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All you need to know about GMAT Quantitative Reasoning

 

In order to be successful in business studies, a student should have a knack for numbers. The Quantitative Reasoning section of the GMAT 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.

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

 
THIS BLOG INCLUDES:

1.Question Types on the Quantitative Reasoning
2.Topics Tested on the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning
3.GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Scoring Pattern
4.Tips to Achieve a High Score on the Quantitative Reasoning
5.Most Common GMAT Mistakes that Students Make: How to Avoid Them

Question Types on the Quantitative Reasoning

There are two types of questions tested on 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 Question:

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
Answer: E

 

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 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 knavish.

 

Sample Question:

If x and y are integers, is xy > 0?
(1) 2x – y < –3
(2) x – 2y > 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.

Answer: C

 

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. According to the Official Guide;

 

Arithmetic includes the following topics:

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

 

Algebra includes the following topics:

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

 

Geometry includes the following topics:

  • Lines
  • Intersecting Lines and Angles
  • Perpendicular Lines
  • Parallel Lines
  • Polygons
  • Triangles
  • Quadrilaterals
  • 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:

1. Number of questions answered
2. Number of questions answered correctly
3. Difficulty and other parameters of the questions answered

A higher score can be earned by attempting more 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.

 

Tips to Achieve a High Score on the Quantitative Reasoning

  • 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.
  • Follow Techniques and Strategies – Relying solely on the 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.

Follow Pacing Chart – 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 on the GMAT Quantitative 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 sure 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.

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FAQs

How do I study for GMAT Quantitative?

There is no fixed answer to this question as every individual is different and comes with a different educational background and may not have the same time available to study and practice. However, there are a few things which every GMAT aspirant must follow while preparing for the GMAT Quantitative section.

• Learning and applying the techniques – Learn the techniques especially designed for cracking GMAT quant questions and practice them thoroughly.
• Take notes and revise regularly – Make proper notes of the various strategies and techniques you learn during your practice period. Revise them every week. Use of scratch paper is critical.
• Practice online – Practicing on the online portal is important as the GMAT is a computer adaptive test. Practicing on paper and practicing online makes a big impact on the actual test day.
• Cultivate test-taking habits – Take at least 1 test every week. Increase the frequency of the tests taken as you approach the actual test date. While taking any test, the focus should be on the application of the strategies learnt during the preparation. use of scratch paper is critical for a great Quant score on the GMAT.
• Include GMAT Official practice tests in your test plan, preferably just before the actual GMAT exam.
• Work on your pacing.
• Test Analysis – Either do the test analysis yourself or get help from an expert teacher. Focus should be both on the questions you get wrong as well as the questions where you spent more than 3 minutes (even if they are right). Look for the strategies you might have missed while taking the test.
• Organized Scratch paper – For a thorough test analysis, it is essential that you set up your scratch paper properly — write question numbers and draw a line after every question.
• Maintain an error log.

What is the syllabus of GMAT Quantitative Reasoning?

The concepts tested in the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section are no greater than what the students learn in high school. The section tests Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Word Problems. You will get 62 minutes to attempt 31 questions. Note that topics such as Trigonometry, Calculus, and Complex numbers 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.

What are the Problem-Solving questions in the GMAT Quant section?

Problem solving questions on the GMAT test the logical and analytical reasoning skills of a student. These are multiple choice questions and each question has 5 answer choices with exactly 1 correct answer and 4 incorrect answers. It is easy to fall prey to the wrong or trap answers and thus, it is critical to read the question carefully before answering.

What are the different type of questions asked in the GMAT Quantitative aptitude Section?

There are two types of questions tested on the Quantitative section of the GMAT – Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency. The section consists of approximately 17 to 18 Problem Solving questions and 13 to 14 Data Sufficiency questions.

Can I skip any section in the GMAT exam?

It is not possible to skip the IR, Quant, or Verbal sections. For the AWA section, a candidate can leave that question blank and move forward, which would result in a 0 score for AWA. While this would not impact the Total Score, we highly recommend candidates complete all sections, as it might look strange to admissions officers if the AWA score is 0.

What abilities does GMAT Syllabus in the Quant section measures?

The Quant part of the GMAT assesses your ability to examine facts and come to a conclusion or solve a problem using reasoning skills.

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