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GRE geometry questions: Strategies for solving and practice resources

Updated on: Oct 20, 2023
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Meta description: Master GRE geometry questions with effective strategies for solving and access to practice resources. Boost your confidence and score high with our expert tips and techniques.

GRE geometry questions are an important component of the GRE test, which is a standardized test used for graduate school admissions.

These questions assess a candidate's ability to understand and apply geometric concepts, such as lines, angles, triangles, circles, and three-dimensional shapes.

While some candidates may find geometry questions challenging, there are several strategies that can help improve their performance.

In this guide, we will explore effective strategies for solving GRE geometry questions and provide recommendations for practice resources to help candidates sharpen their geometry skills and perform well on the GRE.

GRE geometry questions

GRE geometry questions are a part of the quantitative reasoning section of the GRE test. These questions assess the candidate's ability to apply geometric concepts and formulas to solve problems. The quantitative reasoning section has two subsections, each with 20 questions, making it a total of 40 questions. The questions in this section are of varying difficulty levels and test different concepts. Approximately 10% of the questions in this section are geometry questions.

GRE geometry questions are designed to test the candidate's understanding of basic geometry concepts, such as lines, angles, triangles, circles, and coordinate geometry. The questions can involve solving problems related to finding the area, perimeter, and circumference of different shapes, or determining the location of points on a coordinate plane. They may also require the application of the Pythagorean theorem or other geometric formulas and theorems.

Also read: What is the GRE quant syllabus?

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GRE geometry questions: Strategies for solving geometry questions

Here are some strategies for solving GRE geometry questions that you can use to hone your skills.

1. Review key geometric formulas and theorems

GRE geometry questions often require the application of geometric formulas and theorems to solve problems. It's crucial to thoroughly review and memorize key geometric formulas and theorems, such as the Pythagorean Theorem, area and perimeter formulas for common shapes like triangles, circles, rectangles, and polygons, as well as angle relationships and properties of geometric shapes.

Understanding these formulas and theorems will provide a solid foundation for solving geometry questions efficiently.

2. Understand the given information

Carefully read and understand the information given in the question. Identify what is being asked and make note of any important measurements, relationships, or clues provided in the problem.

Pay close attention to the wording of the question and make sure you understand the context. This will help you approach the problem systematically and avoid mistakes due to misinterpretation.

3. Draw diagrams

Drawing accurate diagrams can be immensely helpful in visualizing the problem and making it easier to understand and solve. Use a ruler or a compass to create neat and accurate diagrams that represent the given information.

Label the diagram with relevant measurements and markings, such as angles, sides, and diagonals, and use it as a reference throughout the problem-solving process. Visualizing the problem can help you spot geometric relationships and properties that might not be apparent otherwise.

4. Use multiple strategies

There are often multiple ways to approach a geometry problem, and it's important to be flexible and try different strategies to find the most efficient and effective approach.

For example, you can use algebraic equations, geometric properties, or even estimation techniques to solve a problem. Experiment with different strategies and use the one that works best for you. If one approach seems to be getting complicated or time-consuming, don't hesitate to try a different approach.

5. Break the problem into smaller parts

If a geometry problem seems complex, break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. Focus on one aspect of the problem at a time, and gradually build up to the solution.

For example, if you are asked to find the area of a complex shape, you can break it down into smaller shapes with known formulas and then add or subtract the areas to get the final result. Breaking down the problem can help prevent overwhelm and ensure that you cover all the necessary steps in your solution.

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The GRE is a multiple-choice test, and you can often use the answer choices to your advantage. Once you have a solution or an approach in mind, plug in the answer choices and see which one satisfies the conditions of the problem.

This can be a quick way to eliminate incorrect answer choices and narrow down your options. Be cautious not to rely solely on this strategy, as it's important to verify your solution independently.

7. Use visualization techniques

Visualization can be a powerful tool in solving geometry problems. Try to mentally visualize the given information and the geometric shapes involved in the problem. This can help you see relationships, angles, and properties that may not be immediately obvious from the diagram.

You can also draw mental images or sketches in your mind to help you better understand the problem and come up with a solution.

8. Look for patterns

Geometry problems often involve patterns and symmetry. Look for any patterns or symmetrical properties in the given information or diagram.

For example, if you're dealing with angles, see if they form any recognizable patterns, such as complementary or supplementary angles. Identifying patterns can help you make connections and come up with a solution more easily.

9. Use reasoning and logic

Geometry problems can sometimes be solved using logical reasoning and deduction. Use your logical skills to make deductions based on the given information and the properties of geometric shapes.

For example, if you're given the measurements of two sides of a triangle, use the Triangle Inequality Theorem to deduce whether the given triangle is possible or not. Using reasoning and logic can help you narrow down the possible solutions and arrive at the correct answer.

10. Practice time management

Time management is crucial in the GRE, as you have limited time to answer all the questions. Practice solving geometry problems under timed conditions to improve your speed and accuracy. Learn to prioritize questions based on their difficulty level and allocate your time accordingly.

If you're stuck on a difficult problem, move on to the next one and come back to it later if you have time. Practicing time management can help you stay focused and avoid running out of time during the exam.

Also read: How to get high GRE score?

GRE geometry questions: Practice resources

Here are some practice resources you can use to prepare for GRE geometry questions:

1. Official GRE prep materials

The Educational Testing Service (ETS), which develops and administers the GRE, offers official prep materials that include practice questions and tests for geometry and other topics. These materials are considered highly reliable as they are developed by the same organization that creates the actual GRE test.

You can find these materials on the official GRE website. They typically include sample questions, practice tests, and test-taking strategies for various topics, including geometry.

2. GRE prep books

There are numerous GRE prep books available in the market that specifically focus on geometry and other topics tested on the GRE. These books provide comprehensive coverage of the concepts, formulas, and strategies needed to solve geometry problems on the GRE.

Some popular options include Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions by ETS, Manhattan GRE Geometry" by Manhattan Prep, GRE Math Workbook by Kaplan, etc.

3. Online practice tests

Many GRE prep websites, such as Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Manhattan Prep, offer online practice tests that include geometry questions. These practice tests are designed to simulate the actual GRE test environment and provide you with an opportunity to practice your skills under test-like conditions.

They typically include a mix of easy, medium, and hard-level questions, and offer detailed explanations for the solutions. Taking practice tests can help you gauge your progress, identify areas for improvement, and get familiar with the types of geometry questions you may encounter on the GRE.

4. Math review videos

Several online platforms, such as YouTube, offer free math review videos to provide visual explanations of concepts, formulas, and strategies for solving geometry problems. They can be a helpful supplement to your preparation, especially if you are a visual learner or need additional explanations beyond written materials.

You can search for specific geometry topics, such as triangles, circles, or quadrilaterals, and find videos that provide step-by-step solutions to practice problems.

5. GRE math apps

There are several GRE math apps available for smartphones and tablets that offer practice questions and tutorials on geometry and other math topics. These apps typically provide a collection of practice questions with varying difficulty levels, along with explanations for the solutions.

Some popular GRE math apps include Magoosh GRE Prep, GRE Math Practice by Pocket Prep, and GRE Math by Galvanize Test Prep.

Preparing for GRE geometry questions requires a combination of understanding key concepts, practicing with various types of questions, and utilizing a variety of practice study material. With thorough preparation and practice, you can effectively tackle geometry questions on the GRE and achieve a high score in the quantitative reasoning section.

How important is geometry in the GRE?

Geometry is one of the topics tested in the quantitative reasoning section of the GRE. While the emphasis on geometry questions may vary from test to test, it is still essential to be well-prepared for geometry as it can contribute to your overall score. It's important to review and practice geometry concepts along with other math topics to perform well in the GRE.

What are some effective strategies for solving GRE geometry questions?

Some effective strategies for solving GRE geometry questions include understanding the given information thoroughly, identifying relevant geometric concepts, visualizing the problem using diagrams or figures, applying appropriate formulas or theorems, and checking for traps or common mistakes. It's also crucial to practice solving a variety of geometry questions to build confidence and accuracy.

How can I improve my geometry skills for the GRE?

To improve your geometry skills for the GRE, you can start by reviewing key geometric concepts, formulas, and theorems. Practice solving different types of geometry questions, including triangles, circles, quadrilaterals, and coordinate geometry. Utilize practice resources such as official GRE prep materials, GRE prep books, online practice tests, math review videos, and GRE math apps to reinforce your understanding and gain confidence.

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