Tips for GMAT Geometry Problems
The Quantitative Section in GMAT covers four major content areas in Math: Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry and Word Problems. The questions pertaining to these four content areas are presented randomly in the 75-minute long computer adaptive objective test containing 37 questions in all.
GMAT Geometry Assessment
Geometry happens to be a subject of exceptional practical utility. The concepts of geometry are easy to understand since one can use one’s imagination and visualization to assist in comprehension. GMAT geometry problems are based on a wide range of topics. They test your ideas of two-dimensional as well as three-dimensional concepts.
In two-dimensional GMAT geometry, the content areas covered are intersecting and non-intersecting lines, angles, triangles, circles, quadrilaterals and polygons. The corresponding GMAT geometry problems are on angles, lengths, distances, areas etc. The three-dimensional GMAT geometry problems are based on surface areas and volumes of rectangular solids and cylinders. These basic concepts of GMAT geometry are not challenging for an average student. However, the GMAT geometry problems based on co-ordinate plane are difficult for most students. They require deep understanding of the concepts and a clear imagination. GMAT geometry problems on distance between two points, equation of a line and slope of a line are fundamental, whereas GMAT geometry problems on solutions of two linear equations and quadratic polynomial functions constitute the higher-level problems in the section.
Forms of Questions
There are two types of questions in GMAT Quantitative section. These are
- Problem Solving Questions
- Data Interpretation Questions
Where Data Interpretation questions shall not correspond to GMAT geometry concepts, Problem Solving questions shall be based on them. Problem Solving questions in the Quantitative section of GMAT are usually indirect and based on real world situations. It is these features of GMAT geometry problems that make them challenging. Mere knowledge of formulas shall not be enough; you’ll have to understand how to apply your knowledge of formulas to the problems at hand. For overcoming this challenge, you will have to prepare yourself at the preparation stage itself, rather than going through regular problems and assuming that you shall be able to work your way out when you attempt the GMAT.
Tips for GMAT Geometry
The following tips shall be of consequence in your preparation for GMAT geometry.
1. The first and foremost step in GMAT geometry preparation is the realization that it is an important part of GMAT, which requires special attention. You cannot hope to do well in the Quantitative section if you ignore GMAT geometry. Get hold of adequate preparation materials and set up a schedule that lends due importance to this section.
2. Go through the syllabus of GMAT geometry as it is described in the GMATPrep Software and The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review. The length and breadth of the content areas that you should study will be clear to you once you go through these sources. Many test prep guides for GMAT geometry cover topics that are not required and ignore some important concepts. Equip yourself with enough knowledge to avoid being misled.
3. For success in GMAT geometry problems, you require both visualization and memorization. You cannot hope to be thorough in GMAT geometry preparation if you are concentrating on one of these aspects and ignoring the other. Work on imagining the idea first and then learn the GMAT geometry formulas that follow.
4. Immense practice is required to get the hang of the GMAT geometry problems. The GMAT geometry problems that you finally face in your attempt shall not be those that you come across in prep books. This is so because there are innumerable situations in our real world that are associated with geometry. Hence, there is no dearth of practical problems based on a subject like geometry. Concentrate on each problem and get the hang of the key point in arriving at the solution.
5. Pay special attention to co-ordinate geometry. Chances are that co-ordinate geometry was not given much attention to in your schooling. Consequently, you might not take this part of GMAT geometry very seriously as well. Nonetheless, there is no refuting the fact that it is through problems based on such topics that the evaluators are able to distinguish bright students from average ones.
Lastly...since the GMAT is a computer adaptive test, each test taker has his own unique experience of GMAT and there is little scope for comparisons. You will never find out how difficult the problems for other test takers were until the difference shows in the final scores and percentiles. It is prudent to be proactive and leave no stone unturned in your preparation for GMAT geometry so that you are well-prepared to beat the competition.
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