The GRE doesn’t just test math, it also tests critical thinking. The GRE’s main trick to achieve difficulty is to make questions appear more complicated than they really are. The techniques in this chapter, and in the examples throughout the Prep Guide, will give you the tools to overcome this trick.

Many of the techniques shown in this section are ways to find answers without doing all the calculations. You don’t need to solve each question. You need to “think before you act” to find the right answer. The “Aha!” moment occurs when you have found a question’s trick (that most students do not catch). Now the question is much easier to answer.

In addition to the math, you need to know various approaches and strategies to problem solving. Answering GRE questions depends as much on your reasoning as it does on your math skills.

Study your math. It’s foundational. But just studying math won’t tell you when not to use algebra.

Therefore, in addition to reviewing math, the 800score GRE Prep Course teaches you the methods necessary for getting the right answers. By gaining insight into GRE math, you will be able to solve problems more efficiently and more accurately.

The GRE assumes you can do the math, so it gives you questions that test your ability to think creatively. If you just work through GRE math problems on autopilot, you will not be working efficiently and you will not maximize your score. The techniques presented here will enable you to identify and defeat the GRE’s many tricks.

Below is an overview of the 7 techniques that will be explained in this section. They will also be used in examples throughout the 800score GRE Prep Guide.