Split into two main sections (data sufficiency and problem solving), the Quantitative part of the GMAT is designed to test participants’ ability to think conceptually around mathematical problems.
For many GMAT test-takers, the Quantitative section is the most daunting, and especially so for those who have not considered maths for a long time. However, the maths content covered on the GMAT is not considered too difficult or advanced. In fact, many will have seen similar questions before, during high school.
Throughout this section of the test, test-takers will be expected to answer questions that prove their ability to understand mathematical problems, complete maths based problems or analyze figures.
With a total of 37 questions, and 75 minutes in which to answer them, students will be presented with two question types. The difficulty will vary according to the test-takers ability, determined through the GMAT’s computer adaptive test (CAT) format.
Like the other two sections of the GMAT, familiarity with the differing question types is the key to any successful preparation strategy.
While many incorrectly assume the Quantitative section of the GMAT to be entirely made up of mathematical problem solving questions, the first half, data sufficiency is actually designed to test the participant’s ability to analyze a problem, breaking it down in order to find a solution.
The data sufficiency questions are all the same format, where a question is followed by two statements. Test-takers are then required to select one of five answers, which relate to the suitability of the statements in solving the original question.
As the multiple choice answers are the same in each question during the data sufficiency section, one popular method of saving valuable time is by memorizing the five multiple choice answers, rather than reading them over and over again.
The problem solving questions in the Quantitative section of the GMAT are more traditional maths based questions, where test-takers are given a question, and five possible answers.
The difficulty of these questions is frequently compared to that of high school maths, however for those who have not used their maths skills since high school, a considerable amount of practice might be required. In order to determine how much practice you will need, the best method is to test yourself using free sample GMAT questions.
Find out more about the three remaining sections of the GMAT MBA admissions test: