# GMAT Quantitative Section: Tips, Ways to Study & Types of Questions

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is a standardized test that most business school applicants need to take in order to join an accredited MBA and a few other courses.

While the admission committees do consider many other factors (including your college grades, transcripts, essays, resume, work experience, and interview), it is important to do well on the GMAT if you aspire to get into a competitive business school. Taking the GMAT opens your gateway to various top-notch B-schools in the USA, Canada, Singapore, and many other countries including India.

In order to be successful in business studies, a student should have a knack for numbers. The GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section measures the ability of the student to analyze data and draw conclusions using logical reasoning and critical thinking. Undoubtedly, B-Schools look forward to students whose strongest suit is Mathematics.

On the GMAT, the most important GMAT section is the Quantitative Reasoning Section in which you need to evaluate the data logically and mathematically and try to come up with smart and time-efficient ways using critical reasoning and problem-solving skills. Your reasoning and analytical skills will be reflected in the way you evaluate the question and answer the problem.

Experimental Questions: Remember that approximately 3 to 4 Quantitative reasoning questions are experimental and are not scored. These are used by GMAC for their research purpose.

GMAT Syllabus: The section tests Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry. Note that topics such as Trigonometry and Calculus are not tested on the GMAT exam. Some questions may appear to require Trigonometry formulas for getting the answer. This will happen only if you lack knowledge of certain concepts which are a part of the US curriculum but not taught in other curriculums. Remember that GMAT is a US test and hence, requires a thorough knowledge of the concepts tested on the US curriculum.

Of course, all the basic concepts should be on tips. It is imperative to learn, practice, and apply the strategies specially designed to crack the GMAT problems.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In the GMAT Quantitative section, the calculator is not allowed. Thus, it is crucial for the test-taker to comprehend and learn ways to do basic calculations quickly.

## Topics Tested on the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning

The Quant section tests the knowledge of high-school Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry. Review the basic concepts and required formulae of these topics as you might not have practiced these topics since high school. Below given are the GMAT quant questions by topic;

### Arithmetic Topics

• Properties of Integers
• Fractions
• Decimals
• Real Numbers
• Ratios and Proportions
• Percentages
• Powers and Roots of Numbers
• Descriptive Statistics
• Sets
• Counting Methods
• Discrete Probability

### Algebra Topics

• Simplifying Algebraic Expressions
• Equations
• Solving Linear Equations with One Unknown
• Solving Linear Equations with Two Unknown
• Solving Equations by Factoring
• Exponents
• Inequalities
• Absolute Value
• Functions

### Geometry Topics

• Lines
• Intersecting Lines and Angles
• Perpendicular Lines
• Parallel Lines
• Polygons
• Triangles
• Circles
• Rectangular Solids and Cylinders
• Coordinate Geometry

## GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Scoring Pattern

The Quantitative Reasoning sections are item-level adaptive and the scoring is done on a scale of 6 to 51. Scores are reported in intervals of 1 and the standard error of measurement is 3 points. The score is based on three factors:

2. The number of questions answered correctly
3. Difficulty and other parameters of the questions answered

A higher score can be earned by attempting more GMAT quantitative practice questions, getting more of them correct, and reaching questions of a higher difficulty level. The penalty for leaving the questions, in the end, is heavy. Thus, it is important to finish the section in the allotted time.

## GMAT Quantitative Tips to Achieve a High Score

### Avoid Taking Over 3 Minutes on Any Question

On average you have 2 minutes per question on the quantitative section. If you take more than 3 minutes on initial questions, you will definitely run out of time towards the end of the section. So, if you have taken around 2 minutes on a certain question and are not even close to the answer, then move on to the next question immediately. Exceptions can be made on one or two questions, but you need to learn how to compensate for the lost time on the subsequent questions.

### Process of Elimination (POE), Approximation, and Guessing

You should note that the penalty is high if you don’t finish the test. So, if you are stuck or running out of time towards the end of the section, make a guess and move on. Do not leave questions unanswered. Also, before you guess, use POE to eliminate a few answers.

Relying solely on conservative school methods will not help to finish the test on time. So, you need to use alternative techniques and approaches which are meant specifically for solving GMAT questions. For instance, on problem-solving questions, substituting numbers instead of variables can avoid complex algebraic calculations.

### Take several Mock Tests

All the mock tests should be timed and no additional breaks apart from the scheduled breaks can be taken. Furthermore, mock tests should be taken when you find yourself comfortable and relaxed and preferably in the same time slot where the actual test is booked. Don’t take any mock tests during the late-night hours or when you are tired.

You can reach the highest possible score even if you have made 2-3 mistakes, but your mistakes should be far apart. So sometimes you might need to guess on some questions to manage the pacing.

## Most Common GMAT Mistakes that Students Make: How to Avoid Them

Below are the most common mistakes that students make in the GMAT Quant section and the ways to avoid them in the future.

• Not focusing on Math Basics – The first and most important step towards the GMAT Quant prep is to have a strong foundation of Math basics. You cannot expect a good Quant score without knowing the mathematics fundamentals.
• Not letting go of one’s EGO – This is common in the Quantitative section as compared to the Verbal section. We do not let go of certain questions and spend too much time on them resulting in poor pacing. You have to respect a challenging question and give up when it’s taking too much time!
• Loading one’s head with too much information – It is a bad idea to do too much calculation in your mind. Use scratchpad. This assists clear thinking, organizes work, and gets you the right way to do questions.
• Losing focus because of overconfidence – You should be confident but never surrender to overconfidence, it shatters all the good work done. You may be an excellent Math student but overconfidence can leave you with a lower score than the one you are targeting. Always read the full question carefully and maintain your calm composure throughout the test.
• Abandoning strategies and techniques mid-way – The approaches and strategies are all tested and will work till the end. Don’t give them up halfway through a question.
• Just taking tests and not analyzing performance in each of them – It is surely a good idea to take tests to check performance progress, but analysis and review of each test will make way for perfection.

In spite of all the complexities, the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section is not as difficult as it is deemed to be. With regular practice of strategies and techniques, you can easily get a score of 45+. You are only required to take regular mock tests, maintain error logs, and practice your weak areas to get your desired Quant score. Do not forget to follow a strict study plan to achieve your dream score. Remember that nothing is impossible if you have a strong will and dedication.

## Types of GMAT Quantitative Questions

There are two types of questions tested in the Quantitative section of the GMAT – Problem-Solving and Data Sufficiency. Approximately, 17 to 18 Problem-Solving questions and 13 to 14 Data Sufficiency questions are tested on the Quantitative section of the test.

### Problem-Solving

These questions measure the ability of the student to use logical reasoning, quantitative aptitude, and analytical reasoning. Each question has 5 answer choices with exactly 1 correct answer and 4 tempting trap answers. It is easy to fall prey to the wrong answers and thus, it is critical to read the question carefully before answering.

All the questions tested are high school-level questions. So, you will not experience anything which you have never seen before, however, sufficient practice is required as the questions are designed in a tricky way and most of the test-takers have not practiced high school questions in years.

#### Sample Questions

1. A studio made a total of 40 films and broke none of them. 60% were comedies and the rest were action films. 3/4th of the comedies were profitable, but 75% of the action films were unprofitable. How many of their films were profitable?

(A) 18
(B) 19
(C) 20
(D) 21
(E) 22

2. Which of the following is nearest to ¾?

(a) 8/11
(b) 7/9
(c) 5/7
(d) 4/5
(e) 10/13

### Data Sufficiency

This question type measures the reasoning ability of the student to analyze a problem and deduce the point at which the statement(s) provide enough data to answer the question. Each Data Sufficiency problem has a question stem followed by two statements and the job of the test-taker is to use his knowledge of mathematical concepts to figure out if the statement(s) is sufficient to answer the question or not.

These GMAT quantitative practice questions can be really tricky as most of the test-takers have never witnessed this question type before and thus, understanding this problem type may take a lot of time.

The answer choices are fixed for Data Sufficiency questions. Learning and applying the strategies specifically created for DS questions is vital. Don’t rush. Slow down on DS questions. They may look easy but they can be really tricky.

#### Sample Questions

1.If x and y are integers, is xy &gt; 0?

(1) 2x – y &lt; –3
(2) x – 2y &gt; 6

(A) Statement – (1) ALONE is sufficient but statement (2) ALONE is not sufficient.(B) Statement – (2) ALONE is sufficient but statement (1) ALONE is not sufficient.
(C) BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.
(D) EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.
(E) Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are not sufficient.

2. What is the value of x?

(i) 3x + 2y = 5
(ii) 1.5x – 2.5 = – y

(A) Statement (i) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (ii) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
(B) Statement (ii) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (i) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
(C) BOTH statements (i) and (ii) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.
(E) Statements (i) and (ii) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data specific to the problem are needed.

## 5 Best Ways to Study for the GMAT Quantitative Section

The GMAT exam includes the Quantitative section, Verbal section, Integrated Reasoning, and the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section. The GMAT Quantitative or GMAT Math section requires solving 31 multiple-choice questions in 62 minutes. The Quantitative section scores range roughly from 6 – 51. The Quant score is a factor of 200 to 800.

How to ace GMAT quant? The most important tip to ace the GMAT quantitative section is to master the fundamental concepts and not rely on solving the questions through any kind of shortcuts. The concepts are not difficult but the questions can be tricky and the test makers would do their best to throw you off your game. So, the more you prepare the fewer chances of you falling for one of their tricks are likely to be less.

Hence, a lot of hard work and an innovative approach and the ways that are listed in this blog are enough to overcome data sufficiency and other math problems.

The five best ways to study for the GMAT Quantitative section:

### 1. Review the GMAT Quantitative Syllabus

Before moving on to GMAT Quant preparation, we recommend you go through the topic tested in the exam. The Quant section tests the knowledge of high-school Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry. Review the basic concepts and required formulae of these topics as you might not have practiced these topics since high school.

### 2. Take a GMAT Quantitative Practice Test

After having the knowledge of what topics are tested in the GMAT Quant section, it is very important to understand the test, in terms of its structure, skills needed to solve questions quickly, question format, etc. To understand these, take a GMAT Quantitative mock test. Several websites offer free GMAT sectional tests as well as full-length tests which are very similar to the real GMAT test.

The GMAT Quantitative questions and format of the questions are similar to the real test but not the scoring algorithm. So focus more on accuracy and not the score in the beginning. Note that calculators are not allowed in the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section whereas the Basic function online calculator is accessible during the Integrated Section.

### 3. Prepare the GMAT Quantitative Section in a Structured and Systematic Way

Now it’s time to analyze the mock test carefully. This test will be the basis of your future GMAT Quantitative section preparation. Maintain an error log table as follows:

 Test Errors Due to Content Knowledge Application of Techniques Carelessness/Trap Answer Pacing Test 1 Test 2

Content Knowledge Errors: Find the number of questions you get wrong because of lack of content knowledge. If you don’t know how to solve any question then make a note of that question before guessing it. This will help you to set the priority of preparation.

Errors due to Application of Techniques: Find the number of questions for which you have the content knowledge but you got it wrong because you used the traditional way (time-consuming) of solving instead of technique.

Errors due to Carelessness/Trap Answer: Find the number of questions you got wrong because of misreading, calculation errors, common mathematical errors, etc.

Errors due to Pacing: Find the number of questions you got wrong because you were running out of time for some questions.

The errors you have been making should consistently go down from test to test.
Now, after knowing your strong and weak areas, prepare a study plan based on your available time. You can also take the help of your teacher to prepare a smart study plan. Now it’s time to find a reliable, standard, and effective source of material to get your best possible score.

Since the GMAT test is timed, it’s important to get the answers quickly and accurately. Manya – The Princeton Review offers ten standard full-length tests, an Adaptive drill that works the way the test works, and also another unique feature called Drill builder where a student can allow the portal to optimize drills basis his performance in the previous tests or customize his own drills basis selected topics, desired difficulty, etc.

For every question, you get the solution and the explanation using the techniques with the difficulty level of the question. For every full-length test, you get question-wise, topic area-wise, format-wise, strategy-wise, and time-analysis-wise detailed test analysis like the one shown below.

### 4. Plan More Quantitative Sectional Tests/Full-Length Tests During your Preparation

After analyzing the first test, select the most important topic in GMAT quant that needs practice before the next test. Work only on one or two weak areas before every test. In the initial stage of your GMAT online preparation, start with easy questions to learn concepts and identify the faster and more accurate way to answer questions, then gradually move on to medium-level and hard-level questions for a particular topic.

Once you are ready with the topics, take another mock test and see if have you really improved on those topics. The gap between each test depends on the target completion set by you. Similarly, fix your content and strategy test by test, and if you start getting 29+ questions correct then you are test ready.

### 5. Be a Smart Test Taker

Stick to the strategy you prepared during the practice. Don’t change it every now and then. If you find difficulty in pacing, follow the following pacing strategy and stick to it.

 Questions 1-10 11-20 21-31 Time 22 Minutes 20 Minutes 20 Minutes Running Time 40 Minutes 20 Minutes 1 Minute (Test to be submitted)

You can score the maximum even if you have made 2-3 mistakes, but your mistakes should be far apart. So sometimes you might need to guess on some questions to manage the above pacing.

For example, you are at question number 8 and the running time is 44 minutes, which means you have to finish 3 questions (8th, 9th, and 10th) in 4 minutes so you have to guess one question out of the 3 questions to manage the required pacing. Practice will help you to decide which question is to be skipped.

### Some More Basic Strategies

• Avoid consuming over three minutes on any question.
• Avoid answering within one minute as that might be a trap answer, verify again before answering.
• Use the process of elimination and approximation to answer the question if you get stuck or run out of time on some questions.

## Time-Management Tips for the GMAT Quant Section

The GMAT is 3 hours and 7 minutes long excluding the break and tutorials. The GMAT includes four sections:

Many test-takers fail to complete the quantitative and verbal sections and even the best test-takers find it difficult to answer all the questions if they don’t follow the right strategy.

So, let’s review some of the best time management tips for the quantitative section:

### Pacing Chart

Follow the following pacing chart to complete the Quant & Verbal sections:

 Questions 1-10 11-20 21-31 Time 22 Minutes 20 Minutes 20 Minutes Running Time 40 Minutes 20 Minutes 1 Minute (Test to be submitted)

You can reach the highest possible score even if you have made 2-3 mistakes, but your mistakes should be far apart. So sometimes you might need to guess on some questions to manage the above pacing. Let’s consider a student who is working on question number 8 in the Quant section and the running time is 44 minutes. According to the chart above, you have to finish 3 questions (8th, 9th, and 10th) in 4 minutes so you have to guess a question to manage time. Practice will help you to decide which question is harder and hence can be guessed.

### Avoid Taking Over 3 Minutes on Any Question

On average you have 2 minutes per question on the GMAT quantitative section. If you take more than 3 minutes on initial questions, you will definitely run out of time towards the end of the section.

So, if you have taken around 2 minutes on a certain question and are not even close to the answer then without wasting more time, move on to the next question. Exceptions can be made on one or two questions but you need to learn how to compensate for the lost time on the subsequent questions. Again, practice is the key to learning the same.

### Process of Elimination (POE), Approximation, and Guessing

You should note that the penalty is high if you don’t finish the test. Let’s consider a scenario where you ran out of time when you are at the 28th question and a second scenario where the last 3 questions (29th, 30th, and 31st) questions are wrong. Your score in the first case will be lesser than in the second case.

So, if you are in a situation where you are unable to solve a question or you are running out of time towards the end of the section, then you have to guess the question. Do not leave questions unanswered. We know that there are more wrong answers than right answers. So, before you guess, use POE to eliminate some answers and approximate your answers if possible, especially for problem-solving questions.

For Example,
The cost of fuel has increased by 10%. By what percentage must the consumption of fuel decrease to keep the overall amount spent on fuel the same?
(A) 5% too small
(B) 9%
(C) 10% distractor
(D) 11%
(E) 20% too big

Relying solely on the traditional solving methods will not help to finish the test on time. So, you need some alternative techniques and approaches to solve problems in the section.

For instance, on problem-solving questions, substituting numbers instead of variables can avoid complex algebraic calculations. Sometimes using the answers to solve the problem backward can be an easier option, following estimation on some geometry problems, etc.

Similarly, different approaches for the different types of data sufficiency questions will help you manage your time. These techniques and approaches will save a lot of time, especially on hard questions.

### Practice the Pacing with Mock Tests

Take a GMAT diagnostic test and experience the challenges in pacing and follow the pacing strategies on your subsequent tests. All the mock tests should be timed and no additional breaks apart from the scheduled breaks can be taken.

Furthermore, mock tests should be taken when you find yourself comfortable and relaxed and preferably in the same time slot where the actual test is booked.

Make sure you have approximately 3.5 hours in hand before you start a test. Don’t take any mock tests during the late-night hours as you will not be able to focus and hence you may not be able to perform to the best of your ability.

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### How can I study for the GMAT quantitative section?

To study for the GMAT quantitative section, you can use a variety of resources, including GMAT prep books, online courses, and practice exams. It is also helpful to review basic math concepts and practice solving problems using strategies and formulas.

### What types of questions are included in the GMAT quantitative section?

The GMAT quantitative section includes two types of questions: problem-solving and data sufficiency. Problem-solving questions test your ability to solve quantitative problems, while data-sufficiency questions test your ability to determine whether you have enough information to solve a problem.

### What are some tips for succeeding in the GMAT quantitative section?

Some tips for succeeding in the GMAT quantitative section include practicing regularly, managing your time wisely, reading each question carefully, and using problem-solving strategies such as estimation and elimination.

### How much time should I spend on each question in the GMAT quantitative section?

You should aim to spend no more than two minutes on each question in the GMAT quantitative section. If you find yourself spending too much time on a question, it may be better to skip it and come back to it later.

### What is the best way to approach GMAT quantitative section questions?

The GMAT quantitative section tests your ability to reason quantitatively, solve mathematical problems, and interpret data presented in various formats. To approach these questions effectively, here are some tips:

1. Familiarize yourself with the types of questions: The GMAT quantitative section consists of two types of questions – Problem-Solving and Data Sufficiency. Understanding the types of questions will help you prepare better.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice: The key to success in the GMAT quantitative section is to practice as many questions as possible. Use practice books, online resources, and official GMAT questions to hone your skills.
3. Master the basics: The GMAT quantitative section tests your knowledge of basic mathematical concepts such as algebra, geometry, and arithmetic. Ensure you have a strong grasp of these concepts.
4. Learn to manage time: Time management is crucial in the GMAT quantitative section. You have 62 minutes to answer 31 questions. Develop strategies to allocate time effectively for each question.