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    Preparation Strategies for GMAT Quant

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test is a multiple-choice, computer adaptive test, which is required around the globe for admission in graduate business programs (MBA).

    It is developed and supervised by GMAC which provides the business schools with a common ground of the preparedness of various applicants. Your work experience, academic record, and your GMAT score is the basis on which you are judged while taking admission in an MBA program.

    Basic information about GMAT

    • GMAT tests your critical thinking and analysis skills, along with your command over algebra, basic arithmetic, geometry, grammar, and multi-source data analysis.
    • The test lasts for a duration of 3 hours and 7 minutes.
    • It has four sections, all of which are scored separately, but two are combined to generate your composite score:
      • Analytical Writing Assessment
      • Integrated Reasoning
      • Quantitative
      • Verbal
    • It is very critical for you to select the right section order. GMAT offers 3 different options on a selection of your section order. This selection should be based on your testing preferences and strengths and weaknesses.
    • Analytical Writing Assessment section is scored separately from 0 to 6 with 0.5 point increments. 
    • Integrated Reasoning section is also scored separately on a 1–8 scale, with 1 point increments.
    • Quantitative and Verbal sections each have a scaled score of 0–60. They are then combined to generate a score on the 200-800 scale, with 10-point increments. 
    • GMAT score has a 22% weightage during your MBA admissions.

    GMAT Quant Information

    • Quantitative section of the GMAT or the GMAT Quant section, comprises 31 questions, with a time limit of 62 minutes.
    • This section measures your aptitude for mathematical reasoning, your ability towards solving quantitative problems, and your ability to interpret graphs.
    • The GMAT Quant section is divided into two further areas:
      • Algebra and Geometry
      • Arithmetic
    • It consists of 2 question types:
      • Problem Solving Type Questions: These types of questions are a measurement of your ability to use logic and analytical reasoning to solve quantitative problems. In order to solve these problems, you have to select one out of the five given answer choices.
      • Data Sufficiency Type Questions: These types of questions are a measurement of your ability to analyze a problem that is quantitative, recognize the relevant data, and determine at what point there is sufficient data to solve the question. You are given a problem consisting of a question followed by 2 statements. Using your math knowledge and the data given in the statements, you have to decide whether you have sufficient data to answer the question asked.

    Tips to get a good score in GMAT Quant

    Now onto the section which you're probably waiting for. Keep in mind that you should try to get a Q50+ score, and for that, you would require good preparation for GMAT, and for that, here are some tips you should apply for yourself for the great result:

    1. Keep the time in mind

    • A lot of students make the mistake of not planning the amount of allotted time for each question. 
    • Don't waste a lot of time on a single question. You're having trouble with a problem, just skip it for a later attempt. Don't give any questions for more than 3 minutes of time.
    • Make a pacing plan. A simple and decently working plan would be spending 20 minutes for every 10 questions or 2 minutes for one question.

    2. Art of Leaving

    • It's easier said than done, of course. Many students find it hard to leave questions, but if a question seems unsolvable, just make a guess and move ahead.
    • Don't leave a question as there is a heavy penalty on that. 
    • Keep in mind though, that this is an adaptive test, which means if you get a question wrong, the subsequent questions would get easier, and the resultant marks lesser

    3. Know your takt-time

    • Take time means the time you take to solve a particular type of problem. Knowing this would ensure you optimally manage your time on the test day.
    • Now, you get on an average, 2 minutes for every question. Also, not all questions are going to take 2 minutes to solve, while not all questions can be solved within 2 minutes. 
    • So, you have to make sure that you know how much time you take for each type of question, and solving practice papers help in that.

    4. Practice, practice, practice

    • Most of the questions in the test have the difficulty level of basic high school concepts, which means everyone can solve that, provided they have a sufficient amount of time.
    • And that's where the practice factor becomes very important. It's not just your ability of quantitative analysis, which is being measured here, it's also how you can apply everything with the additional pressure of limited time.
    • And therefore, when you practice before the exam, make sure to practice questions of every difficulty level, and that too within a time limit.

    5. Clarify your concepts

    • If you want to score higher than Q50, it is very important that you have all your concepts crystal clear.
    • And to ensure it is so, after revising and getting an overall grasp of the subject, attempt sectional tests of varying difficulty.
    • And if you are getting a score above Q45 consistently, it means that you have mastered the concept.

    6. Keep track of your mistakes

    • While solving questions, it's natural that you'll commit mistakes. But what's important is, that you don't repeat those mistakes, definitely not, in the main test.
    • So, to avoid that, create and maintain an error log where you jot down all the mistakes you've committed while solving questions. 
    • This will ensure you can go through a list anytime you want, and you remember the mistakes and don't commit them again.

    7. Don't only focus on hard questions

    • There are many hard questions and advanced topics when you start your preparation. But keeping your focus only towards them will really hamper your score. How do you ask?
    • Well, this is an adaptive test. This means if you get easy or medium-level questions wrong, you won't get to solve hard questions in the first place.
    • So, make sure you get an apt practice of easy and medium level questions before you jump on to the harder ones. Solving them is necessary, yes, but you have to keep your priorities straight.

    8. Solve the Problem-Solving Type Questions smartly

    • While practice is the ultimate tip for these questions, here are some tips you should keep in mind:
      • When you have answers in the form of numbers, sometimes the best way is to just plug in those numbers, and see which satisfies the condition. Saves time and energy!
      • For the percentage questions, if there are no starting values given, simply take 100. This will make sure you don't have to convert back and forth from numerical to percentage.
      • In algebraic questions, try to pick up numbers as much as possible. What that means is, that as per the given definitions in question, substitute the abstract 'x' with a number. That, more often than not, makes the calculations a whole lot easier.
      • Maintain cautiousness when solving the questions. Check whether a specific strategy will be better rather than conventional math. When you are practicing, try to use different methods for the same question, and use that which is the fastest and effective.

    9. Solve the Data Sufficiency Type Questions efficiently

    • Applicants often lose marks because of silly mistakes in these questions. Make sure that you don't do the same, by following the below points:
      • Write down 12TEN on your pad. What this means is, instead of writing the standard A, B, C, D and E on your pads, use 1, 2, T (Together), E (Either), and N (Neither). This will make it easier for you to remember your answers.
      • Keep in mind that 'Y/N' and 'Value' questions are different. While in the former, either a 'yes' or a 'no' is acceptable, in the later ones, for a statement to be sufficient, it must provide a single numerical question.
      • Make sure you really understand the question. Even a single word can drastically change what the question implies. Write down the major points, if you are facing any sort of confusion. 
      • While it may seem obvious, still, choose a range of values, and don't make any assumptions about the unknown quantities given to you. The number can be a positive integer, a negative integer, a decimal, a fraction, or zero.

    10. Keep your handwriting clear

    • Having large and clear handwriting means that you don't make a mess while solving questions, and also, you avoid doing silly mistakes.
    • It also allows you to think clearly, and hence make better decisions during the test.

    Keep in mind the following tips, and you should be able to ace the Quant section of the GMAT and obtain a Q50+ score. Always remember, that there is no substitute for practice. So, keep practicing, and study smartly. And best of luck!!

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