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GRE Math Formulas Cheat Sheet

Update 6/8/12: Even better than a cheat sheet– download our free GRE Math Formula eBook!

Before walking into the GRE, it is a good idea to know the following formulas/tidbits. In fact, not knowing the information below can seriously hurt your chances of answering a question correctly.

At the same time, while this is a very useful cheat sheet, do not just memorize formulas without actually applying them to a question. Often students will see a question and will assume that a certain formula is relevant. This is not always the case. So make sure you practice using the formulas so you will know when they pertain to a question.

 

Interest

Simple Interest: V=P(1+rt/100), where P is principal, r is rate, and t is time

Compound Interest: V=P(1+r/{100n})^nt, where n is the number of times compounded per year

 

Work Rates

{1/{T}}={1/{time 1}}+{1/{time 2}}, where T is the time to completion of a task when two workers are combining effort.

 

Sets

{A+B}-{({A}bigcup{}{}{ B})}

 

Distance, Rate, and Time

D=rtDistance=Rate*Time

 

Circles

Area=pi{r}^2

Circumference=2pi{r}

Arc Length={x/360}2{pi}r

Area of sector={x/360}{pi}r^2

 

Squares

Perimeter=4s, where s = side

Area = s^2

 

Rectangles

Area = l*w, where l = length and w = width

Perimeter = 2l+2w

 

Trapezoids

{{Base1+Base2}/2}*height

 

Polygons

Total degrees = 180(n-2), where n = # of sides

Average degrees per side or degree measure of congruent polygon = 180(n-2)/n

 

The Distance Formula

sqrt{({x_2}-{x_1})^2+({y_2}-{y_1})^2}

 

Prime numbers and integers

1 is not a prime. 2 is the smallest prime and the only even prime.

An integer is any counting number including negative numbers (e.g. -3, -1, 2, 7…but not 2.5)

 

Fast Fractions

{1/x}+{1/y}={x+y}/{xy} i.e. {1/2}+{1/5}={2+5}/{2*5}=7/10

 

Divisibility

3 : sum of digits divisible by 3

4 : the last two digits of number are divisible by 4

5 : the last digit is either a 5 or zero

6 : even number and sum of digits is divisible by 3

8 : if the last three digits are divisible by 8

9: sum of digits is divisible by 9

 

Combinations and Permutations

nCr={n!}/{r!(n-r)!}   n is the total number, r is the number you are choosing

nPr={n!}/{(n-r)!}

 

Probability

Probability of event = {number of ways that fit the requirement}/{number of total ways}

 

About the Author

Chris Lele has been helping students excel on the GRE, GMAT, and SAT for the last 10 years. He is the Lead Content Developer and Tutor for Magoosh. His favorite food is wasabi-flavored almonds. Follow him on Google+!

24 Responses to GRE Math Formulas Cheat Sheet

  1. Kaitlyn May 29, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    How am I supposed to calculate interest rates without a calculator that has an exponents key? For example, one of the question asks me to calculate how much does a person have in their account after 2 years if she deposit $10,000 in an account that has 3.95% annual rate, compounding semi-annually.

    Normally, I would take 10,000(1.0198)^4 but I’m unable to punch 1.0198^4 into the calculator nor am I capable of manually calculating that in a quick manner.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele May 30, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi Kaitlyn,

      A good strategy is to enter the number, say 1.0198 and then press (X) and (=). That will give you that number squared. Pressing (X) and (=) again, will give you that number to the 4th power. You can play around with that function to give you other derivations, e.g. 1.0198^6, 1.0198^16, etc.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Shrikar March 20, 2014 at 2:47 am #

    Super ! Reassuring. Seeing that I’ve covered all of these, gave me quite a confidence boost. :D

  3. nikhil June 24, 2013 at 5:50 am #

    thanks a lot on final day of my exam i heleped me a lot .I have scored 164 in quant

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele June 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      Great! Such a score is always a ringing endorsement :)!

  4. Manel May 25, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    Thanks a lot…a very good way to see if we got it all hitting the GRE next this ebooks is just what I needed ..You rock guys

  5. Supriya May 23, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    I was confused from where to start and here you are made things a lot easier. Thank you very much.

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele May 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

      You are welcome — I’m glad I made things easier for you :).

  6. Kayla M. August 19, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    You have made my life much easier. I cannot remember the last time that I used these equations so when I looked at the practice questions I thought “well this is interesting.”

    • Chris Lele
      Chris August 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

      You are welcome! I’m glad the equations were helpful :).

  7. sai July 3, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    this sai from hyd . it is good.
    could pls send me formula according news gre topics to the mai id;sdnsh950@gmail.com
    pls.pls.pls.pls…………..

  8. Alex July 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Chris,

    I was going over some of the practice problems in the Princeton review and found that the 3D shape problems have specific equations for them, do we need to know those for the GRE?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 3, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      It would help to know the cube, the sphere, and the cylinder. (Though sometimes a question may even supply the formula for a sphere). There are other shapes such as a cone and a pyramid, which I wouldn’t worry about.

      Hope that helps :)

  9. Hamid June 29, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Hi I’m taking the gre revised tomorrow. Do we need to know the quadratic formula?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris June 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Hi Hamid,

      No, you should be fine without knowing the quadratic formula. Granted there may be a question in which the quadratic formula could be used, there are often alternative ways of solving the problem, working backwards from answer choices, etc.

      Good luck!

  10. Glory May 7, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    I was searching for GRE maths formula. Chris, Is the list complete and is it that actual GRE maths question will walk around these formulas?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris May 7, 2012 at 11:14 am #

      Hi Glory,

      Interesting that you ask :). We are coming out with a Math formula e-book in a few weeks! There the formula list will be far more comprehensive than the one above. Stay tuned!

      • Glory May 8, 2012 at 4:25 am #

        Chris,
        Thank you for replying . I would really appreciate if you could post me the compiled eBook at : glorybasumata@hotmail.com

        Thank You.

        • Chris Lele
          Chris May 8, 2012 at 11:49 am #

          Hi Glory,

          Actually, we will have the download link up on the blog in a few short weeks (you can just check back in then :). Also, if you are a Premium Magoosh user the link will automatically show up on your resource page. (You can always check out the free trial version of our product to see how Magoosh can help).

  11. Zahid February 15, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    Thanks for your kind help!

  12. Zahid February 14, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    Hi Chris,

    Is there any intrigation and differentiation match problems in revised GRE exam?

    • Chris Lele
      Chris February 14, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      No calculus – nor for that matter trig., logarithms, etc.

  13. Jhinuk February 2, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Good Job…


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