Are you ready for the GRE? Try these GRE sample questions and get a quick preview of the question types you'll face on test day. Check  your answers against our in-depth explanations to see how you did.

We pulled these GRE practice questions from our book  Cracking the GRE and from our GRE prep course materials. For even more practice, take a free GRE practice test with us held under realistic testing conditions.

Note: On the GRE you'll be given an on-screen calculator with the five basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and square root, plus a decimal function and positive/negative feature. Don't use anything fancier when you tackle this GRE math practice!

GRE Quantitative Comparison Practice

Quantitative comparison questions ask you to compare Quantity A to Quantity B. Your job is to compare the two quantities and decide which of the following describes the relationship:

  • Quantity A is greater.
  • Quantity B is greater.
  • The two quantities are equal.
  • The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

1. The average (arithmetic mean) high temperature for x days is 70 degrees. The addition of one day with a high temperature of 75 degrees increases the average to 71 degrees.  

Quantity A Quantity B
x 5

(A) Quantity A is greater.
(B) Quantity B is greater.
(C) The two quantities are equal.
(D) The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Answer: (B) Quantity B is greater.

If the average high temperature for x days is 70 degrees, then the sum of those x high temperatures is 70x. The sum of the high temperatures, including the additional day that has a temperature of 75 degrees is, therefore, 70x + 75. Next, use the average formula to find the value of x:

GRE Quantitative Comparison practice

In this formula, 71 is the average, 70x + 75 is the total, and there are x + 1 days. Substituting this information into the formula gives:
GRE Quantitative Comparison answer explanation
To solve, cross-multiply to get 71x + 71 = 70x + 75. Next, simplify to find that x = 4. Therefore, Quantity B is greater. The correct answer is (B).

a and b are integers.
a 2 = b 3

Quantity A Quantity B
a b

(A) Quantity A is greater.
(B) Quantity B is greater.
(C) The two quantities are equal.
(D) The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Answer: (D) The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Try different integers for a and b that satisfy the equation a 2 = b 3 such as a = 8 and b = 4. These numbers satisfy the equation as 8 2 = 4 3 = 64. In this case, Quantity A is greater. Because Quantity B is not always greater nor are the two quantities always equal, choices (B) and (C) can be eliminated. Next, try some different numbers. When choosing a second set of numbers, try something less common such as making a = b = 1. Again, these numbers satisfy the equation provided in the problem. In this case, however, the quantities are equal. Because Quantity A is not always greater, choice (A) can now be eliminated. The correct answer is (D).

GRE Multiple-Choice Practice

For question 3, select one answer from the list of five answer choices.

3. A certain pet store sells only dogs and cats. In March, the store sold twice as many dogs as cats. In April, the store sold twice the number of dogs that it sold in March, and three times the number of cats that it sold in March. If the total number of pets the store sold in March and April combined was 500, how many dogs did the store sell in March?

(A) 80
(B) 100
(C) 120
(D) 160
(E) 180

Answer: (B) 100

Plug In the Answers, starting with the middle choice. If 120 dogs were sold in March, then 60 cats were sold that month. In April, 240 dogs were sold, along with 180 cats. The total number of dogs and cats sold during those two months is 600, which is too large, so eliminate (C), (D), and (E). Try (B). If there were 100 dogs sold in March, then 50 cats were sold; in April, 200 dogs were sold along with 150 cats. The correct answer is (B) because 100 + 50 + 200 + 150 = 500.


GRE Problem Solving practice

ABC has an area of 108 cm 2 . If both x and y are integers, which of the following could be the value of x ?

Indicate all  such values.

(A) 4
(B) 5
(C) 6
(D) 8
(E) 9

Answer: (A), (C), (D) and (E)

Plug the information given into the formula for the area of a triangle to learn more about the relationship between x and y: Area of a triangle formula The product of x and y is 216, so x needs to be a factor of 216. The only number in the answer choices that is not a factor of 216 is 5. The remaining choices are possible values of x.

GRE Numeric Entry Practice

Some questions on the GRE won't have answer choices, and you'll have to generate your own answer.

5. Each month, Renaldo earns a commission of 10.5% of his total sales for the month, plus a salary of $2,500. If Renaldo earns $3,025 in a certain month, what were his total sales?

Answer: 5,000

If Renaldo earned $3,025, then his earnings from the commission on his sales are $3,025 - $2,500 = $525. So, $525 is 10.5% of his sales. Set up an equation to find the total sales:
GRE Numeric Entry question
Solving this equation, x = 5,000.

6. At a recent dog show, there were 5 finalists. One of the finalists was awarded "Best in Show" and another finalist was awarded "Honorable Mention." In how many different ways could the two awards be given out?

Answer: 20

In this problem order matters. Any of the 5 finalists could be awarded "Best in Show." There are 4 choices left for "Honorable Mention," because a different dog must be chosen. Therefore, the total number of possibilities is 5 x 4, or 20.

Text Completion Practice

Text Completion questions include a passage composed of one to five sentences with one to three blanks. There are three answer choices per blank, or five answer choices if there is a single blank. There is a single correct answer, consisting of one choice for each blank. You receive no credit for partially correct answers.

1. Upon visiting the Middle East in 1850, Gustave Flaubert was so         belly dancing that he wrote, in a letter to his mother, that the dancers alone made his trip worthwhile.

(A) overwhelmed by
(B) enamored by
(C) taken aback by
(D) beseeched by
(E) flustered by

Answer: (B) enamored by

Choose carefully here. The clue is "the dancers alone made his trip worthwhile." Thus, Flaubert was impressed by them. Enamored by is the only choice that captures such a feeling. Overwhelmed by is extreme, and implies that Flaubert got more than he could handle. Taken aback by, in contrast, merely suggests that our traveler was surprised by the dancers; we cannot be sure that his surprise was pleasant. Meanwhile, beseeched by does not indicate how Flaubert felt, whereas if he were flustered by the performers, he would not likely have found his encounter with them worthwhile.

2. Increasingly, the boundaries of congressional seats are drawn in order to protect incumbents, as legislators engineer the demographics of each district such that those already in office can coast to (i)         victory. Of course, there is always the possibility that the incumbent will face a challenge from within his or her own party. Nevertheless, once the primary is over, the general election is (ii)         .

Blank (i)Blank (ii)
(A) an ineluctable (B) seldom nugatory
(C) an invidious (D) remarkably contentious
(E) a plangent (F) merely denouement

Answer: (A) an ineluctable and (F) merely denouement

If district boundaries are designed to protect incumbents —that is, those already in office—then victory for those incumbents should be close to assured or inevitable. Ineluctable is synonymous with these words. Invidious means "causing envy" and plangent means "full of lamentation," neither of which is as well supported as the credited response. The second blank comes after a couple of transition words. The first is Of course, which might sound like the passage is continuing in the same direction, but here indicates a change of direction: The author is conceding that sometimes incumbents face challenges. The second, Nevertheless, also changes direction, meaning that the passage has returned to where it started, arguing that elections are essentially decided before they begin. That is what merely denouement means. Seldom nugatory means rarely inconsequential, which is the opposite of what the passage calls for; remarkably contentious is wrong for the same reason, as that phrase would indicate that the general election is fiercely contested.

Sentence Equivalence Practice

Sentence Equivalence questions consist of one sentence with six answer choices. Your job is to choose the two answer choices that logically complete the sentence.

3. Possessed of an insatiable sweet tooth, Jim enjoyed all kinds of candy, but he had a special         for gumdrops, his absolute favorite.

(A) container
(B) affinity
(C) odium
(D) nature
(E) disregard
(F) predilection

Answer: (B) affinity and (F) predilection

The word in the blank is used to describe Jim's feelings for gumdrops. The clues "enjoyed all kinds of candy" and "his absolute favorite" dictates that the blank means liking. Both affinity and predilection mean liking. Odium and disregard go in the wrong direction. Container might sound right, but it is not related to the clue. Nature does not mean liking.

4. The twins' heredity and upbringing were identical in nearly every respect, yet one child remained unfailingly sanguine even in times of stress while her sister was prone to angry outbursts that indicated an exceptionally choleric         .

(A) genotype
(B) environment
(C) physiognomy
(D) incarnation
(E) incarnation
(E) temperament
(F) humor

Answer: (E) temperament and (F) humor

The main clues are that one twin is described as sanguine, the other choleric; even if you don't know these words, the phrases "even in times of stress" and "angry outbursts" suggest that words are used to describe personality. Temperament is a good synonym for personality. While it is frequently used to mean comedy, humor can also mean personality, especially in conjunction with the words such as sanguine and choleric, which derive from the ancient belief that temperament was shaped by the levels of different fluids or humors, in a person's body. The remaining choices don't fit. Environment means one's surroundings while the other three words are concerned with the physical rather than the mental.

Reading Comprehension Practice

Questions 5-6 are based on the following reading passage.

Called by some the “island that time forgot,” Madagascar is home to a vast array of unique, exotic creatures. One such animal is the aye-aye. First described by western science in 1782, it was initially categorized as a member of the order Rodentia. Further research then revealed that it was more closely related to the lemur, a member of the primate order. Since the aye-aye is so different from its fellow primates, however, it was given its own family: Daubentoniidae. The aye-aye has been listed as an endangered species and, as a result, the government of Madagascar has designated an island off the northeastern coast of Madagascar as a protected reserve for aye-ayes and other wildlife.

Long before Western science became enthralled with this nocturnal denizen of Madagascar’s jungles, the aye-aye had its own reputation with the local people. The aye-aye is perhaps best known for its large, round eyes and long, extremely thin middle finger. These adaptations are quite sensible, allowing the aye-aye to see well at night and retrieve grubs, which are one of its primary food sources, from deep within hollow branches. However, the aye-aye’s striking appearance may end up causing its extinction. The people of Madagascar believe that the aye-aye is a type of spirit animal, and that its appearance is an omen of death. Whenever one is sighted, it is immediately killed. When combined with the loss of large swaths of jungle habitat, this practice may result in the loss of a superb example of life’s variety.

5. Based on the information given in the passage, the intended audience would most likely be

(A) visitors to a natural science museum
(B) professors of evolutionary science
(C) a third-grade science class
(D) students of comparative religions
(E) attendees at a world cultural symposium

Answer: (A)

The passage contains a mixture of information about the aye-aye, both from a scientific and cultural background. it gives an overview of the animal without giving a lot of detail in any one area. Choice (B) is incorrect because the passage mentions evolution only briefly, at the end. This choice is too narrow. Choice (C) is incorrect because the style of the passage is too advanced for young students. Choice (D) is incorrect because the passage mentions religion only as it relates to the fate of the aye-aye. Choice (E) is incorrect because the information given is focuses more on the aye-aye itself than on the culture of Madagascar.

6. Consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply.

Which of the following statements can be logically inferred from the passage?

(A) Taxonomic classifications are not always absolute.
(B) The traditional religion of Madagascar involves augury.
(C) There are no longer enough resources on the main island to support the aye-aye population.

Answer: (A) and (B)

Choices (A) and (B) can both be inferred from the passage. Choice (A) is supported by the first paragraph. The classification of the aye-aye changes, which demonstrates that such classifications are not absolute. Choice (B) is supported by the part of the passage dealing with the future of the aye-aye. It states that aye-aye is seen as an omen of death in the traditional religion of the Madagascar. Augury refers to the use of omens, so this statement must be true. Choice (C), however, is not supported. Although the passage states that the aye-aye is in danger, it does not directly discuss whether this is due to limited resources on the main island.

The Issue Essay

The Issue Essay of the GRE requires you to present your opinion on the provided topic.

Issue Topic

You will be given a brief quotation that states or implies an issue of general interest and specific instructions on how to respond to that issue. You will have 30 minutes to plan and compose a response in which you develop a position on the issue according the specific instructions. A response to any other issue will receive a score of zero.

"True beauty is found not in the exceptional but in the commonplace."

Write an essay in which you take a position on the statement above. In developing and supporting your essay, consider instances in which the statement does and does not hold true.

A high-scoring Issue essay accomplishes four key tasks: (1) considers the complexities of the issue; (2) supports the position with relevant examples; (3) is clear and well organized; (4) demonstrates superior facility with the conventions of standard written English.

Make sure that you respond to the specific instructions and support your position on the issue with reasons and examples drawn from such areas as your reading, experience, observations, and/or academic studies.

The Argument Essay

The Argument Essay of the GRE asks you to examine and critique the logic of an argument.

Argument Topic

You will be given a short passage that presents an argument, or an argument to be completed, and specific instructions on how to respond to that passage. You will have 30 minutes to plan and compose a response in which you analyze the passage according to specific instructions. A response to any other issue will receive a score of zero.

The director of the International Health Foundation recently released this announcement:

"A new medical test that allows the early detection of a particular disease will prevent the deaths of people all over the world who would otherwise die from the disease. The test has been extremely effective in allowing doctors to diagnose the disease six months to a year before it would have been spotted by conventional means. As soon as we can institute this test as a routine procedure in hospitals around the world, the death rate from this disease will plummet."

Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted.

A high-scoring Argument essay accomplishes these tasks: (1) clearly identifies and insightfully analyzes important features of the argument; (2) develops ideas clearly and logically with smooth transitions; (3) effectively supports the main points of the critique; (4) demonstrates superior facility with the conventions of standard written English.

Note that you are NOT being asked to present your own views on the subject. Make sure you that you respond to the specific instructions and support your analysis with relevant reasons and/or examples.

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