How to Improve Your GMAT Math Score

Written by Kelly Granson. Posted in GMAT Study Tips

You might have always ignored math thinking that you won't need it once you are out of school, but GMAT math can hit you really hard. Your overall GMAT score depends a lot on how you perform in GMAT math section. Combine some good tips and strategies with lots of practice to score the best in real GMAT exam.

Here are some tips to raise your GMAT math score.

  1. Learn from your mistakes. As you finish the GMAT practice test, don't forget to check your incorrect answers and learn from them. Also, take a note of the type of questions you generally miss. Try to figure out a theme. What kind of questions did you miss the most? Geometry? Algebra? Focus more on the section that you find difficult. Find out why you got the wrong answers and practice the wrong questions again to raise your GMAT score.
  2. Memorize formulas and important values. Write down the important formulas on a page and memorize them. Also, learn some important values like the squares of numbers from 1 to 10, and the value of pi. Learning squares, cubes and other important values will cut down the calculation time during the exam.
  3. Memorize cubes till 7 (73= 343). Professionals with years of experience teaching GMAT classes say that the test does not need the knowledge of cubes higher than 7. This means you do not have to memorize a lot of values to boost your GMAT score.
  4. Half and double. When you have to multiply 2 numbers, half the first one and double the second one to make it easier. For instance, 12 X 16 looks a bit difficult, but 6 X 32 would be easier to multiply. Both will give the same answer, i.e.1 92, but the difficulty will be reduced if it is single digit multiplication.
  5. Learn through games. There are many math games that you can play on your computer or smart phone. These games will build your 'math stamina' as you go through various levels. You can also buy flash cards from the dollar store. They have very basic math problems, but as you practice them more, you will avoid making silly mistakes in the exam, and thus your GMAT score will be better.
  6. Break problems into pieces. Break a bigger problem into smaller ones. Let's say you have to find out 15% of 160. You can do it mentally without paper and pencil. Break it in this way: 10% of 160 is 16, and half of it (5%) equals 8. So 15% of 160 will be 16 + 8 = 24. You just have to practice this a few more times to understand it. It is a big time saver in the exam.
  7. Think simple. You are not allowed to carry a calculator in the GMAT exam. And you aren't expected to be some kind of a math wizard either. So if you are ending up in a number that has a lot of decimals, then you probably went wrong somewhere.
  8. Don't do it till the end. This does not work for all questions, but in many cases you will see that when you are about 2-3 steps away from the final answer, you'll be able to review the options and pick the right one. So you don't really have to solve all questions till the end. This will save your time, and thus will be good for your GMAT score. This is especially important in GMAT Data Sufficiency questions, since for those questions you do not have to find the answer, but only have to determine whether you could do so, if you needed.

Cracking the math barrier and getting good GMAT scores is not difficult if you know how to plan your work and then work your plan. Making a schedule would be helpful, and you can try different types of math problems on different days. This will keep you focused if you get easily tired of math. Since math is the area that generally takes up the most time, make sure you keep an eye on your watch.


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