Key Concepts and Formulas: GRE Math

Hoping to ace the Quantitative Reasoning section in your GRE exam? Keep reading!

GRE test has two sections of Quantitative reasoning with 20 questions each (35 minutes); so whether you loved your high school mathematics or merely just cleared it, we can assure you that it is absolutely crucial for your GRE preparation. The GRE test will analyze your ability to solve a problem using essential concepts. Therefore, simply learning a formula by heart won’t help you much.

What you need to do is: Understand the concept, remember some crucial formulas and practice the application.


What are These Formulas We are Talking About?

Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Data Analysis are the four major areas that are tested in the GRE Quantitative section.


All positive numbers have two square roots, one positive and one negative. Though, the square root of 0 is 0.

The square root of a number “x” is “y” where y raised to the power 2 is x. And so on.

Four crucial rules to remember:

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This section comprises of algebraic expressions, equations, inequalities, and functions. All these concepts are used to check application power to solve real-life word problems.

Following are a few more rules to remember about exponents (we talked about a couple already) in an algebraic expression.

Following are the basic rules for solving linear equations.

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Coordinate geometry:

Slope intercept form y = mx + b (slope formula of a straight line in the xy-plane, where m is called the slope and b is called the y-intercept.) See an example below:

Here, y= -13 + 7x form.

Intercept is (0, -13). Slope is 7.

  • Polygons, Triangles, and Circles
  • * A geometrical figure with 3 or more sides is known as a Polygon. If a polygon has n sides, it can be divided into (n – 2) triangles. The measure of the interior angels is 180 degrees. Thus, the sum of the measures of the interior angles of an n-sided polygon is (n – 2)(180 degrees).
    * Pythagorean theorem: This theorem says that in a right triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse (line opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the legs.
    It can also be expressed as:

where DEF is a triangle with EF being the hypotenuse.

* For all parallelograms, including rectangles and squares, area A is given by the formula

A = bh

b is the length of the base and h is the corresponding height.

* There are two ways to find a circle’s circumference:

C = 2πr

C = πd


* You can multiply numbers as many times as you want, the exponent/ power tells you how many times multiplication has been done.

n x n x n x n x n =  n5

* Any number raised to the power of 0 equals to 1.

* When base numbers with different powers are multiplied, the powers add up. Similarly, if you divide the same base number with different powers, the lower power is subtracted from a higher power.

Distance:      d=rt

Where d is the distance, r is the rate, and t is the time spent.

Interest rate :

Let p = principal, r = rate, and t = time

V = P [1+(rt/100)]

Compound Interest

V = P [1+(r/100n)]^nt

Remember to refer your high school book and memorize the important formulas related to the above-stated concepts. Follow this plan and solving GRE Maths Questions will be a cakewalk.

You can also enroll in GRE Classes for regular assessments and a deep understanding of the concepts.

As a final word of advice, always remember to use PEMDAS (the order of operations), consult your calculator when necessary, and, above all, practice, practice, practice! Good luck!

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