Units in General GRE

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Units in General GRE

Post by yoyobarn » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:13 am


May I know if the general GRE tests units?

I am familiar with SI units, but am totally new to units like yards, feet, etc, which I understand is used more often in the US.

So, do we have to memorize stuff like 1 mile= 1760 yards= 5280 feet ?

If so, what are the more common units in the GRE (general)?


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Re: Units in General GRE

Post by mhancock743 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:17 pm

I wouldn't worry about it too much, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to know some of the more common ones if only for your own benefit, especially if you plan on living/studying here in the U.S. for a length of time.

From my experience I don't recall any problems where conversions were necessary, whether it was SI <-> Imperial, Imperial -> Imperial, or SI -> SI. This is not to say you won't see any yourself, however.

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Re: Units in General GRE

Post by exxx » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:46 pm

Questions may involve units of measurement such as English units or metric units. If an answer to a question requires converting one unit of measurement to another, then the relationship between the units is provided, unless the relationship is a
common one, such as minutes to hours, or centimeters to

I didn't see any questions on unit conversions on my test at all.

I think "12 inches = 1 foot" could maybe be considered one of the "common" ones. I don't think any other imperial unit conversion would be considered common. Maybe "16 ounces = 1 pound", but I doubt it.

As far as real-life here in the states goes, these are the conversions in order of importance:

Top five:
12 in = 1 ft
5280 ft = 1 mi
16 oz = 1 pound
8 fl. oz = 1 cup
3 ft = 1 yrd (only for American Football fans :P)

0 deg C = 32 deg F (freezing point of water)
100 deg C = 212 deg F (boiling point of water)
F<-->C is linear.
So from these two points anyone on a site called Mathematics GRE should be able to come up with the formula for C to F in a couple seconds in their head: F=(9/5)C+32.
I personally choose to remember that the slope of the transformation is 9/5, and the freezing point (y-intercept) is 32. I think it's easier to remember the number 9/5 than the number 212, but only because I grew up with it. Nowadays it's easy to remember 212, though, because it's the area code for Manhattan. So, you just have to remember that "water boils in Hell's Kitchen" --and know the area code for Manhattan like I do, lol :P.

Less common measurements:
2000 pounds = 1 ton
4 cups = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon
(For "quart" think "quatre=four", as in: "a quart is four times a cup and a quarter of a gallon"--gallon and cup being the two most common volume measurements in America)
2 cups = 1 pint
(For pint, think "p as in pound", as in one pound of water, a pound of water is 16 fl. oz, and 16 fl. oz is 2 cups. So a pint is two cups.)

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