All You Need To Know About GMAT Quantitative Section
A test based on quantitative ability is a feature in most of the entrance examinations, be it technical, IT or management related. GMAT quantitative section is no different. Those of you who are attempting GMAT will be aware of the world of opportunities it provides, therefore you must prepare for it very seriously. Most of the students who are not very good with the basics of math will find difficulty in this section; however you don’t have to worry. Fear of math is something that can be eliminated through practice and here you will find all the information that you need about preparing for the GMAT quantitative section.
Things you need to know
First thing you ought to know is that GMAT doesn’t exactly test your intelligence, so even if you are an average student you don’t have to worry. The creators of GMAT believe in designing the exam to test the conceptual knowledge of the aspirants as opposed to “thinking out of the box” design, which is great news because now you can concentrate on your practice of concepts and examples rather than worry that the exam will be difficult.
The GMAT quantitative section is theoretically marked from 0-60, although according to statistics practically no one actually goes beyond 51-52. So you can be fairly confident that your overall GMAT score will be great if you can score in the mid-forties or even the early forties in the quant section (provided you do well in the other sections too of course). Keeping this in mind start your preparation with a test. When you do this, you will immediately see where you stand and how much more you need to do. Analyzing the results of this test qualitatively is very important.
How to start
A general GMAT will consist of problems on speed, probability, linear algebra, data interpretation etc. When you analyze your test results, you will be able to pin point exactly which sections you need to work on. At this stage if you find that you are not at all good with quantitative analysis, don’t give up just yet. It only takes practice to improve your performance considerably.
After you are done with the test visit the official GMAT site www.mba.com/the-gmat.aspx , this will give you a lot of insight into the exam and there is a lot of downloadable material available there. By registering on the site you can prepare online through it. It is very important that you either buy or download (in case you want to prepare online) the official GMAT quantitative review, 2nd edition. This is mainly because this is the only book available in the market that is written by the creators of the exam and therefore it is the standard one. This book contains a large number of examples as well as exercises. It also includes sample responses and various tips and techniques to maximize your score in the exam. It will help you to bust lots of myths that surround the exam and you will get a real time experience on how the test works. There is also a diagnostic section that will help you in recognizing your weaknesses so that you can work more productively. This book is a must for anyone who is aiming to score high and only after going through this book should one attempt other books with tougher levels of questions (Kaplan’s GMAT is a great option). Overall it is a wonderful guide for your GMAT quantitative preparation.
Download the GMAT prep® software available on the site, this will help you to become familiar with the pattern and time restrictions. It is advisable that you always make note of your timing, whether you are attempting a test or solving problems. This will help you to solve the problem faster and with more efficiency. Following are some general strategies that will help you with your GMAT quantitative preparation-
- It will help you greatly if you can attend a proper GMAT preparation program. This investment is worth more than all the tips that you can get online. Even if the course is a bit heavy on your pocket, it will be worth it in the end because there is essentially nothing that can replace a proper classroom program and the trainers there.
- After working on the simpler questions you have to get a good grip on tougher sections like inequalities, permutations and combinations, absolute values, work problems etc. You will have a fairly good idea on what questions GMAT considers to be difficult after you solve the official GMAT quantitative review.
- You should understand that GMAT quantitative is not at all like college level math, in fact it is only at the level of high school math. So you better approach it with that mindset and you will be much more comfortable.
- Maintain your own notes for different topics and by doing this you can explore easier ways to solve a particular type of problem.
- Join a forum for GMAT. This will expose you to other people’s experiences and strategies so that you can adapt yourself accordingly. You can also take help from people on the problems that you find difficult.
- Learn to solve quantitative ability problems clearly and write down the important steps. This habit will stay with you and will prove to be very important because you don’t want to make silly mistakes in the actual exam. Also note that GMAT isn’t an exam where you have a lot of difficulty with time, so you don’t have to worry that your time will be wasted if you write everything down.
- Most aspirants consider that the GMAT quantitative section is the most scoring one. Therefore if you are targeting a high overall score, you will be better off scoring high forties in it (and it isn’t very difficult).
- Shortcuts and Vedic math should only be used when you are strong with the fundamentals and not at the beginning of your preparation. Many aspirants fall victim to this process. They solve using shortcuts and when there is question that cannot be solved this way, they are trapped. So you go for shortcuts only about a month before the test and use it only as a time saving alternative, not as a replacement for the concepts.
- Watch online tutorials for the concepts that you are not comfortable with. There are sites like www.youtube.com and www.khanacademy.org that provide simple explanations and concepts.
Following these will ensure that you can ace the GMAT quantitative section. However it will always depend on your dedication, hard work and commitment. All the best!!
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