GRE Quant difficulty

I took the test yesterday and got an unofficial results of 170Q 159V.

Some people said that ets recently increased their quant difficulty, but I don’t think that’s really the case. Here’s what I felt:

  • The knowledge required to answer the questions are the same. This is obvious and should be expected.

  • The complexity (as in the time it takes to answer questions) are roughly the same. I took an official mock test only 5 days before the real test. In both attempts, it took me ~28 minutes to complete the first Q section and ~33 minutes to complete the second, harder Q section. I am confident in math so pressure is not a relevant factor here.

  • The questions in the real test are more ‘innovative’ in its format and approach to concepts. It makes the test more ‘fun’ for me though, because I like good puzzles.

My hypothesis is that if you studied for the questions’ format, you would feel that the real tests are harder, or more difficult, simply because the layout of the questions is new to your brain, so it takes a little more processing time. If you studied for the concepts, and a good habit to identify what the questions are about, you would not feel an increase in difficulty.