GRE Math Is Hard, But No One Is “Terrible At Math”

Students can easily believe that they are either not good at math or are just bad people. This self-fulfilling prophecy can make students score lower on GREs if their mindset about math skills has changed.

Instead, students who believed in the power to work hard and persevere in learning math proficiency could get higher GRE scores, better educations, and more desirable careers.

GRE math can be difficult, but it's not impossible. Anyone is capable of mastering it. It's not hard work. We will be looking at scientific research to dispel 2 myths surrounding math aptitude.

GRE math can be difficult, but it's not impossible. It's possible for anyone to learn it. It is possible to master it if you are willing to work hard.

Myth 1 – Some people are just "terrible at math"

GRE students who feel they are just "terrible at mathematical" form this view long before they start studying for GRE. You may have found yourself in this category.

Maybe you were certain you would succeed in Quant. What's the point? What's the point?

It is absurd and self-limiting to think that you are inherently bad in math. How can someone learn to play the piano? It takes a lot of effort. By working very hard. How can one master pingpong? It takes hours of practice. How can one become proficient in math? It is hard work, hours of practice and focused practice that will make you a math expert.

It is absurd and self-limiting to think that you are inherently bad in math.

Stanford University and Columbia University researchers tested the myth that "bad at mathematics" is a harmful misconception. In a study of more than 400 seventh-graders for a two-year period, researchers found that students who believed in intelligence development saw an increase in math grades, while those who believed in intelligence being fixed saw no change in math grades. Although belief alone will not help you improve your math skills and knowledge, there are solid scientific studies that show that believing that intelligence is fixed can limit your ability to do so.

Similar findings have been made in other studies on intelligence and learning. A large body of evidence has shown that IQ, long considered unchangeable, can be affected by factors like years spent in school, practice, and training in complex and new tasks. IQ increases and decreases don't have to happen over years.

Your IQ and math skills can be improved by studying and practicing.

Myth 2 – Some people are just "Math People".

It is not true that all people are math-phobic. It is easy to think that GRE Quant math is easy. You don't see all the hard work they put into getting a high score. You don't see what they went through to get there, nor the effort that was put into it.

And guess what? People sometimes want to make learning math for GRE Quant easy. I'm sure you'

You've probably seen the online stories about people who took practice exams or sharpened their math skills over a few weeks to score 170 on GRE Quant. But what about their lives? Do you know the history of these people?

Tiger Woods's golf game is second-nature. Tiger Woods began to practice his swing at age 2 and continued practicing over the years, putting in thousands of hours. All of these things don't mean Tiger Woods has any natural golf talent. Also, not every two-year old who picks a golf club will be the next Tiger Woods. But, it is not unreasonable to believe that anyone could possibly become competent enough to win a tournament if they practice enough.

You do not need to be an expert in a particular skill or have "always" had it . It doesn't take a genius math mind to score a high GRE quant score. GRE Quant is not an easy test. While you need to be able to accurately answer the questions, it doesn't require any advanced math skills. The actual concepts that are needed for GRE Quant are similar to high school. Are you able to learn math from high school? Or do you just need to be a good student and believe in yourself?

GRE Quant scores can be earned by anyone, even if they aren't math-savvy.

You might have believed that your math skills were "natural". These assumptions can be easy because they often provide an excuse and explain the situation. The math skills of those students are superior to yours! They are math experts! If you think you are not a math person, then you won't be as hardworking in math classes or studying for your math tests because you believe you have no hope.

You will lose your ability to perform if you aren't as hardworking, even subconsciously. You get confirmation that your beliefs are true when you continue to perform poorly in math. This pattern continues, and you will find yourself telling yourself that math is not your thing.

Three essential tips on how to learn math for the GRE Quant

It's well-known that self limiting beliefs such as "I can't do math" or that "I don't know how to do math" can lead to poor learning and performance. This doesn't mean you have to be a good thinker in order to achieve high GRE Quant scores. GRE Quant mastery is only possible if you change your mindset.

These 3 GRE Math Tips will make you a better math GRE question taker.

  • Tip 1: Transform pessimistic self-talk
  • Tip 2: Outwork your peers
  • Tip 3 – See discomfort as a chance for growth

Let's take each strategy one by one.

Tip 1: Transform Pessimistic Self-Talk

From more than a ten-year experience as a coach for GRE students, it has been my observation that students who score well do not engage in pessimistic selftalk. Such self-talk includes "I'm so bad at math that I'll never solve Quant problems fast enough," "I'm just terrible with math GRE Questions." High GRE scores are evidence that students are realistic, optimistic, logical, and goal-oriented about their current skills and how they will achieve their targets. They talk more like the following:

I'm currently struggling with math, but I know that I can improve my skills by working hard and taking time.

While I might not be able to answer all the GRE Quant questions quickly right now, I do have the potential to improve my speed each day.

The GRE math can be difficult, but I have experience with challenging things and I am up to the challenge.

GRE math can be hard. However, not everyone denies that it is. Many students who end up with top GRE quant scores struggled with GRE calculus.

As our research shows, You are more likely and open to learning if you feel positive about it. Your well-being will be affected by your attitude throughout the preparation for the GRE.

If you are constantly grumbling while studying, you will become chronically unhappy and stressed. Stress can make it difficult to focus, and reduce the productivity of your GRE study sessions. Positive self-talk has been shown to improve performance on standardized and timed math tests.

Be confident that you can learn GRE math. Remember the old saying, "Fake It 'til You Make it." When you start to feel anxious, positive thoughts will help you get through each session.

Keep in mind that your current actions are helping you to improve math skills. Think of GRE Quant learning as a challenge. It will be surprising how easy it is to grasp GRE concepts.

Tip 2: Outwork Your Peers

This article began by stating that anyone who is willing to work hard can excel in GRE Quant. GRE Quant is a lot harder than most students think.

There is a silver thread in this cloud. GRE Quant can be outworked by your peers. Learn GRE Quant for 100 hour and you'll be nearly twice as competent as your peers. Your peers may be studying GRE math 200 hours. You will be approximately 50 percent more competent than them if you spend 300 hours.

Is it possible to have a one-to-1 correspondence with such an individual? Scientific research has shown that people learn better when they are trained. This means that you can improve your skills the more you train. Quant section scores are not genetically or inbornly gifted. Instead, they learned more math and practiced more than their peers.

GRE math may be difficult if you have not yet learned it. You can always put more time in if you feel the hours have not been enough. Your work will come out when you sit down for the exam.

Tip 3: Consider Discomfort to be Growth

To outwork your peers, perseverance is key. That means you don't get discouraged by setbacks or discomfort and you can still win.

Over the years, my observations have shown that students who do not give up on practice questions when they get difficult are those who earn the highest GRE Q scores. The opposite is true for students who are more likely to give up and abandon practice questions after only a few minutes or 1:30 or other short time frames, but who have the highest GRE scores.

It is important to be able to persevere through GRE Quant questions, even when you are tired and frustrated. It is better to keep working and not quit.

You won't learn and grow if your body doesn't feel comfortable.

You should make discomfort part your GRE preparation until it becomes a habit. The GRE test center environment, staring at the computer screen for hours, and the pressure to complete the exam are all uncomfortable. It is not easy.

GRE math preparation can be used as an opportunity to practice being uncomfortable.

To allow yourself to feel uncomfortable, you should practice GRE Quant questions untimed until you improve your math skills. GRE Quant practice questions may be difficult to understand at first glance. The answer may not be obvious to you. Finding the right answer can take longer than two or three minutes. By allowing yourself to take 2 or 3 seconds, you're freeing yourself from the responsibility.

The essential GRE skill of navigating through a fire and coming out with the solution is not being taught to you. Doing the simplest thing to find the right answer is not going to teach you how to persevere and hack to get the right answers. It can be uncomfortable but necessary if your GRE Quant score is to rise.

Research has shown that people only give 40 percent of their potential when they think they've done all they can. When you're trying to solve GRE Quant practice problems, don't quit unless you're truly stuck. Even if a question doesn't come up, you'll learn how to persevere through adversity and resilience, which are valuable skills to have when taking the GRE.

It is clear that you can improve your math skills and score well on the GRE Quant. Take the GRE Math tips I've shared into your study plan. Check out these GRE Study Tips to learn faster and retain more of what you have learned during GRE preparation.

Let's get this done! !


  • camdynelliott

    Camdyn Elliott is a 35-year-old educational blogger and school teacher. She has been writing about education for nearly a decade, and her work has been featured on sites like The Huffington Post and The New York Times. Camdyn is the founder of the education blog Education Week, and she is also the author of the book "How to Teach Like a Pro: A Guide to Effective Teaching Methods for College and Career Students."

Comments are closed.