2Minute GMAT

Estimation And Problem Solving Advice For GMAT Quantitative Questions

There are a number of problems that the GMAT test throws on you, particularly with GMAT quantitative questions. Does the problem contain the word “approximately” or something similar? Are the numerical answer choices decently far apart? Is there a diagram, or could you draw one, that would allow you to estimate? Can you assess things in terms of “more than half vs. less than half” (this often works well on probability, sets, rates, work, fractions, percents)? Can you assess things in terms of “positive vs. negative” or “greater than one vs. less than one” (this often works well with number theory)?

If the answer to any of those question is “yes,” you can likely get rid of some answers by estimating. Practice when and how.

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Try the Answers (Problem Solving)

Are the answers generally small, easy numbers? Try them in the problem! Start with B or D. After every choice, if that choice is wrong, try to determine whether you need a larger or smaller number. For example, let’s say that we try B first. It’s wrong and we can also tell that we need a larger number. A is smaller, so cross off A as well. Next, try D. It’s wrong, too, but we can tell that we need a smaller number. Therefore, the answer is C. If you can tell whether you need a smaller or larger number, then you never need to try more than two choices (B and D) in order to get to the answer.

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