There are few concepts on the GRE that frighten students more than that of probability. Many go out of their way to study difficult probability questions, agonizing over concepts that are beyond the scope of the GRE. Test day, though, you might only see one probability question. You will probably see two, though you might see three. I doubt you’ll see any more than that. The number of probability questions on the GRE varies, but you can be confident that you’ll only see a few instances of probability on your test.
Frequency of probability questions on the GRE: (1-3)/40
The type of probability questions you will see range from coin tosses to objects being removed from a group without replacement. While these questions can be very tough, the good news is it doesn’t get much tougher.
Perhaps one curveball that the GRE will throw at you is combining geometry and probability. For example, you might get a question that asks you what the probability a certain point chosen at random will fall within the shaded region of the section. But again do not agonize over such a possibility. You most likely will not see such a question. Even if you do, getting the hang of these questions—indeed most probability questions on the test—just takes a little practice.
Speaking of, here’s a practice question to get your brain going (but hopefully not too worried):
So if you’re worried about how many probability questions are on the GRE, just take a breather and remember the probability is very low you’ll see a lot of probability! Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the probability jokes. But consider this: in the short time that you’ve been reading this article, it’s possible that you’ve already passed more time than you will spend on probability come test day! Hopefully that puts some things in perspective for you as you’re studying.
What scares you the most about probability? I’ll give you a hint: it should probably be that you’ll see a couple probability questions and have wasted precious study time! Anyway, let us know below. 🙂