GMAT Math Vs. GRE Math
Today we will talk about the biggest villain of the average student – math. How to survive math if we want a graduate degree? As I have already mentioned in this article, the most important thing for an outstanding application is to build a perfect strategy. And math is a huge part of this strategy. So, what are the main differences between the quantitative sections of both exams?
First, and probably the most important difference is the presence of calculator. The GRE people somehow decided that the calculations are not the essential part of succeeding with math. While this may sound as big advantage, I have to be more specific and say that the calculator on the GRE covers the four main functions, as well as square roots. The majority of the questions can be solved without one, and in big part of the strategies you will see that people advice that the test takers should avoid using the calculator because the turn on, clicking, (because it is not like the one you have on your PC) and turn off are big time consumers. There are also plenty of strategies about the easiest way to perform the most used calculations on the GRE, so the calculator is not a big deal. However, if you think that you will be more comfortable using one, then one point for the GRE.
More info about the question formats. Both tests are computer adaptive which means that the difficulty of the questions depends on the righteousness of your answers. As for the content of the quant sections, they both cover the same material – arithmetic, probability and statistics, algebra, geometry and theory of numbers on a high-school level of knowledge. Both exams also include data interpretation questions, so you should be comfortable working with charts, diagrams, tables (N.B. these questions are tricky, and you should always be careful what you are asked to determine). The main differences about the material covered are the Data sufficiency for the GMAT and the Quantitative comparison for the GRE. Their answer format is very similar (and you should learn the answer choices by memory) – see for yourself:
|GRE quantitative comparison answers||GMAT data sufficiency answers|
|Quantity A is greater.
Quantity B is greater.
The two quantities are equal.
The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.
|1. Statement 1 alone is sufficient but statement 2 alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
2. Statement 2 alone is sufficient but statement 1 alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
3. Both statements 1 and 2 together are sufficient to answer the question but neither statement is sufficient alone.
4. Each statement alone is sufficient to answer the question.
5. Statements 1 and 2 are not sufficient to answer the question asked and additional data is needed to answer the statements
The other GMAT questions are standard multiple choice answers. The GRE includes also numeric inputs. About the timing – GRE’s both sections are 75 minutes, which is 5 minutes more than the GMAT’s quant. Take into account that both quantitative sections on GRE are not necessarily one after another, and also you have a minute between sections, which is an important benefit. On the other hand, the number of questions on both exams is different – 37 total for GMAT versus 40 (divided into two sections with 20 each) on the GRE.
After this short introduction, you can see for yourself that the two exams are more similar than you previously thought. The best thing to clear the perspective for you is to take a free test (there are also more sources of free questions) and to see which format you are most comfortable with. Both ETS.org and MBA.com offer free software with one or two free tests, so you can see where you are better at.