Preparation Tips for GMAT Quantitative (Quant) Section


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Updated on Sep 20, 2023 13:57 IST

The Quantitative section of the GMAT Test measures basic mathematical skills. It tests a candidate's understanding of elementary concepts in mathematics learned at school and the ability to reason quantitatively. The section involves solving quantitative problems, reasoning using quantitative techniques, and interpreting graphic data.

Although one needs to have good mathematical skills to solve the questions in the Quants section, however, the mathematics that one needs is taught in secondary school. In this article, we have given preparation tips for GMAT quantitative section, so that you can prepare better for the quants section.

Test Section Duration: 75 minutes

Format: 37 questions

Tests: Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency

The Quantitative section consists of two question types.

  1. Problem Solving Problem solving questions are standard 5-choice multiple-choice questions.
  2. Data sufficiency questions consist of a question followed by two statements. Your job is to decide whether the information in the statements is sufficient to answer the question. These questions require much less calculation than standard problem-solving.

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GMAT Preparation Tips

GMAT Math Section: Skills Required

  • Ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems, and interpret graphic data

  • Understanding problems involving arithmetic, elementary algebra, and common geometry concepts

  • Evaluation of the amount of information needed to solve quantitative problems

  • Analyzing a quantitative problem

  • Recognizing which information is relevant

  • To be able to determine at what point there is sufficient information to solve a problem

Tips for Problem Solving Questions

Problem-solving questions test your ability to use logical and analytical reasoning to solve quantitative problems. Candidates need to solve the problem and mark the answer from the given choices.

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  • Increase speed: Keep on checking the screen-timer during the test. Do not waste too much time on a problem you are not able to solve and move to the next question. Try to finish the complete section.
  • Read every question carefully: Read every question carefully to understand the given data and what is being asked. read every sentence carefully and translate the data into equations to solve the problem.
  • Use the erasable board: Use the erasable notebaord given at the test center. Solving the questions in writing may help you in getting the right answers and avoid mistakes.
  • Take a glance at the answer choices: Before giving the answer go through the options given for the answer. Else, you may spend time on getting an answer that is not given in the choices.
  • Do not focus on one question for too long: If a question is taking too much time then move to the next one. Check out the choices and eliminate the ones you think are wrong and select the best option and move to the next question.

Tips for Data Sufficiency Questions

Data Sufficiency tests your ability to analyze a quantitative problem, recognize which data is relevant, and also determine at what point is there enough data to solve the given problem.

  • Check whether the problem allows a range of values or only one value: You only have to determine whether you have enough data or not.
  • Avoid unwarranted assumptions based on geometric figures: It is not necessary that figures be drawn to scale.

GMAT Math Prep: Important Topics

One needs to have basic mathematical skills to solve the Quantitative Reasoning Section of the GMAT exam. Some of the areas where you need to focus and increase your Maths knowledge are

  • Arithmetic – basic arithmetic including fractions, statistics, integers, and probability, and powers and roots
  • Algebra – how to solve different types of equations and topics like variables and functions
  • Geometry – properties of geometric objects, including triangles, circles, quadrilaterals, solids, and cylinders
  • Word problems – geometric principles to solve problems, blending arithmetic, and algebraic

GMAT Quantitative Tips

  • Know math formulas before you take the GMAT.
  • Make sure to prepare a list of formulae during the course of your preparation. These formulae must be revised on a daily basis
  • Take advantage of your scrap paper. Use it to draw pictures, work out formulas, and cross out wrong answer choices.
  • Since you will not need the keyboard for the Quantitative section, move it aside to give you more desk room for writing on your rough paper.
  • Advanced topics such as trigonometry and calculus are not tested on the GMAT. To score well, you only need to be familiar with school-level arithmetic, geometry, and algebra.
  • Do not rely on your visual judgment to answer geometry questions. One common mistake is to assume that 2 lines must form a right angle, when this is not stated anywhere in the text.
  • Spend at least 30 seconds reviewing the diagrams. Many facts can be drawn from the illustrations.
  • Similarly, spend 30 seconds reviewing the graphs and tables. Graph problems are supposed to test your ability to interpret and use graphs and tables and do not require hard calculations.
  • However, you can rely on visual estimates for bar graphs and line charts. The test writers will not use visual tricks on these questions.
  • Learn how to work backwards. If you are completely stuck on a question, you can select an answer choice and work backwards to see if it makes sense.
  • Do not rush through the easy questions and make careless mistakes.
  • Eliminate answer choices that do not make sense.

GMAT Math Prep Sources

Those who have engineering background should not be too overconfident about this section. You never know what question might pop up on the test. It is much better to prepare for every section. We have mentioned a list of basic books that you must practice in order to score well on this section:

  • GMAT Official Guide: The importance of this GMAT official guide is unparalleled. It contains the actual questions that have appeared on the GMAT. You must practice this book cover-to-cover.
  • Manhattan GMAT Guides: Manhattan GMAT books are extremely detailed and are a must-have for any GMAT candidate.
  • Manhattan GMAT Advanced Quant: Do not shy away from this book. It contains really good questions for practice. Once you are done with the base books, you must solve this one as well.
  • CAT Formulae: You must make short notes of formulae from CAT books. Since CAT quantitative aptitude section is tougher that GMAT, it will be helpful for the students to solve GMAT questions with ease.

GMAT Math Prep FAQs

Q. Is GMAT math difficult?

A. Absolutely not. However, you must prepare thoroughly for every section. You never know what question you might face in the test.

Q. Should I make notes for GMAT math?

A. Yes. You must have a list of formulae and some detailed theory that will help you revise everything. In addition, you must note down important concepts in the formula sheet.

Q. How much time is required for GMAT math preparation?

A. 2-3 months is a sufficient time to prepare for GMAT math. Make sure that you start with the basics, even if you have an engineering background.

Q. Is it necessary to study CAT formulae for GMAT?

A. CAT math is relatively difficult and more detailed as compared to GMAT math. If you are thorough with CAT math concepts, GMAT math will be easy for you.

Q. From where can I solve previous GMAT math questions?

A. You most authentic source for solving GMAT questions is GMAT Official Guide (GMAT OG). It contains questions that have previously appeared on the GMAT.
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