Preparing for the GMAT: The Quantitative Section

Written by Kelly Granson. Posted in GMAT Study Tips

The Quantitative section of the GMAT is designed to test your knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, as well as your general reasoning ability, attention to detail, and ability to switch tasks quickly. If you're having trouble with the Quantitative section, it is probably for one of three common reasons:

Your math skills are poor: You may not have taken a full range of math courses in school, or perhaps math is a subject you've always struggled with. If your math knowledge is weak, you have a couple of choices to improve your skills.

If you have the self-discipline and time to work out a course of math study, there are many excellent books and on-line programs available tailored to the GMAT. Plan out a week-by-week schedule for reviewing the math concepts you've missed and stick to it.

You work slowly and fail to finish: While it's a good idea to approach each question carefully, if you work too slowly you're in danger of not finishing the Quantitative section and losing points. If your work is slow because you don't have a thorough grasp and quick recall of basic problem-solving algorithms, GMAT prep sessions and review materials can help. If your problem is that you doubt your answers and spend too much time re-reading, re-working, and re-checking your work, then prep sessions can also help by showing you strategies for working more efficiently.

You work too quickly and miss important details: Let's say you're a whiz at math. Maybe you're working a little too fast, and overlooking important details of the problems. You can lose a lot of points that way. Don't sabotage yourself with carelessness. GMAT questions are designed to be tricky; a seemingly complex question might have a deceptively simple answer. Take time to check your work before moving to the next question.

The Quantitative section is a major component of the GMAT, and many people find it intimidating or frustrating. If you can pinpoint your problem areas – working too quickly, working too slowly, or poor math skills – you'll have an excellent chance of improving your performance.

 

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