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Best Ways To Study For The GMAT Quantitative Section

The GMAT Focus Edition Quantitative Reasoning section is enough to challenge any MBA candidate. Prepare with these GMAT prep tricks from Varsity Tutors


Thu Feb 8 2024

Oh, the Quantitative section of the GMAT Focus Edition. It’s enough to challenge even the most numbers-happy MBA. But don’t throw away those business school dreams just yet!

While the concepts tested on the GMAT Focus Quantitative section are not terribly difficult, the test-writers do their best to throw you off your game. 

The more you prepare for the GMAT Focus Edition, the less likely you’ll be to fall for one of their tricks. With a little hard work, you can watch that Quant score skyrocket.

5 best ways to study for the GMAT Focus Edition Quantitative Reasoning section:

1. Review math basics

The main math concepts tested on the GMAT Focus Edition are relatively simple—arithmetic, algebra, ratio, statistics and probability—but you probably haven’t studied them since high school. Your GMAT prep will get nowhere if you don’t first review basic concepts in these areas.

All of your major GMAT Focus Edition study guides should include a section on review. Don’t rush through this section—take the time to really relearn the material. Although it’s been a while, you’ll likely refresh your memory quickly.

For those concepts that will take a little more time to solidify in your brain, create flashcards. Don’t be afraid to pull out those flashcards on the bus, in the grocery line, or whenever you have a few extra minutes.

2. Take the Quantitative section of a practice exam

Taking a practice test will allow you to get an idea of where you are starting from and how much further you have to go. Follow the timing for the real test. Don’t worry too much about the score yet—that’s what the rest of the plan is for. Several online resources provide free practice content.

3. Analyze your practice exam

Review the results of your practice exam very carefully. Note the questions that you answered incorrectly and study the explanations of the correct answers. Make flashcards for the concepts tested on those questions. Create a spreadsheet indicating the questions that you answered incorrectly, as well as their respective topics and sub-topics.

In fact, creating a spreadsheet will help prepare you for business school as well!

4. Identify your area of greatest weakness and attack it

If you are having trouble with statistics, you need to focus on this. Work on as many questions like this as you can find.

Use your spreadsheet to go back to problems that you previously answered incorrectly and do them again. You can then move on to another weakness and do the same thing: lather, rinse, repeat. 

5. Continue to take more GMAT Focus Edition practice exams and analyze them

Obviously, there are many mathematical topics that you need to understand in order to score well on the Quant section of the GMAT Focus Edition—but taking GMAT practice tests is just as important in order to achieve this.

So much of this test involves being familiar with the types of questions and also avoiding common pitfalls. You can only master this if you practice, practice, practice! You should plan on taking at least six practice tests before the exam, at a pace of at least one per week.

Author Maureen Spain is a professional GMAT tutor and contributing writer for Varsity TutorsThis article was first published in February 2014 and updated in February 2024.