B
7+14+21+28+35+4214+28+42

A. The quantity in Column A is greater

B. The quantity in Column B is greater

C. The two quantities are equal

D. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given

What do you notice? Well, every number in Column A is in Column B. However, column A also has more numbers (7, 21, 35, etc.) that are not in column B. Therefore, Column A must be greater than Column B (remember both end at a 1000…994 to be exact).

And that’s it. With just one logical breakthrough, you can save yourself over a minute.

Takeaway:

Know how to solve a problem. But, also know how to look at the big picture, especially on quantitative comparison questions. Often, you’ll find a much faster way of doing a problem without losing accuracy.

This post was written by Chris Lele, GRE and GMAT Expert at Magoosh Test Prep. Magoosh offers hundreds of practice questions and video lessons, as well as free resources and tips on how to master the GRE and GMAT. Read our GRE Study Guides and Plans to learn how to plan a study strategy for the new GRE.

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