Getting to the Answer
Your goal when taking the GRE is to pick the right answers on a multiple-choice exam. The more questions you answer correctly, the better your score.
You are not being graded on style. It doesn’t matter if you find the answer following the usual routine. In fact, the fastest way to an answer often does not involve using a traditional method, but rather a method geared specifically to the GRE.
Each question may have several possible approaches, so you need to develop an ability to recognize a fast and effective way to solve different question types. Because your objective is to find the correct answer choice as quickly as possible, choosing the right strategies is a very important part of doing well on the GRE.
Ladder of Difficulty and Scoring
The GRE is a Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT), which means that question difficulty will adjust to match your skill level.
Expect the first question to be moderately difficult. From there, question difficulty will go up or down based on whether you answered correctly. The difficulty level can make huge swings in the first few questions.
Most questions will be near your skill level. A few questions are experimental questions, which may be above or below your skill level. If a question seems outside your skill level it might be a GRE trick meant to test your logic and reasoning. Therefore:
- If a question seems unusually easy or quick to solve, double-check that you’re not falling for a trap.
- If a question seems unusually hard, look for shortcuts.
The GRE scoring algorithm is based on three factors:
- how many questions were answered within the time limit
- how many questions were answered correctly
- level of difficulty of the final questions