Free Official GRE Sample Questions, with Answers

Depending on how you approach GRE preparation, the road to getting a top score on GRE test day can be long and difficult. At Menlo Coaching, we back the use of Official GRE General Test Materials only—including GRE practice questions and GRE practice tests issued by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

While the GRE does test your verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning skills, it is equally—if not more—interested in how you tackle the questions and use your time. For this reason, the questions tend to be structured around what we call “the con.”

GRE question writers know a lot about human nature and how we think, and they set out with the express purpose of misleading test takers. As a result, even though many test takers understand the complex mathematical and grammatical principles behind solving a given problem, they will be fooled into choosing the wrong answers.

Devising questions that reliably mislead the test taker is an art in itself, and unofficial question writers simply do not have the time, resources, or expertise to craft unassuming cons. As such, using only official GRE practice questions is the most efficient way to prepare for the GRE.

Preparing for the GRE can be a long, arduous process—especially if you don’t use official practice questions.

The Menlo Coaching GRE Curriculum

The Menlo Coaching GRE curriculum is balanced between the hard skills of verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning and the softer skills of finding the con and learning to get the correct answer in the most efficient way.

Take a look at our official practice questions, along with explanations and commentary from expert tutor, David Baird!

GRE Practice Question Types

The GRE is divided into five sections: one analytical writing section, two verbal reasoning sections, and two quantitative reasoning sections.

The first section is always the Analytical Writing section, which involves one “Analyze an Issue” task.

After that, there are two verbal reasoning sections and two quantitative reasoning sections, which could appear in any order.

Verbal Sections

Verbal Reasoning Section 1 involves answering 12 questions and lasts for 18 minutes. Section 2 requires you to answer 15 questions and lasts for 23 minutes.

Below, you’ll find some of our sample verbal reasoning questions:

Remember that the verbal section of the GRE is not testing you on pure literacy but on your verbal reasoning skills! This means the question will intentionally set out to mislead you, so a strong understanding of the materials and the exam is crucial for improving your scores.

One of the best ways to improve your GRE score in the verbal reasoning section is to expand your vocabulary. Our GRE students get free access to a comprehensive Menlo GRE Vocabulary database containing more than 1,200 high-level GRE vocab words used on previous real GRE exams, a key reason why Menlo Coaching-tutored students consistently see significant GRE Verbal score improvements year after year.

Quantitative Sections

Quantitative Reasoning Section 1 involves answering 12 questions and lasts for 21 minutes. Section 2, on the other hand, requires you to answer 15 questions and lasts for 26 minutes.

In the math sections of the GRE exam, test takers need the requisite knowledge related to the content area being tested (arithmetic, algebra, geometry, statistics, etc.) However, it is just as important to read the question carefully, leverage every hint, and choose the right strategy (e.g., backsolving, number picking, conceptual thinking, etc.)

Remember that the quantitative section is not evaluating you on mathematical rules but on your quantitative reasoning! This means the question will deliberately try to mislead the test taker. Getting a higher score will require a strong knowledge of the concepts being tested as well as a thorough understanding of the exam itself.

Many people think of GRE quantitative reasoning questions as plain math questions, but the following sample GRE math practice questions show that, in many cases, they are much more than that. Please take a look at the following GRE quantitative reasoning practice questions listed below.

Beware of Free GRE Practice Tests!

Taking a free GRE practice test might seem like a good idea at the time, but we often find that free practice tests lull GRE test takers into a false sense of security at best and ingrain inefficient methods of test taking at worst.

For the same reasons that GRE questions are difficult to write, GRE tests are difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to construct.

Significant work goes into creating questions that test your understanding of the underlying principles and hiding those questions behind inconspicuous cons. GRE practice tests also need at least some degree of technical infrastructure to confirm that you’ve chosen the correct answers and produce accurate GRE scores. This makes GRE practice tests a significant investment for the websites and companies that produce them.

One of the sinister ways that test prep companies can offset this cost is by reinforcing inefficient approaches and poor time management in GRE practice test takers.

We aren’t suggesting that this is a deliberate move. Rather, we assert that the primary reason test prep companies provide free GRE practice tests is to attract potential GRE students to their websites. Due to this discrepancy of interests, students who use free practice tests exclusively run into the unfortunate consequence of targeting their preparation toward the wrong areas.

Further, most free practice tests aren’t timed, which often means that you won’t adjust to the additional pressure of answering questions within a short timeframe. And because timing isn’t your primary concern, you might fall into the unfortunate trap of using less efficient methods of solving GRE problems.

For instance, novice test takers typically answer quantitative comparison questions using algebra, which is a perfectly valid means of tackling these questions—if you have an unlimited amount of time.

However, on your actual test day, it’s often advisable to approach quantitative comparison questions on the GRE by plugging in numbers. In fact, this is advised by ETS, which explicitly advises students to do so on all GRE quantitative comparison questions (containing algebra)—something Menlo Coaching students are keenly aware of since they work exclusively with Official GRE Materials.

New to the GRE?

Many GRE test takers dive headfirst into exam preparation without understanding the format of the exam, the score they need, or how much time they need to dedicate to GRE preparation.

At Menlo Coaching, we have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions GRE test takers ask, including:

Understanding the exam can help you make better decisions about your approach to test prep and streamline your GRE studying process.

GRE vs GMAT—Which Exam Is Right for You?

Depending on the programs you’re applying to, you might have some questions about whether the GRE or the GMAT would be a better choice for you.

Both exams have been staples in the graduate school application space for quite some time.

Although the GMAT is historically the preferred test for MBA programs, the GRE is becoming increasingly popular among MBA applicants. MBA programs express no preference for one exam over the other, meaning that the GRE is becoming a bigger player in the MBA application.

Find out more about the GMAT vs the GRE: Which Exam Should You Take?

Outside of MBA programs, the GRE is one of the most widely used grad school admission exams in the world, and so if you aren’t quite sure of the programs you want to apply to, the GRE can be a safe choice.

Ready to Prepare for the GRE?

When studying for the GRE, a lot of people tend to focus their studies on what they consider to be weak areas, targeting mathematical or verbal principles that are difficult to understand.

However, this might not be the most efficient way to approach the exam.

Aside from teaching you the concepts that are tested on the exam, a tutor can accurately gauge your strengths and weaknesses, identify low-hanging fruit for score improvement, help plan your study schedule, and improve your understanding of the exam itself and how best to approach it.

Are you ready to streamline your GRE preparation? Contact us to work with one of our expert GRE tutors.

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