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Got destroyed on GRE quant today :(

GREStressedGREStressed Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited August 2010 in GRE Prep
I did pretty well on general Kaplan practice test for quant, getting not more than two or three questions wrong; when I actually took the test today, i got a friggin 550. Absolutely terrible. I was compeltely unprepared for following types of questions -

integer sequences - they gave a sigma sequence and asked for sum of 100 elements.

three venn-diagram-esque questions - given fifty people like rasberries , thirty like blueberries and rasberries, fifteen like rasberries blueberries and cherries, how many people like cherries and rasberries? (made up question)

The Kaplan practice math tests I took had very few of the above types of questions, so I assumed I'd either be able to punt it and not affect my score much, or derive the correct stuff on the spot. Neither of these turned out to be true. i got 2 sequence/summation questions, 3 venn-diagram-esque questions.

i got off to a pretty strong start and the questiosn got hard quickly. I completely folded and failed to deliver. i've taken up to calc 4 (engineer) and after i got home i tried to do as many of those GRE problems i knew i got wrong , from memory. i realized i overthought half of them and flat out panicked on two others. I kept trying to remember and derive closed formulas for harmonic series, exponential series, etc, for first type of question. For second type of question I kept trying to recollect/derive generic equations for set intersection/union/difference that i knew from discrete math and probability theory, with horrendous results.

Ater I got home and calmly redid problems (often just talkign high school approach of enumerating things, working out sum at 1, sum at 2, seeing pattern, etc) I knew i got wrong i got each of those similar problems in less than three minutes a piece. ****. I'm retaking it again soon as I get chance... my vocab wasnt bad (680) but hopefully i can bump that up a bit too... any way i can get ETS to cancel my crap scores for the day?

definitely humbled me a bit tho; i did well on SAT and doing okay in school; this was wakeup call :( I'm def buying a few more pure-math GRE prep books from other guys now...
Post edited by GREStressed on

Replies to: Got destroyed on GRE quant today :(

  • MasterMoeMasterMoe Registered User Posts: 238 Junior Member
    It is possible for one to reinstate cancelled score for a fee after the fact. However, it doesn't work the other way around. Once you accept a score, you have to live with it.

    Either way, a retake is necessary.

    My recommendation is you go through the Nova Prep Course or Nova Gre Math Bible books. Both are a lot more comprehensive than all the other books out there--even Barron's.

    If you haven't already gone through Barron's, I suggest you complete the Barron's math section, then the Nova quant section from either Nova Book. Start with Barron's followed by Nova cuz the Nova book is more challenging. Afterwards, run through the Barron's cat and the 5 paper based barron's tests as well as the one paper based ETS GRE test on the official webpage.

    If you can get a hold of the 5 800score tests, run through those to get your pacing down.

    This should really help skyrocket your score. You should be pulling 740+ consistently after this--if not, higher.
  • GradBoundMarieGradBoundMarie Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    I'm sorry, GREStressed. I just took the GRE and was absolutely astounded at how much math was omitted from ETS's *own* study guide and practice tests.

    Almost nothing I studied from ETS's own material appeared on the actual GRE. Virtually no geometry or algebraic Pythagorean/slope type problems, addition/subtraction, no multiplication/division, absolutely no linear/quadratic/simultaneous equations or Associative/Distributive properties, no factoring, no radicals, no decimals, no ratios, no fractions whatsoever outside of a couple of word problems, no exponents, no rational exponents, no negative exponents. Memorization of a single formula never proved necessary. The Quantitative portion consisted almost entirely of Quantitative Comparison - and frankly, the questions were pretty abstruse even there. There were about 4 Data Interpretation questions, a couple of word problems. 2 percentage-related question in Data Interpretation, and just one median/mean-related question at the end.

    The Verbal section? Almost entirely consisted of Reading Comprehension passages and adequate Antonyms - and some Sentence Completion. ZERO synonym questions - not a single one. About THREE or so analogies, which I find absolutely baffling. If I knew no vocabulary at all, I would have scored the same on this GRE. My GRE Verbal section was essentially a reading comprehension exam with a few words thrown in - not verbal *with* reading comprehension. I knew that 3,500 Barron's Word List like a savant, too - drove my husband insane. I've heard a few people complain that none of the words they study appear on the exam. I thought they were being dramatic.

    The only thing "in line" with ETS study guides was the Essay section. Altogether, if I hadn't studied ETS's own study guide for both Quantitative and Verbal, my GRE score would have been the same. If I had gone by REA, Barron's, Kaplan's, and Princeton Review for any more than kicks for format & material, I wouldn't be complaining - there's no affiliation and I wouldn't trust anything but the horse's mouth anyway. But ETS? This absolutely disgusts me, because I trusted them as far as material for the exam and was SO misled. What a waste of 4 hours, $150 - and not to mention hope.
  • aussiek517aussiek517 Registered User Posts: 325 Member
    Interesting. GradBoundMarie-- you only had 3 analogies? That's weird; 3 of my first 6 questions were analogies (2 in a row), and I think I had 3 others on the rest of the test. I did notice that there were quite a few reading passages, and one was almost right off the bat. That being said, the GRE prep material explicitly states that the GRE has 4 question types (analogies, reading comp, antonyms, sentence completion), so I'm not sure why you expected synonyms. My math section also had quite a few exponents, negative exponents, linear/quadratic equations, and radical multiplication (sometimes within a comparative problem). I do think that some of the questions on the test were more difficult than the ones on the practice tests, but the ETS PowerPrep questions weren't completely irrelevant. My real test just seemed to synthesize material and test multiple concepts in one question.

    For the OP-- I think it's common for people with strong math backgrounds to want to use more advanced equations, but none of my questions went past high school geometry. Sometimes, the best way to solve a problem is by using the plug-and-chug method. At the time, I was worried at how many little fractions I was multiplying and dividing by hand, but it seemed to work out. Also, it's important to know your geometry past the Pythagorean theorem-- know your right triangles and how to solve for midpoints and line lengths. For others who are struggling with the quantitative, I would recommend checking out math textbooks from the library and looking through the chapter/unit tests. As a humanities person, I did not do any formal prep outside of skimming through Kaplan and doing 2 sections during practice tests, but I'm convinced that I got my quant. score from tutoring algebra and geometry this summer. Try to break down problems into their simplest forms, and good luck on your retake!
  • kryptonsa36kryptonsa36 Registered User Posts: 1,735 Senior Member
    ZERO synonym questions - not a single one.
    That would be because the GRE isn't supposed to ask synonym questions...
  • GradBoundMarieGradBoundMarie Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Disregard the Synonym comment then. My point was that the format and tested material of the GRE I took this week was *completely* disparate from that of the practice tests and study guides taken from ETS's own website for both Verbal & Quantitative. It isn't even a question of difficulty vs. ease - it's that what they assure you will be on the test in reality (in my case) was either there either very minimally, or not at all. I kill at analogies, antonyms, all algebra & geometry & even arithmetic, and basically everything else assured to be on the GRE. Too bad I couldn't prove it!

    For me, it was a bit like having taken a Physics course several years previously as a science major. Then you take a Chemistry class, score A's in all the exams throughout the semester, then it's time for the final. The final is a Physics exam. Yes, it felt like a bait & switch.

    Again, I made a point not to look to Barron's for format or material, nor do I bank on Princeton Review, REA, Nova, Kaplan, or any other non-affiliated entity for ETS. I trusted ETS's study guide and practice test for format, and am so saddened to have been misled.
  • safetypin00safetypin00 Registered User Posts: 351 Member
    Marie - how did your GRE score compare to the two PowerPrep exams?
  • asian75asian75 Registered User Posts: 448 Member
    PowerPrep is a great indicator of what score you'll get on GRE. It's almost exact
  • MasterMoeMasterMoe Registered User Posts: 238 Junior Member
    Well it is the best indicator but I wouldn't call it 'almost exact'.
  • kudacallkudacall Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    powerprep is the way to go. I got a 760 and 800 on quant on the two practice tests and ended up with a 780 on the real thing. barrons and princeton review were both at least 60 pts off on quant.
This discussion has been closed.