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GMAT Quant Prep
Dec 24, 2015

GMAT Quant Prep

Between learning all the ins and outs of different sections and question types, studying for the GMAT can get a little overwhelming. I find that it is best to break things down into smaller pieces rather than trying to look at the test as a whole. For today, we are going to cover the basics of the Quantitative section and how to begin preparing for it. Before we get into the details of the section’s content let’s take a minute to refresh ourselves with the overall structure of the quant section.

Like the verbal section, GMAT quant is a computer adaptive test. This means that the test’s difficulty changes in relation to your performance. The more questions you get right, the harder the test becomes. Rather than calculating an average based on the percentage of questions you get correct, GMAT quant attempts to pinpoint your overall level of competency. Additionally, the test consist of 37 questions which you have 75 minutes to answer. You are not permitted to use a calculator.

Content on the quant section centers around mathematical concepts. That said, GMAT quant is not your typical math test. Instead, it aims to test your critical reasoning skills in addition to your mathematic abilities. This leads to some interesting question types that are probably unlike anything you have seen before. GMAT quant primarily focuses on concepts from algebra, arithmetic, and geometry. Word and story based problems also play a significant role in this section. Despite the mathematic content in GMAT quant, the GMAT does not ask you to perform complex computations and you do not have to be a mathematical genius to do well.

As mentioned earlier, the GMAT does not allow the use of a calculator. This causes some people to panic a little. Personally, I understand the concern. Between smart phone apps, your computer, and actual calculators we are rarely without an electronic means to solve math problems. Quite often this leads to us becoming somewhat reliant on them to solve for the basics. If this sounds like you, then it is time to break the addiction. The best way to do this is to immerse yourself in math every day. Challenge yourself to complete math questions in your head as you go about your daily activities. If you live 10 miles from work and you are driving 45 mph, how long will it take you to get to the office? If a $15 dollar shirt is 20% off, how much does it cost? Although you will have to do math in your head on the GMAT, you will be asked questions which you should be capable of learning to work through given enough practice. In fact, the most common mathematical concepts on the GMAT are fairly elementary topics including percentages, fractions, and integers.

The truth is that the quant section intimidates a lot of test takers, but the reality is that with proper preparation it does not need to. The key to scoring high on GMAT quant is to understand the structure of the test, study the different question types, and practice basic mental math. There is nothing in this section that you cannot learn to master. Do you have any tips for the GMAT quant section? If you do, please share them in the comments below.

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