Thursday, June 04, 2015 at 2pm

GMAT Quant: Vedic Maths Tricks and More

GMAT quant tips

The GMAT is a key data point for top business schools to consider when shortlisting MBA applicants for the evaluative interview phase post-application. The quantitative section is designed to test your aptitude for numerical analysis, but more than this, it also tests you on your understanding of the fundamentals of mathematics. It also prepares test takers to manage their time, asking them to solve 37 questions in 70 minutes, which is not easy.

Historically, top business schools find that, while comparing the quant score, Indians and Chinese students tend to score very highly; this is reflected in their overall GMAT score. The average Indian who applies to a globally ranked, top business school, hovers around 730, in my experience.

Scoring 50 or 51 in the quant section is a must to cross the 700+ figure which many top business schools look for.

In a test like the GMAT, you are working against time – the adaptability makes it tougher. Speed, learning short cuts, and working on basic Vedic Maths tricks are essential. Aspirants also must divide the questions based on their difficulty level and ensure that preparation covers everything from middling to higher-level questions so as to prepare for the real GMAT.

Though there is no negative scoring, because the test is adaptive in nature, every wrong answer brings your level down. A GMAT test taker must be very cautious in doing the first 12-15 questions, avoiding careless mistakes, therefore. It is also very important to remember you must complete the section to avoid a penalty.

Doing every single calculation on paper reduces the problem-solving speed and speed matters a lot in the GMAT. The test taker should try to do simple calculations mentally using Vedic Maths tricks and more. Time taken in mental calculation helps in solving the question faster.

A few tips to speed up mental calculations

  • Learn multiplication tables up to 35
  • Learn the square, square root, cube and cube root for numbers up to 40.
  • Learn Vedic Maths tricks for techniques of multiplication, division, finding square, square root, cube and cube root.
  • Avoid using a calculator and do day-to-day calculations mentally.

Follow the GMAT tips below

Focus: Always read the question and the given choices carefully. At all costs, avoid the temptation of not reading the questions completely. You might make a wrong assumption – do not take any such risk.

Work on your short cuts: Since this section is calculation intensive, it always pays off if you know the short cuts for common calculations and utilize Vedic Maths tricks.

Remember your formulas: The important formulae you need to memorize for this test include: the areas and perimeters of various shapes, rate of work and speed formulae, and mixture formulae. Use flash cards to effectively memorize these important formulae. 

Do not waste your time remembering conversion tables: If a question involves two different units such as lb. and kg., the question itself will provide you with the conversion formula, if required.

Process of elimination method: If you are completely stuck on a question, then try eliminating improbable choices. You can start by eliminating values that are either too big or too small. Your task will be a lot easier even if you are able to eliminate only two or three choices.

Reverse engineering methodology: This is yet another method of solving numerical problems when you are not sure about the solution. This method works by plugging the given answer choices into the questions and working backwards.

Persevere & practice: When it comes to the GMAT and especially to the quantitative section, practice is your best friend. Try to simulate a real test-like environment for your practice. This will enable you to hone your ability to perform under stress.

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Rajiv Ganjoo is the founder and CEO of White Glow Consulting, exclusive India partner for Veritas Test Prep GMAT courses.  

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