GMAT Quant for the Mathematically Challenged

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Some of us are good at complex equations, some of us are good at writing papers, and some of us are good at remembering when all of our favorite TV shows are on.

If math has never been your strong suit, diving into GMAT quant can seem pretty daunting. But here are a few tips that will (hopefully) put you on the right track.

  1. Go back to basics. You need to build up to higher-level math. If you try to jump into 700-level geometry without mastering 500-level geometry, you’re not going to be learning effectively.
  2. Hone your mental math skills. Remember that the GMAT doesn’t allow a calculator, so you’ll need to be able to quickly and accurately work through each math problem.
  3. Get to the heart of the question. First of all, always read each question thoroughly before you jump into solving. Nothing worse than spending 2 minutes unsuccessfully attempting to solve for x, then realizing you were supposed to be solving for y. You need to be able to quickly sift through extraneous information to figure out how to attack the problem.
  4. Have a back-up plan. There are often multiple strategies to solve a problem, and while you don’t need to know every single one, it often helps to be able to choose a strategy better tailored to the specific problem.
  5. Keep an eye on the clock. It can be easy to spend far too long on a quant problem, especially if you’re solving it in a roundabout way or spending too much time checking and rechecking your math. On the other hand, rushing through questions because you know the formula is the best way to make careless mistakes.

As with most things, diligent practice is the best way to improve. If you’re in need of a quant resource, Prep4GMAT has 20 hours worth of quant questions and flashcards to help you practice your quant skills.