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Tips And Tricks For GRE Quantitative: How to Get 170 in GRE Quant

Updated on 19 May, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

how to score 170 in gre quant

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is an evaluative test required to qualify for admission in many graduate schools in Canada, the United States, Germany, and other countries. Started in 1936 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the test is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). The GRE test assesses Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning skills of students. This blog can help candidates learn how to score 170 in GRE quant while preparing a strategy for the test.

Why is it Important to Score 170 in Quant GRE?

Per ETS, the number of GRE test takers in India has surged to 114,647 ( 2021–22), which highlights a 63% increase from 70,136 (2020–21). The fueling competition makes it paramount for aspirants like you to secure a high score. 

You will also get individual percentile scores besides a cumulative GRE score in the test's three sections. A score of 170 is considered the top score in the quant section. The GRE’s quant section scrutinizes the candidates’ expertise in high school-level mathematics and comprises algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and data analysis. Scoring between 165 and 170 in quant will earn you a top percentile score. The section tests the candidates’ aptitude for problem-solving and quantitative reasoning. It has around 40 questions (20 questions per section) that have to be solved in 70 minutes (35 minutes for each section). In a nutshell, securing 170 in the GRE Quantitative Reasoning section boosts your chance to realize your dream of studying abroad. 

How to Score a Perfect 170 in GRE Quant?

Candidates can get good GRE quant marks with proper preparation and practice. Here are some preparatory tips that can make the process of getting a perfect score easier: 

  • Attempt Mock Tests: An important part of preparing for GRE quant is to accustom yourself to the test pattern and the types of questions. Attempt the mock tests sincerely and build up stamina this will brace you for the real test.
  • Tackle Word Problems Slowly: The underlying concept of the word problem questions needs to be understood properly, as a single word can alter its meaning. It is important to familiarize yourself with English-to-math translation tables.
  • Do Not Rely Excessively on Calculators: As most GRE quant questions are meant to be answered within three minutes, it is unlikely to involve elaborate calculations. Do not use a calculator unless you really need it; practice mental math instead.
  • Do Not Ponder For Long: There are 20 questions in each quant section and only 35 minutes to solve them. You cannot spare more than 1.75 min on any of the questions without taking that time away from another question. If a question seems convoluted, move on. You can revisit it if you have spare time. 
  • Backsolve Wherever Possible: When the options or answer choices involve numbers, you can use backsolving to plug the answers into questions and work out a solution. Choose the most likely answer and then backsolve it.
  • Don’t Abandon Your Method and Logic: There may be questions of different difficulty levels and complexity. You must evaluate the information and select the approach applicable to the question. Apply the various approaches and methods in a logical succession so that you can address all problems objectively.
  • Study the Whole Graph or Table: The data interpretation questions may seem time-consuming and complex. However, they can be managed effectively by thoroughly studying the graph or the table. Take note of the titles, units, and labels so that you can identify the data trend early in the solution. This way, you can draw conclusions faster and without much hassle.
  • Ballparking Technique: It entails eliminating answer options that are the wrong size and approximating the right answer to determine it. Try to use this method to get your answer correct whenever you run out of time or are stuck on a GRE maths question.

Moreover, The candidates should also take advantage of the ‘no negative marking’ policy of the GRE test and attempt all the questions.

Recommended Reads:

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Tricks to do Mental Math for GRE Quantitative

Apart from incorporating the above-mentioned tips while attempting your exam, here are some tricks that will make mental math calculations easy -  

  1. Multiply a two-digit number by 11 in a jiffy 

For eg: 57 X 11 = 5(5+7)7 = 627

You would need to add the given two digits, and if their sum is a two-digit number, then carry forward. Here the sum of 5 and 7 is 12. So, we have carried forward 1. 

  1. Finding the Square of a Number Ending with 5 (say, to find 85²) 

Step 1: Add 1 to the left number (8) and then multiply it by itself

8X(8+1) = 8 X 9 = 72

Step 2: Place (5)² at units and tens place of the answer obtained via Step 1 

Final Answer: 7225

3. Avoid Confusion while Dealing with multiple layers of fractions

a) 1/(x/y) = y/x

b) (1/x)/y = 1/xy

Eg 3 a) 1/5/6 = 6/5

Eg 3 b) 1/4/5 = 1/20

4. Dividing a Large Number by 5 

After learning this trick, getting an answer won't take you more than 2 secs. 

Step 1: Multiply the number by 2 

Step 2: Move the decimal point to left. 

Step 3: The answer on the left-hand side of your decimal is what you need.

For Example: 345/5 = ?

Step 1: 345*2 = 690

Step 2: Move the decimal: 69.0 or just 69

5. Multiplying Any 2-digit Numbers (11–19)

Let's take two numbers, 14 & 15

Step 1: 15 + 4 = 19

Step 2: 19*10 = 180

Step 3: 4*5 = 20

Step 4: Add the answers to Step 2 and 3. So, the desirable answer is 200

You can learn other search shortcuts to solve problems faster.

Why are students unable to score 170?

Despite thorough preparation and the desire to succeed, students may not be able to score 170 in quant GRE due to some common mistakes. Here are some of the common errors that prevent candidates from scoring high in GRE quant: 

  • Over-Reliance On Calculators: While the GRE allows candidates to use calculators during the test, it can harm their performance. Calculators can make it difficult for the candidates to think clearly while switching back and forth between the device and the test. Candidates might also commit errors while keying numbers or even lose track of the step that they were on while solving the problem. 
  • Rushing Through: The candidates are generally under immense time pressure and often get only 90 seconds to solve a problem. If they haven’t practiced solving problems within this given time frame, they may end up spending too much time on one problem. They will have to rush through the other questions. Over that, the GRE test is adaptive, meaning, the questions adapt themselves to the student’s ability and get more difficult.
  • Not Managing Math Anxiety: Candidates can get disheartened by a particular type of question that they get wrong repeatedly during practice. This can cause undue anxiety about those types of questions and seeing them in the main test can make them nervous and prone to committing mistakes.
  • Calculation Errors: Since quantitative analysis is a very precise field of study, getting one small calculation wrong or missing a sign can cause an error. Candidates may make simple calculation errors leading to a wrong solution to the problem.
  • Conceptual Errors: It is indispensable to brush up on your basics. To reach the pro level, you should know all the formulas. Candidates who miss out on the final revision of formulas can land in a soup. 

Read More:

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Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

PTE Eligibility

PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

PTE Exam Pattern

Frequently Asked Questions

Is quantitative reasoning hard in GRE?

It is not hard but can perplex a candidate if not practiced rigorously. Also, practicing multiple mock tests and adhering to a time-management schedule will help one crack the GRE easily. 

What is quantitative reasoning in GRE?

Quantitative reasoning or Quant evaluates an aspirant’s problem-solving ability and analysis of quantitative data via mathematical techniques. The questions in this section can be solved using high-school-level mathematics. Quantitative reasoning also has two parts, each comprising 20 questions. The time allowed to complete each section is 35 minutes. 

Is 149 a good quantitative GRE score?

Usually, anything between 158 & 164 and above is considered a good score in the GRE quant section. 

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert


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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.