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        GMAT Quantitative Reasoning: How To Master The GMAT Math Questions

        Business schools want you to score well on the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section. Find out how the GMAT Quant is scored, how hard it really is, and how to ace those tricky GMAT math questions

        Haven’t studied math since high school? Before applying for an MBA or business master’s program, the prospect of sitting the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GMAT Exam may fill you with dread.

        However, by understanding the best ways to study for the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section, and with plenty of practice, there’s no reason why you can’t ace those tricky GMAT math questions.

        Doing so is important because business schools look at the different components of your total GMAT score—not just your score out of 800—and a good GMAT Quant score is strongly favored by most schools.

        Here’s everything you need to know about the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section in our GMAT Quant Guide:


        How is the GMAT Quant scored?

        The GMAT Quant section, along with the GMAT Verbal Reasoning section, makes up your score out of 800. Quantitative scores range from 0 to 60, although scores below 6 and above 51 are rare.

        Your GMAT Quantitative score is based on three factors: the number of questions you answer; whether your answers are correct; and the difficulty of the questions you answer correctly, which increases with each correct answer.


        How long is the GMAT Quant section?

        You must balance speed and accuracy as you have only 62 minutes to complete 31 multiple-choice questions in the GMAT Quant section.


        Are calculators allowed on the GMAT Quant?

        Calculators are not allowed in the quant section of the GMAT so you’ll need to sharpen your mental math ability.

        The GMAT is designed to test your mental math, logic, and problem-solving abilities. That’s why you can’t use a calculator. You shouldn’t need a calculator to solve problems, and the fact you can’t use a calculator is built into the design of the test.


        Is GMAT math hard?

        The underlying GMAT math questions in the Quant section are about high school level difficulty. As an item-adaptive test, the difficulty of questions increases the more questions you answer correctly.

        In thinking about the approach needed for this section, remember that your workings out are not regarded. It is all about finding the correct answer in the shortest time possible. This means that the GMAT math syllabus is different and the way you solve problems will be different from the way you’d solve a similar problem in high school. 


        Read: What Is A Good GMAT Score?

        ©Marcio Silva


        What types of questions come up in GMAT Quant?

        The GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section has two question types: Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency.

        GMAT Problem Solving

        The format of Problem Solving questions is straightforward: a mathematical question, along with 5 multiple choice answers. The alternatives given are part of the information you need to solve the problem. 

        In many cases you don’t need to solve the question per se, just to find the right answer by any means possible. The alternatives are not only great clues, but they also define the scope of the question and can allow you to use approximation, rounding up or identifying patterns to solve questions.