The GMAT Quantitative section tests Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Word Problems. Algebra is one of the essential parts of mathematics and is tested in different ways on the GMAT as it helps business schools to get students with good levels of aptitude skills. Solving GMAT questions involving the algebraic analysis and quantitative reasoning is considered challenging by most of the aspirants, especially when these questions come in the form of Data Sufficiency. This is mostly due to a lack of knowledge of algebraic concepts. In this blog, you will get a detailed overview of Algebraic concepts tested on the GMAT exam.
THIS BLOG INCLUDES:
1.GMAT Algebraic Concepts Tested on the GMAT
2.Basic Algebraic Terminologies
3.Important Algebraic Concepts tested on the GMAT
4.Important Algebra Formulas
5.Tips and Tricks to crack GMAT Algebra Questions
You will see approximately 58 algebra questions in Problemsolving and Data Sufficiency formats combined. According to the GMAC, the following algebraic concepts are tested on the GMAT: Algebraic Expressions and Equations, Linear Equations, Factoring, Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Functions, Formulas, and Measurement Conversion. It is vital to know all the important algebraic terminologies for a better understanding of the algebraic concepts tested on the GMAT.
Make sure that you know all the following algebraic terminologies before you move on to the next part:
Algebraic Terms  Definition  Examples 
Variables  A symbol that is used in mathematical or logical expressions to represent a variable quantity  x, y, z, etc. 
Constants  A number representing a quantity assumed to have a fixed value in a specified mathematical context  5 is a constant in the polynomial expression 3x^{2} + 5 
Terms  A single mathematical expression. It may be a single number (positive or negative), a single variable (a letter), or several variables multiplied but never added or subtracted  3x^{2} and 5 are terms in the polynomial expression 3x^{2} + 6

Degree  The highest power of a term or variable  2 is a degree of the polynomial expression 3x^{2} + 6 
Coefficient  The number in front of a term  3 is a coefficient of the term 3x^{2 }in the polynomial expression 3x^{2} + 5 
Algebraic Expression  A symbol or a combination of symbols used in algebra, containing one or more numbers, variables, and arithmetic operations  2(3x – 7y) 
Monomial  an algebraic expression consisting of one term  2x, 3x^{2}, etc. 
Binomial  an algebraic expression consisting of the sum or the difference of two terms  2x + 3y 
Polynomial  an expression of more than two algebraic terms, especially the sum of several terms that contain different powers of the same variable(s)  4x^{3} – 4xy + 7y^{3} 
Exponent  A quantity representing the power to which a given number or expression is to be raised, is usually, expressed as a raised symbol beside the number or expression  a^{b}, 2^{3}, or 5^{x} 
Absolute Values  The absolute value of a number may be thought of as its distance from zero. The absolute value or modulus of a real number x is denoted by x. It implies that the result will remain nonnegative no matter whether x is positive or negative.  5 = 5
5 = 5 0 = 0 
GMAT Algebra Concepts  Description  Examples 
Algebraic Equation  A mathematical equation in which two expressions are set equal to each other  2(3x – 7y) = 10 
Algebraic Inequalities  A relation that makes a nonequal comparison between two mathematical expressions.  2x – 3 > 7y
Or 5x^{2} + 2x £ 20 
Linear Equations  An equation between two variables that gives a straight line when plotted on a graph. It is represented by y = mx + b  y = 2x + 3
or 2x – 3y = 5 
Quadratic Equations  A polynomial equation with the highest degree of 2. It is represented by ax^{2}+ bx + c = 0  2x^{2}+ 5x + 3 = 0 
Functions  An expression, rule, or law that defines a relationship between one variable (the independent variable) and another variable (the dependent variable). This relationship is commonly symbolized as y= f(x)—which is called as “fof x”—and y and x are related such that for every x, there is a unique value of y. That is, f(x) cannot have more than one value for the same x.  If f(x) = 2x, then f(4) = 2 × 4 = 8 
Sequences  A sequence is a list of numbers in a particular order. The numbers in a sequence are called the terms of the sequence. The order of the terms in the sequence matters  2, 5, 8, 11, …
3, 6, 12, 24, …
1, , , , … 
Absolute Value Equations  Absolute value equations are equations where the variable is within an absolute value operator  x – 2= 7 
The questions seen in the GMAT Quantitative section are similar to what one has once witnessed during high school. Having said that it is important to note that solving the GMAT questions is not the same as taking the high school GMAT math exam as approximately half of the questions come in the Data Sufficiency format which is very new for most of the GMAT aspirants.
Also, if you will solve the questions in the same conservative way as you used to during your school, you will end up wasting a lot of time resulting in an unfished section leading to a poor score. Thus, it is vital to understand the tips and tricks which are developed specifically for dealing with GMAT Quantitative questions. Some of these are as follows:
Don’t get intimidated by Algebra questions on the GMAT exam. This is something that you have already worked through in high school. You just need to approach them differently when you see them on the GMAT. Follow the abovementioned tips religiously and see an instant change in your scores. If you still have any doubts, feel free to talk to one of our GMAT Math experts today!
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