Tag Archive for 'data interpretation'

New GRE: Changes to the Quantitative Reasoning Section

What's changing on the math section?

The new GRE begins August 1, 2011. If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance the question “should I take the new GRE or the old GRE?” has crossed your mind. There are many factors to consider, and as a primer, take a look at our previous post about which GRE you should take.

In order to make this decision, you need to be informed about exactly what the differences between the new GRE and the old GRE are. This (beautiful, elegant, and efficient) diagram gives both a high-level overview of both tests as well as a more detailed explanation of each question type. In this series of posts, we’ll be going over these points in even greater detail, one section at a time, starting with math.

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GRE Math: Data Interpretation and Analysis Questions

While I stand by my earlier statement that the math section of the GRE isn’t significantly different from the math section of the SAT, there is one caveat to that — data interpretation. I actually think that data interpretation on the GRE is more comparable to data interpretation on the science section of the ACT. It’s a good idea to actually spend some time looking at the graph before diving into the questions. At the very least, you should examine the following:

1. The Title
What is the graph/table/chart depicting? There will often be more than one graph on the GRE, so knowing the difference between what each graph is showing is an absolute must for answering the questions.

2. Graph legends
Is there more than one set of data on your graph(s)? (Almost definitely.) Better figure out which symbols correspond to which data sets!

3. X and Y-axis labels
Sometimes you can figure out exactly what the graph is depicting by reading the title, but sometimes you can’t. It’s important to know what each axis of the graph represents. Also pay attention to units!

Let’s take a look at an example (from the ETS’s Practicing to Take the GRE General Test 10th Edition):

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