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Topic: GMAT Problem Solving

  1. #1
    Senior Member mavdav's Avatar
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    GMAT Problem Solving

    GMAT Problem Solving

    Introduction

    GMAT problem solving questions are designed more to test your understanding of underlying mathematical concepts than to test your ability to actually carry out quantitative procedures accurately.


    Problem Solving Tips and Strategies

    Read the questions carefully. It is impossible to overstate the importance of careful reading. The most common pitfall GMAT test takers stumble into is answering the question they thought they read, instead of the one the test asked. There is a big difference between a question asking "Which of the following may be true?" and one asking "Which of the following may not be true?" The test writers deliberately include answer choices that correlate to common misinterpretations of the questions.

    Use your scrap paper for every question.
    No matter how easy a question appears, you should utilize your scrap paper. Seeing a calculation on paper will help you avoid easy mistakes and the answer choices designed to exploit them. Remember, once you record your answer on the GMAT CAT, you can't go back and change it. This aspect of the CAT makes this tip even more effective.

    Do not get bogged down with complicated or lengthy calculations.
    We have looked at hundreds of GMAT problem solving questions and found that they are deliberately designed to make such calculations unnecessary. You are overlooking a shortcut if you find yourself getting bogged down in this way.

    The "guesstimating" technique is extremely effective on this exam. Most of the time, the answer to a problem-solving question is a value, and the values given in the answer choices will not be very close to each other. As a result, you can save time by 'guesstimating.' For example, if you know the value you're looking for is about 30%, and the answer choices are 4%, 13%, 29%, 47%, and 81%, you can safely guess that the correct answer is 29%. Congratulations – you just saved yourself a lot of time on this question, and avoided getting caught up in a longer calculation that might have resulted in a math error!

    Learn how to work backwards.
    If you are completely stuck on a question, you can always try plugging in an answer choice and work backwards to see if it makes sense. When you use this technique, we suggest starting with the choice giving the middle value. Even if the middle value does not answer the question, it might tell you if you need to go higher or lower. You will have narrowed 5 choices down to 2.

    Convert quantities freely.
    There are often shortcuts available to you if you can recognize relationships between the numbers used in the problems. Keep in mind, the GMAT test writers never haphazardly select numbers for their questions. This technique is especially useful in narrowing down likely answer choices when you feel the urge to pull out a calculator. One easy conversion to remember is that, at least for purposes of the GMAT, π = 22/7.

    Use process of elimination as a last resort.
    The GMAT writers have historically arranged answer choices in ascending numerical value. Even if you are unable to immediately hone in on the correct answer, chances are that guesstimating, working backwards, or some other technique will help you eliminate many wrong choices.

    Practice, practice, practice.
    When you spend time practicing quantitative questions, you internalize these tips and strategies. You will also become very comfortable with the type of questions found on this portion of the test, and will quickly realize whether you need to brush up your skills in any math areas, such as geometry or algebra. After all, when it comes time to sit for the GMAT, you will want to be able to recall certain information – the total number of degrees in the sides of a triangle, the calculation for the area of a circle, etc – off the top of your head.

    Good luck

  2. #2
    Newbie eddyakinrinde's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    You are great

  3. #3
    Newbie pelemozi's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    you are great

  4. #4
    Newbie Ibk-D's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    Thanks 4 d tips.

  5. #5
    Newbie LOLIPO's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    thats great man. you have made my day but sometimes some qustions will be so difficult to use the answers to guess the correct answer. in that case, one may be compeled to read and that consumes time. if you have gone for Eko Bank Test, you will agree with me that it wil be hard to jump for an option. however, you are great.

  6. #6
    bbn
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    Newbie bbn's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    It's really nice of you to share such helpful tips.Thanks so much.
    LAY DOWN WITH DOGS AND YOU'LL GET UP WITH FLEAS!

  7. #7
    Newbie Ejikeogonna's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    How does the PZ Test look like?Who knows?
    E

  8. #8
    Newbie eoamary's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    Pls i need useful tips on what to expect from Nestle test. was invited for a test, position in finance and control

  9. #9
    Newbie DUDUNA's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    thanks for the advice it has really come in handy for so many of us keep up the good work.

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    Newbie OnyidaSylva's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    Am really grateful for the works you guys are doing for your fellow naijas
    SIMPLYSLY

  12. #12
    Newbie theoddbreaker's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    Thanks for the tips.

  13. #13
    Newbie henryhenry's Avatar
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    Re: GMAT Problem Solving

    thanks,this is so motivating!

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