Overview of a GMAT Quantitative session

Written by Kelly Granson. Posted in GMAT Study Guide

blackboard-equations-iStock 000003015755XSmallIf I say GMAT QUANTITATIVE SECTION, a new GMAT test taker might be scared!!! So let me say it simply as GMAT MATH SECTION.

Many test takers rate this as being the toughest section in the test, but believe me, this is the same Math that you did some time ago at your school. One feels that it is the toughest section because they probably have not used things like calculus, geometry in their day to day lives and hence have lost practice. So we need to learn the basics of all of the concepts from scratch to be successful in this session.

Contents Involved: The topics can be divided into three parts:

1) Geometry

2) Arithmetic

3) Algebra

There are a total of 37 questions in the GMAT Quantitative session. We will have 75 minutes to solve these questions. All the questions are multiple choice questions, with 5 options. We need to choose the right answer from the given options. There will be more questions from the area of Algebra compared to the number of questions from Geometry and Arithmetic because of its vastness and practical applications in real time Management (MBA).

Key to be successful in the GMAT Quantitative Section:

Aspirants who start preparing for GMAT Quantitative have a tendency to think that GMAT will comprise of the toughest problems they have even seen. They start practicing the toughest problems and ignore the basics. But in general the reality is that they should be confidently able to do the following operations very quickly: subtractions, additions, multiplication of numbers, fractions and decimals. They should be able to convert decimals to fractions, finding means, areas of triangles, circles, etc. correctly immediately so that they will not have to verify it for the second time. So Imagine how strong your fundamentals must be!!!

Once you are strong enough in fundamentals then slowly learn topic by topic. Later, try problems that have a mix of two to three topics because we never get direct questions from one topic. They will try to confuse you by mixing the topics. So try working on these things. Questions will be a bit logical, so apart from knowing the concepts we need to apply the learned concepts in the test. We will achieve this through practice. So summarizing this, one should learn the fundamentals, learn how to quickly apply them and should practice a lot in order to crack this section

Types of Questions:

Test-takers need to know the types of questions that are expected to come, so that they can focus more of their attention on them.

The GMAT Quantitative session consists of

1) Problem solving

2) Data sufficiency.

Problem solving Type: In these types, Problem solving makes up 60-70% of the questions and the latter 30-40%. The problem solving types are aimed at testing the fundamentals of our mathematics skills, our capability of understanding the concepts and the ability to apply them in the given scenarios/ questions. These problems are given with five multiple choices. Some questions will also contain diagrams and we need to analyze them before solving the problem.

Example of a problem solving question:

If f(x) is a real quadratic equation in x and K is a real constant so that f(x+ K) = f (-x) and the coefficient of 29.115 is 1, then find f(x)


B. 29.111

C. 29.112

D. 29.113

E. 29.114

Data Sufficiency:

Data Sufficiency questions consist of a problem and two statements of data. Providing the answer to the given question is not the task here, instead, one needs to determine whether the two given statements provide sufficient data to answer the question. The multiple choices will consist of options from which we need to determine that the given question can be answered with the help of one of the two statements, or we need both statements to answer the question, or the data is insufficient which means that the question cannot be answered by any of the statements.

Test-takers will be successful only if they have a clear understanding of both of the given statements. Sometimes we need to get the answer by eliminating the other choices. This will only come through practice.

Example of data sufficiency problem:

The cost to take a certain bus trip is x dollars. If 25 students of a college take the bus and shared the cost equally, what was the cost per member?

(1) If there had been 5 more members and all 30 had shared the cost equally, the cost per member would have been $40 less.

(2) The cost per member was 10 percent less than the cost per person on a regular public bus.

A. Statement 1 alone is sufficient but statement 2 alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked

B. Statement 2 alone is sufficient but statement 1 alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked

C. Both statements 1 and 2 together are sufficient to answer the question but neither statement is sufficient alone

D. Each statement individually is sufficient to answer the question.

E. Statements 1 and 2 are not sufficient to answer the question asked and additional data is needed to answer the statements

So if we take care of the above mentioned things, then achieving a good score is not difficult.

Wishing You All the Best !!!

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