Techniques to use in solving GMAT Math questions
GMAT Math questions are given to test your understanding of the mathematical concepts than to test your ability to actually carry out quantitative procedures correctly. These questions are simple but test-writers often complicate these problems by altering the sentences and concealing its structure and intent, while preserving its behavior. They usually do this to deceive the testers. Be careful in making assumptions that you are not supposed to make. It is impossible to overstate the importance of careful reading.
There are techniques that can be used to solve these problems and can also be found on GMAT preparation guides. One of which is by reading the question several times might help understand the question. Try to put it into your own words if not, break them into parts until you get the correct thought. Be careful with traps. Some numbers or words are usually added to confuse the reader.
Another technique is backsolving. This is done by substituting the answer choices to the given equation. For numerical answers, it is best to start with the middle choice then just go up or down based on the attempted result. Assume that the answer does not contain a variable and ensure that the numbers you chose don’t work on multiple equations.
Avoid unnecessary calculation. This will only waste precious time. You will go in circles, or worst, prompt you to the wrong answer. Do not solve for more than what is necessary. Know what is given and what is asked in the question. Do estimations if necessary. Some questions require lengthy g calculations. This is applicable if the answers are not close in value. The bottom line is that you need to be very careful when reading GMAT problems. Moreover, you must be precise and thoughtful when labeling your variables.
In problem solving questions, there are answers that can be eliminated right away. If you are running out of time, this is the best way to do it. Eliminate the obviously wrong answers and guess. Never leave a blank space. Your choice might be correct. Often, by simply determining the sign of the answer, whether it is positive or negative and the rough value of the answer, you can rule out an answer or two and improve your odds of guessing the correct answer.
The more time you spend practicing solving Math questions, the better able you will be to internalize the techniques given above. You will also become very comfortable with the type of questions. You will realize that there are many math areas where you need to master your skills. When the time comes that you will take the examination for the GMAT, you will already know what to do to perform well during the exam. Also, there are many GMAT study guide that are currently available to help you prepare for the examination.
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