Start Your GMAT Preparation with Quant Topics
You know you need to start your GMAT preparation, but where do you begin? There’s not one right way to cover the material you need to know, but there are good arguments for starting with Quant topics. Here’s how to prep for the Quant portion of the GMAT.
Know What Quant Is
The Quantitative portion of the GMAT is made up of questions that include problem-solving and basic mathematics (specifically arithmetic, algebra, and geometry). It includes 37 multiple-choice questions, and you have 75 minutes to complete them. Each problem has a single right answer, and the difficulty of the questions determines your score along with how well you answer them. Your score will be between 0-60, though it is extremely rare to see a score above 51. GMAT exam takers tend to get a higher score in the Quant portion of the test, making it an excellent place to begin your GMAT preparation.
Remember that Quant Is Nothing New
You’ve been through high school math. Even if it’s been years since you studied integers, probability, and formulas, you’ll probably find that it all comes back to you. Search for lists of Quant topics and you'll find lots of sources that list the sorts of skills the GMAT requires. This will not only refresh old concepts in your brain but also show you areas where you need extra training and practice. GMAT preparation is all about working your way through the material and spending time where you need it most. Getting a birds-eye view of all the Quant topics will allow you to narrow your focus more effectively later.
Understand the Different Types of Quant Problems
There are two types of problems intermingled in the Quant section of the GMAT: data sufficiency and problem-solving. The problem-solving questions are similar to the word problems you remember from your high school days. However, they are a little trickier and of course under time constraints.
The data sufficiency problems will most likely be new to you since the format is particular to the GMAT. Each question will include a prompt, followed by two mathematical statements. The provided answers for every data sufficiency problem will be the same, asking you to decide which of the data (statement 1, 2, both, or neither) is sufficient to answer the prompt. Memorizing the data sufficiency answers is a great prep tool which allows you to move more quickly through this portion of the test.
Begin Working on Practice Questions
Let's begin working through actual prep problems now that you’re familiar with the format and topics covered in Quant. While the difficulty of the GMAT Quant problems doesn’t exceed high school mathematics, the time limit on the test requires you to use different strategies to solve them. Spend a few days practicing problems without time constraints, adjusting to the way the questions are worded and building your confidence.
Once Quant becomes familiar, your GMAT preparation will shift, and you will begin timing yourself and learning non-standard solutions to beat the clock. Be sure you expose yourself to a wide variety of problems. Don't stray from the difficult problems. The more problems and solutions you see, the more the skills become second nature.
Launching yourself into GMAT preparation can feel daunting, and choosing a starting point is a big step. The Quant section of the GMAT is a great place to begin. The content is something that everyone has studied, and it can be easily remembered or relearned. Remember that, more than testing your math prowess, the GMAT is a test of thinking skills. To gain the aptitude you need to excel in the Quant and every other portion of the GMAT, register for our comprehensive course at EMPOWERgmat.