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GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Quantitative Comparison

Quantitative Comparison is a very important question category on the GRE test, and for sure the most bothersome one! In today’s article we will learn how to tackle Quantitative Comparison questions, and in the process learn also how to minimise our effort input and the required time.

The most important NOTE is that in Quantitative Comparison questions we do not need to solve the question and get the answer, but to COMPARE between two quantities in Column A and Column B. The answer choices stand for as follows:

  1. Value of Column A is greater than the Value of Column B.
  2. Value of Column B is greater than the Value of Column A.
  3. Both the values of Column A and B are same.
  4. The relationship between values of Column A and B cannot be determined from the information provided.

Interestingly students are seen hesitating to mark the answer option D, and generally they get forced to make an effort to cross check it once again before marking. This in turn eventually adds up to the time pressure in the second section where the level of difficulty of the questions is higher based on our performance in the previous section. Now, let us go through a couple of facts which will make things easier for us.

1] Whenever only one single variable is given and no further information is provided about the variable, in that case the answer is always D.

For example:

Quantity A

Quantity B

Circumference of Circle

Area of Circle

Now in this question as such no variable is mentioned, so let us solve it a bit,

Quantity A

Quantity B

2×π×r2Πr

π×r2Πr²

Where r is the radius of the Circle.

Now we see only one variable i.e. r. In such problems the answer is always D.

Let me elaborate this:

Here in this problem if we take value of r = 1, then solving further we get value of Column A greater.

If we take value of r = 2, then solving further we get values of Column A and B same.

And if we take value of r = 3, then solving further we get value of Column B greater.

Thus, with different values of r, we get different relations between values of Column A and B, hence the relationship between values of Column A and B cannot be determined using the information provided. Thus the answer is D.

2] Whenever not a single variable is given in the question, the answer can never be D.

If both the columns involve no variable,i.ewe have only numbers or digits, the answer will never be option D. Answer option is D only when we are not able to determine the relation between the two columns. Here as we have only numbers in both the columns, thus either A would be greater or B would be greater or both would be equal!

For example:

Quantity A

Quantity B
24×(5 + 12)÷6 (7- 3) × 18÷4

Now in this question as only numbers are there, so answer will never be D.

In the next article we will discuss some more interesting tricks to tackle Quantitative Comparison questions on the GRE. Till then practice on these strategies!