# How do I improve timing for Quant section?

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Here are my practice scores:

Princeton Review 1

Verbal 157

Quant 157

Princeton Review 2

Verbal 166

Quant 149

Powerprep I

Verbal 156

Quant 153

My biggest problem is running out of time for the quant section.  But at the same time, doing the section too fast will result in careless mistakes when you read the question.  Too bad Powerprep doesn't have the time you took for each question when you review.  So I've been doing practice sets in Barron's before I move on to Powerprep II (which I have only done the essay part for).  I have improved from missing 5 questions in Princeton Review to missing 2 in Powerprep(which I answered randomly at the last minute).  Still, I have a week to go until my exam so I'd like to know what's the best way to study.

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The official ETS material is the best way to prep for the actual exam (after all, it is designed by the people creating the GRE!). Therefore, the powerprep is probably the best predictor of your score. Other materials tend to be too easy or difficult.

I found the quant section to be the most challenging as well. Here is a blog with some great little quant tips that were very useful http://magoosh.com/gre/gre-math/. The tips will save you time. Also, practice with a timer!! Simulate the test experience as exactly as possible. I did not find the test to be that difficult, it really is the limited time that trips you up...so just practice pacing yourself. Good luck!

Edited by MagentaMacaron
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Hmm... try to think of the most direct route to solving a problem first, then do whatever calculations are necessary. For example, imagine a question: how many numbers are there between and including -15 and 10? This could hypothetically be one step of a question. The slow way would be to count on your fingers. The faster way would be 10 - (-15) = 25 +1 = 26.

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Use the calculator as little as possible (I think I used it twice during my test).  The more you have to rely on the calculator, the slower your pace will be...

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Here's an update.  I just took the second Powerprep and here's what I got

Verbal 164

Quant 153:  15 correct for Section 1, 9 correct for section 2

Needless to say, I improved my Verbal but hit the wall for Quant.  I'm not sure what the inconsistant results between sections 1 and 2 say about my progress.  For majority of the questions that I got wrong, the math itself wasn't difficult.  I think my biggest time waster was misreading a question, solving for the wrong thing, and then find out after a minute or two that I really wasn't answering the question.  And the scary thing is, there was one problem (data interpretation) that where I spent too much time wondering why none of the answer choices seemed to fit.  I didn't find out until reviewing that it asked for annual (not monthly) income.  And despite Princeton Review saying it's a common mistake, I did forget a few basics like that the root of 36 can be -6 too (a running clock can do that to you).

What could I do to prevent careless reading mistakes? Since my test is on Saturday and I exhausted both Powerprep exams (I wish there were more ETS style online tests), what are some last minute things I can do to prepare?

By the way, here is one problem where I can't for the life of me figure out why the correct answer is right.

The perimeter of square S is 40. Square T is inscribed in square S.  What is the least possible area of square T?

A  45

B  48

C  49

D  50

E  52

I answer C but the correct one is D.  Why can't it be C?  If each side is 7, why does that make it impossible for the square to be inscribed in S?

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The perimeter of square S is 40. Square T is inscribed in square S.  What is the least possible area of square T?

A  45

B  48

C  49

D  50

E  52

I answer C but the correct one is D.  Why can't it be C?  If each side is 7, why does that make it impossible for the square to be inscribed in S?

If the perimeter of the square is 40, then each side is 10 units in length.

Draw the square, then draw a dot in the exact center of each side. Connect those midpoints until you have a rotated square inside the original square (it should look like this: http://www.mbatutes.com/Images/square2.jpg)

You'll notice that each side of this new square is actually the hypotenuse of a right triangle, with the other two sides each having a length of 5 (because the points that we drew earlier divided each side of the original square in half). Let's call the unknown length of the hypotenuse "x."

Now we use the Pythagorean theorem to find the value of x:

A2+B2=C2

52+52=x2

25+25=x2

x=√50

That means that each side of the internal square is √50 units long, so the area is √50 x √50, which is 50.

If you tried to draw a smaller square with sides of length 7, there's no way that you could get all 4 vertices to touch the outer square. For a proof of concept, you can try using a ruler and drawing the square to scale (just assume that the units are centimeters). You obviously can't do that during the GRE, but if you're curious as to why a smaller square can't work, it should show you.

I hope this helps! Unfortunately, I have no good advice for how to take the test (I hate standardized testing), but I wanted to at least answer your math question. :-)

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Thanks.  Now I know that inscribed means "all vertices touch the edge."

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I took PP test 2 yesterday and scored horrible 161Q 146V. Took PP test 1 today and got 167Q 152V. Clearly, I need to improve on my verbal. The real exam is day after tomorrow so I don't know how much I can improve on it. For engineering, how bad is a 152V?

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