Preparation Tips for Fractions in GMAT

    The GMAT exam is conducted by GMAC which an entrance exam attempted by numerous applicants who are striving to get into the corporate world by pursuing an MBA and eventually landing in one of the industry giants as an employee. Well, if this is something you also want then continue reading. To get into a globally acclaimed business school, the student needs to power up the preparation game by following these preparation tips for the GMAT quant section. A fraction is a chapter which we all had been introduced to during class 3 or 4 and continued for quite some time. Now, in the GMAT quant, the difficulty in the fraction section is quite gigantic. One will need to practice meticulously to score high by following practice papers. It has been noticed that students are baffled by the questions of fractions. Let us now delve into the details of how these can be dealt with.

    An Introduction to Fractions –

    A fraction is a method of presenting division. For instance, 3/7 is a fraction when we divide 3 by 7. Further, the upper part of the fraction is called the numerator, here 3, and the bottom one denominator, here 7. Further, the term fraction can also be explained by taking an example. If we have 7 apples and cut three out of them, then it can be said as 3/7. Also, if we take one part of it, it will be 1/7, and if we say 3 * (1/7) = 3/7.

    Adding and Deducting Fractions or Distributive Law–

    We all know how tempting it is, but we cannot just add the numerators and denominators across to get the result. This is what makes the blunder of mixing the multiplication rule with the addition one looks like.

    ab + cd a+cb+d

    If you can recollect the rules of the school days then it will occur to your mind that you can only add values when the denominators are same. So that means, we can only add and/or deduct when there is a mutual denominator. This is all because of the distributive laws – to explain it to you, let us take, for instance, a (b+c) = ab + ac. Or, to make it even more effortless, if you add 2x + 8x, it will be 10x. But if we add 2x + 8y then the simplification cannot be done any further. Furthermore, if we see 2/11 + 6/11, breaking it down – 2*(1/11) + 6* (1/11).

    Now when the denominator is not equal, for instance, 3/8 + 1/6. Now obviously we cannot add them directly because the denominators are not common. But what we can do is always utilize the skilful mathematical tricks to solve the issues. Like here, we know anything equals to 1 is one. We can take 3/3 which is equal to 1 and fruitfully the values will not change. Therefore, we can multiply 3/8 with c/c and 1/6 by d/d and the outcome will be unchanged. By following this procedure we can find out the least common denominator or LCD. 

    (3/8) + (1/6) = (3/8) * (3/3) + (1/6) * (4/4) = (9/24) + (4/24) = (13/24)

    Similarly, in the case of deduction –

     (3/8) – (1/6) = (3/8) * (3/3) – (1/6) * (4/4) = (9/24) - (4/24) = (13/24)

    Multiplying Fractions in GMAT Arithmetic –

    Now when it comes to multiplying, the students initially becomes relieved thinking about their age-old secondary standards rule of cross cancelling or cancelling the numerator with the other denominator (not their own). And the other method is to cancel that individual fraction’s numerator with denominator. The former though is again that typical school rules but the latter one is going to suffice the process of solving. To understand this let us take quite a monstrous example – 

    26/48 x 18/56 x 64/39 = 26/48 x 18/7 x 8/39 = 2/48 x 18/7 x 8/3 

    = 2/6 x 18/7 x 1/3 = 2/1 x 1/7 x1/1 = 2/7 

    Now all the student need to do is thoroughly practice the GMAT quant section. 

    Dividing Fractions

    Let us simplify the meaning of this – dividing by 1/3 is equal to dividing by 3 and that is the most common way. In the same way, dividing by 1/3 is equivalent to multiplying by 3. This can be explained by –

    5/12 3/8 = 5/12 x 8/3 = 5/3 x 2/3 = 10/9

    Note: One needs to cancel or divide before multiplying. 

    6/133 = 6/13 3/1 = 6/13 x 1/3 = 2/13

    It is to be noted, this is the similar idea as dividing by 3 means the same thing as multiplying by 1/3.

    Dealing with Proportions in Fractions in GMAT

    A proportion and ratio are equal to each other. They are similar in each every manner. When we have two ratios or fractions set equal to each other it is then known as proportion. For instance,

    x12 = 3328

    The immediate action of any student would be to cross multiply but that would overlook the vital rule of cancelling before multiplying. And this leads u to the next guideline that is – what we can cancel and what we cannot in a proportion particularly. The general proportion is – a/b = c/d.

    Now, we know that we can cross cancel any numerator with its denominator and thus you can cancel out the mutual factors in a and b, or in c and d. in fact, a proportion is itself an equation and as we all know, we can multiply or divide both sides of an equation with the similar thing. Therefore, we can cross out any numerators or a or c, or denominator b or d. 

    ab= cd

    The following diagram is an alluring one but never do it.

    To solve this –

    x12 = 3328 = x3 = 337 = x = 997

    Learning Mixed numbers in GMAT Fractions

    What are mixed numbers? It is nothing but a mixture of whole numbers like 1 and fractions like ½. Now, to modify the mixed number into a fraction multiply the whole number by the denominator and add the outcome with the numerator. 

    649 =

    6 x 9+49 = 54+49 = 589

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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