What strategies can I use on the quantitative comparison questions on the GRE?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,496
    Tutor Bernadette Chimner discusses strategies to use on the quantitative comparison questions.

    Host: What strategies can I use on the quantitative comparison questions?

    Bernadette Chimner: One of the best strategies for the quantitative comparison questions is when you get a problem that involves variables to try lots of different number combinations. The first number I like to try if I get something that has say X in column A and X squared in column B, I like to try the number one or the number zero and that's because the number one and the number zero often make things equal, but then you can look at it and very easily see that if you chose any of the number like three or seven, the two quantities would be unequal. In that kind of situation if they could be equal if you choose zero, but unequal if you choose any other number, that means your answer is automatically D. You can't tell how those two quantities relate to each other.

    Now, the other thing you want to watch for when you are doing with variables in quantitative comparison is to think about negative numbers and numbers between '0' and '1' and that's because negative numbers have the odd property of getting smaller when you double them. For example, if you take '-5' and you double it, it turns into '-10' which is smaller because you have -- if you think of it as debt, $5 in debt is better than $10 in debt.

    The other thing you want to watch for are the numbers between '0' and '1' is that when you multiply them together they actually get smaller. So if you take 0.

    5 for example and you square it, it will get smaller, it will turn into 0.