Tips to avoid careless mistakes in GRE quant

GRE quantitative aptitude section can be quite challenging for some students, as the questions asked in this section test your prowess over concepts related to arithmetic, algebra, geometry, data interpretation etc. In order to get the answers right, students focus on building a strong conceptual understanding of all the vital concepts. But due to sheer negligence, they end up committing some silly mistakes and hurt their chances of getting a good score in the GRE quantitative aptitude section. Given below are some tips to avoid careless mistakes in GRE quant section:

1. Don’t Refrain From Writing Each Step

While solving a problem it is very important to follow the required sequence of steps. Missing any step can make it extremely hard for you to identify your mistake. The following example will help you to understand the importance of following steps in problem-solving:

(2y + 3)(y – 2) = 4

2y2 + y – 2 = 0

It should be much easier to spot them in this version, where each step has its own line:

(y – 2)(2y + 3) = 4

2y2 + 3y ­- 4y – 6 = 4

2y2 + y – 6 = 4

2y2 + y – 2 = 0

2. Clear Handwriting

Unclear handwriting often leads to silly errors related to calculation. It is extremely important to write neatly because it will help you to review your work as well. It will be easier for you to spot the errors if the steps and calculations are clearly mentioned. You can improve your handwriting significantly by practicing questions and taking notes by hand.

3. Never Ignore The Units

While practicing, students often neglect units. This habit can be quite harmful as you might end up ignoring the units given in a question, in the actual exam. Including the units becomes especially important while solving a problem where unit conversion step is of extreme importance.

4. Don’t Take Any Shortcuts

In an effort to cut short the number of steps, students often end up compressing several steps into one. This practice of writing complex steps may save you some time but needs a lot of practice to execute. Without enough practice, you will end up committing some mistake during the formation of the complex step. So, it is often advised to avoid taking shortcuts in order to increase the overall accuracy.

5. Be Careful With The Signs

Students commit the mistake of neglecting the signs before numbers out of utter carelessness. While performing the basic mathematical operations like adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, it is very important to put the right sign before the number to get the right answer. So, make sure that you are extra careful with the negative sign. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a big price for a small mistake.

6. Learn Tricks For Mental Calculation

Save your time by doing the basic math operations in your mind. Learn new tricks for faster calculation and use them during practice. In case you enter in the wrong digits in the provided calculator, only your instincts can tell you if the result shown in the calculator is right or not. Entering the digits in the calculator can also be a sheer wastage of time if you use it for every other calculation. So, make sure that you use the calculator only when it is absolutely necessary. The best way to get better at mental calculations is to practice simple operations on random numbers during your free time without using a pen and paper.

There is no excuse for committing silly errors. Therefore, it becomes very important that you pay enough attention to the little things that can be beneficial in avoiding silly mistakes. Following these tips for GRE quant will be extremely helpful in improving your performance in this section.

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