Guidance to Solve Decimals in GMAT

    Students preparing for GMAT exam already know the syllabus. The GMAT quant section has different types of topics and the majority of them are commonly found in the high school maths books. Students have noticed to state that the questions are pretty difficult especially in the GMAT quant section. Though it is expected for a globally acclaimed entrance exam to place hard questions and that too for students wanting to pursue an MBA from a globally reputed business school. GMAC has mindfully curated the questions which tend to confuse students despite providing solvable ones. Students also state that despite practicing arduously, they failed to score high.

    In the same way, the topic of decimal has made its way to the syllabus. And as we all know that this particular chapter has been present throughout our school days, with the very foundation of it during elementary classes. But today we are going to discuss a few of the major preparation tips for GMAT which we have curated especially for helping the students who are nervous about this particular topic.

    An introduction to Decimals –

    Decimals are ways of displaying the number of values between integers or whole number. An easy way to explain this is by taking an example – 


    Here, we have 4 in the hundreds place, 1 in the tens place, and 5 in the ones or units place. Now, after the decimal we have, 7 in the tens place, 3 in the hundreds place and 6 in the thousands place. 

    Let us get into the further guidelines now.

    The Game of Zero

    Thinking what exactly it is? Well, this states after passing the decimal point we can add as many zeros as we want in the end. For instance, it will look somewhat like this –

    1.426 = 1.4260 = 1.42600000 = 1.4260000000000000000 and so on.

    This rule is applicable only after the end of the number after the decimal point or,

    1426 ≠ 14260

    1426 = 1426.0 = 1426.0000000000

    Addition and Deduction with Decimal

    To follow this step, the decimal places have to be equated to proceed with it. To do this, we need to endorse the zero step. 

    Thus, if we have 7.934 and 3.6789460 then we can make the former one – 7.9340000

    Therefore, 7.9340000 + 3.6789460 = 11.612946

    Multiplying and Dividing with Decimals

    A rule when multiplying the product is to not put the decimals on the line while performing the action. Instead, assume the numbers to be whole numbers. Perform the step and then put the decimals back to their origin. But the question lies, how do we understand where the decimal will be placed after that? To solve this we need to first add up the numbers after the decimal of each number we have multiplied and the amount received will be the number of decimal places that must be the content of the product. 

    For instance, 1.56 has two numbers after the decimal, and 2.3 has one so the answer will 3.588, three decimals after summing both previous ones.

    In order to divide a number which is a dividend by a decimal which is a divisor, push the decimal point to the right of the divisor till it becomes a whole number and then push the decimal point to the dividend over by that many places. If the decimal is still displayed in the number then just place it above the dividend in the answer.

    Now, it is time to perform the division. Let us take, 

    1. 625/ 12.5 becomes 906.25/125 

    Now the long division will be performed by taking 906.25 as the dividend and 125 as the divisor. 

    Switching Decimals into Fractions

    There might be a need sometimes to change the decimal into fractions depending on what the question is. How to do this?

    Firstly, move the decimal rightwards till it turns into a whole number

    Secondly, use that one as a numerator

    Thirdly, in the denominator place the value of 10 which will respond to however places it is moved

    0.5 = 5/10

    0.05 = 5/100

    0.005 = 5/1000 or 1/200

    There is another approach to sort this out, the number of places you move the decimal to the right to make the numerator a whole number is the number of 0s you will attach after 1 in the denominator.

    Now, number switch is less than -1 or bigger than +1 can be presented in fractions utilizing the above-mentioned rule –

    = 7.5 = 7 510 

    = (7 x 10) + 5/10

    = [7+5]/10

    = 75/10

    And in a simpler way –

    75/10 = 15/2

    Switching Fractions to Decimals

    This might have been easier while having a calculator in hand as it would have instantly provided us with the result but GMAT doesn’t allow a calculator. Do not worry as the long division process is also not exceptionally hard and when practised a few times will be easy as well. In this process, the numerator has to be considered as the dividend and the denominator as the divisor. There is also another method will equally accessible.

    Firstly, one needs to curate a number which when multiplied with the denominator will result in 10,100 or 1000s or alike. Secondly, multiply both the numerator and the denominator to get the expressions. Eventually, pen down the top number only, placing the decimal point in the corresponding space – one space from the right-hand side for each zero in the bottom number. 

    Let us examine the example – 

    34 = ?100

    4 x 25 = 100

    3*254*25 = 75100

    = 0.75

    Scientific Documentation of Decimals

    Progressing with decimal places with powers of 10 is a helpful phenomenon in the quant section of GMAT. At times, the numbers which are communicated are results of multiplication by 10 to a certain power. The significance of the power lies in expressing how many places one needs to push the decimal point to its decimal definition. If the exponent is positive then it will push the decimal to its right and the negative exponent will move it to the left, or vice versa. 

    Example – 





    These were few preparation tips for the GMAT quant section which will ensure the students score high.



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