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 how to minimize 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:
- The value of Column A is greater than the Value of Column B.
- The value of Column B is greater than the Value of Column A.
- Both the values of Columns A and B are the same.
- The relationship between Columns A and B values 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 eventually adds up to the time pressure in the second section, where the difficulty level of the questions is higher based on our performance in the previous section. Now, let us review some facts that will make things easier.
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 on this:
Here in this problem, if we take the value of r = 1, then solving further, we get the value of Column A greater.
If we take the value of r = 2 and then solve further, we get the values of Columns A and B the same.
And if we take the value of r = 3, then solving further, we get the value of Column B greater.
Thus, with different values of r, we get different relations between Columns A and B values. Hence, the relationship between Columns A and B values 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.e., have only numbers or digits, the answer will never be option D. The Answer option is D only when we cannot determine the relation between the two columns. Here, as we have only numbers in both columns, either A would be greater, B would be greater, or both would be equal!
For example:
Quantity A | Quantity B |
24×(5 + 12)÷6 | (7- 3) × 18÷4 |
In this question, only numbers are there, so the answer will never be D.
The next article will discuss some more interesting tricks to tackle Quantitative Comparison questions on the GRE. Till then, practice these strategies!