For students from India, scoring 700+ in GRE Quantitative section should be easy. Especially if you are from Engineering background, 700+ is an easy score to get. But, with little extra effort, you can get perfect 800 in GRE.

I’m going to share very simple concept that can improve your score. Combining the following strategy with 20 Step GRE Study Guide, you should be able to make real progress during preparation time.

Sample GRE Math Question

3 days back, I posted a question in Happy Schools Blog’s Facebook page and so far over 30 students have solved the problem and most of them got it right.

Question – What is the 99th digit after the decimal point in the decimal expansion of 2/9 + 3/11?[don’t use calculator] (A)1(B) 2 (C) 4(D) 7(E) 9

To go from point a to point b, there can be many many routes, but which one is efficient? Thats what happened while many solved the above problem.


You can find solution to above problem in 3 different ways. But, most of them used first 2 ways to solve it.

  • Method 1: Solve 2/9 and 3/11 separately and add them to find the answer.
  • Method 2: Add both 2/9 and 3/11 an then find the answer.

If you are looking to get perfect score of 800 in GRE Math section, solving the above problem using method 1 and 2 will not work. It takes about 1 to 2 minutes of your time.

  • Method 3 : Any two-digit number divided by 99 becomes a decimal with that two-digit number repeating.

There are 2 ways by which you could have recognized the Method 3

  1. If you read in a book or solved similar problems previously
  2. Adding 2/9 + 3/11 gives 0.49494949… you should have recognized the pattern and tried to find what happens if you divide another number by 99 and find if the pattern is repeated?

Since, you didn’t expand your thinking beyond solving the problem, you couldn’t come-up with the short-cut method. Do you agree with me?

Majority of you while taking GRE practice tests don’t concentrate on your problem solving approach. Instead, spend too much time on getting high score in every practice test. If you are not learning new formulas, strategy or approach, you are not going to see improvement in your score.

While taking practice test, if you selected incorrect answers to few questions, don’t look at the answers section for the correct answer. Try to understand the solution, strategy and approach, time it would take to solve such problem. By following above technique, you improve you test score over period of time.

Perfect 800 Score?

Always have a  notebook handy and make a note of the new formula’s that you come across from every mistake. In few months time, you should have collected several pages of  GRE problem tips, techniques and strategy. But, don’t stop there. After recording the formula, you have to expand you thinking.

  • What other possible questions can be framed from the same formula?
  • Is it possible to extend the formula to nth degree or generalize it ( above said problem)

Bonus GRE Tip – Whenever you see a problem that involves large numbers, there should be a short-cut method to find  the answer. While practicing for GRE, you have to lookout for such short cuts. Thats what separates you from getting  160 to 170 in GRE quantitative.


If you have additional comments about my suggestion, I would like to hear form you. Do you agree to my method and also, if you have any other unique ideas, I like to know and many others get to benefit from your idea. So, speak up!


  1. Bana on November 1, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Thanks for the article! you have a good point!

  2. Abhijit on July 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    I am really doing bad in reading comprehensions, my views never match author’s views .can someone tell me how can i improve it?

  3. Vikas Sharma on July 7, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    hey am starting my GRE prep, can any one please send the syllabus Math`s and english………Plzzzzzzzzzzzz

  4. hari on June 25, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    hey am starting my gre prep , can nyone pls suggest links for online study materials ? ?

  5. vishal on March 29, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Hy,Hy, guyys,,

    GRE Math is not as harder as these type of site says, k.

    I gave it in March'11.

    I got 640 without prepreration.

    I am not master of Math or its not any kind of FACT..

    Just fill good and give…..

    • hari on June 25, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      not every day is sunday vishal,be thakful to god !

  6. chalasani Pallavi on March 22, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    i gave my test yesterday…..i got 1330….quant 800 and verbal 530….im really happy with my score as the univs im applying to concentrate particularly on quant scores…..thank you happy schools blog!!!!! i started my prep only after reading all the articles in your blog!!!!!!!!
    keep up the great work!!!!!!

    • HSB on March 22, 2011 at 11:14 PM

      Congrats.. Very good score.

  7. majid on February 25, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    Barrons for building up your fundamentals.

    GRE bible for practice tests.

  8. Shweta on February 9, 2011 at 6:17 AM

    Could I possibly get a consolidated list of important math formulae that would help me crack the Quant section of the GRE with ease? Thanks.

  9. sirisha chowdary on January 16, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    which is the best book that i want to refer for gre 2011

  10. sheets on January 4, 2011 at 9:59 AM


    I would appreciate if anyone could tell me about the place I could get the practice tests from.


  11. venkat on December 13, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    hi HSB team

    which is the best site to practise online tests please help me

  12. bhaskar on December 11, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    very good suggetions

  13. Phineas on December 10, 2010 at 4:42 AM

    I'm going to take my GRE on saturday. I'm nervous. The example given above confused me and up to now I do not even know the answer

    • HSB on December 10, 2010 at 6:34 AM

      Don't be nervous. It's impossible to know answers to the questions. Do your best.

  14. Rahil on November 6, 2010 at 7:08 AM

    I want to also know that does math part contains questions from parabola, ellipse, hyperbola, cone etc. This fields are not included in the math book which is present on ETS but one of my mate told me that question from this section appeared in his exams. He had appeared 2 times for GRE. So can you clear up my doubt???

  15. Rahil on November 6, 2010 at 7:03 AM

    I am planning to give my GRE by end of next month. Rite now i am getting 24 correct out of 28 in quants and 10 correct out of 30 in verbal. The score which i am getting from above with the help of the table given in Barron's book for GRE is 700 in quants and around 350 in verbal. So i wud like to know how much my score can be improved?

  16. soham on October 26, 2010 at 10:57 PM

    wud like to know the chances of getting admission in an us university with two backlogs in my undergrad course with an overall dgpa of 7 and a gre score of 1350 and toefl 95 and also the chances of getting funded.(electrical engineering)

    • HSB on October 27, 2010 at 9:05 AM

      2 backlogs will not affect your chances.

  17. Ankita on October 7, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    hey please help me HSB, I gave GRE and got 760-Quant and 500-verbal and i want to apply in electrical and electronics engineering department. My B.E aggregate is 83% and i am a university topper with gold medal,

    2 of my papers have been selected and published at international level and 1 paper at national level..I want to get admission in good universities with scholarship.. will i be able to get?

    my friend with 1300 score got admitted to stanford university in Electrical engineering Dept, so that means I can make it to such good universities?

  18. Avneesh on August 27, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    Like the above mentioned technique to approach this sort of math problem, Just wanted to know if there is a book or a resource where smilar quick solving techniques and approaches are mentioned with respect to GRE Quants section…??

  19. ujwal on August 27, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    i am planning to give my gre on october.I have booked my date.i am doing the wordlist in barron and also practice tests .Any tips or suggestions as to how i shud go about from here to improve my score

  20. Priyanka on August 8, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Hi…i am doing B.E in Information Technology and i am in final year and i want to do MS from US. i am planning to give GRE in November 2010 so that i can go US in august 2011….but still am confused whether to give GRE in November or December so please help me which date should i select???….and for GRE i am using Barrons is that enough to score atleast 1100 or i should refer some other materials also??? and when should i give TOFEL after GRE????

  21. harshini on August 4, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    which book is prefer for gre

  22. Soumya on August 2, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    hi… i hav completed my Btech in Electrical and Electronics and wud like 2 do MS in Biomedical instrumentation….. m planning 2 take up GRE sumwhere in nov.. i hav started my preparations and the buk i hav is Barrons… will dat do?? kindly guide me…i wud also like 2 know the top universities in the US and Canada where dis course is offered……

    • Kanad on August 7, 2010 at 11:51 AM

      I would suggest you to start off with The Princeton Review, this is easier for beginners. There a few points which matter psychologically, for instance you will get those vocabs which mainly comes in the GRE. The Barrons have a complete set of 3500 words as compared to TPR's 1000. For any mediocre student who is not so well versed about vocabs feels it easy to first deal with the main 1000 then doing the rest looks easy. And moreover you need to consult more than one book, specially in case if you didn't join any coaching institute.
      Reply with your feedback.

  23. pradeep on August 2, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    This is gud

  24. Venkat on August 1, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    Really helpful and thought provoking idea!!! This will not only help us in solving problem in GRE but also help us in improving our problem solving skills…

  25. sundeep paruchury on August 1, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    thanks a lot ..really helpful

  26. kavichandra on July 31, 2010 at 6:47 AM

    iam kavichandra, i am doing, i dont know how to prepare for quantitative section ,i dont have maths background iam a boilogy student so plz help me how to study for this

  27. phani on July 31, 2010 at 3:24 AM

    I still didnot understand the reasoning explained above. Could you please explain it at length keeping in picture that I am a biology background student who lost math skills 10-12 yr when I passed my SSC.

  28. Siddhartha Biswas on July 30, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    I have 9 backlogs in Msc Biochemistry, but still planning to give GRE. I desperately want to do Phd in US graduate schools. My friends says it is immpossible to get chance in US graduate schools with 9 Backlogs. Is it really a hopeless case? Plz help me..

  29. Kunal on July 30, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    very gud trick…

  30. devkanth on July 30, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    tat sounds really cool…a nice trick….thanx hsb…. u r doing a tremendous job …if u do mind..pls post some math questions every week…..

  31. vinitha on July 30, 2010 at 6:47 AM

    thanks a lot! it was really inspiring

    • rajesh on July 30, 2010 at 10:22 PM

      hiiiiiiii,i have some doubts m…………may i ask u

  32. Avinash Palavai on July 30, 2010 at 5:53 AM

    This is sooo gud. I expect HSB to start a section which provides this sort of rare shourtcuts and methods. Thanks a lot. Plz consider my request.

  33. Nithish Bunny on July 30, 2010 at 4:56 AM

    the above answer can be solved by by understanding that 2/9 and 3/11 are less than 0.5 and their sum results in a value which is less than 1. so the answer would be 1.

    I think this the simplest way to solve this problem

    • Andy on July 30, 2010 at 7:31 AM

      1 is not the correct answer. The correct answer is (C) 4

    • Thomas on September 8, 2010 at 8:18 PM

      GREat ++++++++++++++ GREAT ==== GREAT

      • Brian Clark on November 25, 2012 at 11:16 PM

        i got the right answer in under 30 seconds. should i be worried about doing well? i am really nervous.

  34. Umank on July 30, 2010 at 4:31 AM

    Thank you a lot. Very inspiring and suggestive post.

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