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Archive | *GMAT Math Basics

Mathematical Thinking on the GMAT

What does the GMAT Quantitative section test?  Math, of course.  As tautological as that may seem, there is a very subtle point here.  What exactly is math?   Mathematics Strange as it may seem, there is no generally accepted formal definition of the word mathematics.  Most of the dictionary definitions, for example, cover the more […]

GMAT Number Properties

The single most-tested topic on the GMAT Quantitative Section is something called “Number Properties.”  In a way, this statement, while absolutely true, is a bit deceptive.  It’s like saying the biggest category at a particular zoo is mammals: even if that is completely true, that statement alone doesn’t give us a particular clear idea of […]

GMAT Math: Probability Rules

First, some practice questions.  The scenario below is relevant to questions #1-#3. There are two sets of letters, and you are going to pick exactly one letter from each set. Set #1 = {A, B, C, D, E} Set #2 = {K, L, M, N, O, P} 1) What is the probability of picking a […]

Doubling and Halving Trick for GMAT Math

Learn one of the handiest tricks for math without a calculator!   Without a calculator, what is 1. 35 x 12? 2. 150 x 36? 3. 125 x 84? On the GMAT, you don’t get a calculator. With the doubling and halving trick, all of these become much easier.   Thinking about multiplication Every positive […]

GMAT Math: The Many Meanings of Minus

First of all, for warm-up, a practice Data Sufficiency question. The symbol What does this symbol mean in math? Technically, this symbol, typographically a dash, has three different meanings in mathematics, viz.: a) a subtraction sign b) a negative sign c) an opposite sign   The subtraction sign When the dash appears between two terms  […]

GMAT Quant: Roots

Master these seemingly intimidating mathematical symbols! Practice Questions First, try these practice questions. 1) The numbers a, b, and c are all non-zero integers. Is a > 0? Statement #1: Statement #2:   2) The numbers a, b, and c are all non-zero integers. Is a > 0? Statement #1: Statement #2:     Square […]

GMAT Quant: Thoughts on Remainders

For a start, give these problems a try.  A complete explanation will come at the end of the discussion.   1) When positive integer N is divided by positive integer J, the remainder is 14.  If N/J = 134.08, what is value of J? (A) 22 (B) 56 (C) 78 (D) 112 (E) 175 2) […]

Fractions on the GMAT!

Learn to master this often confusing topic!  Why Fractions Are Hard Of all the math topics that raise dread, fear, anxiety, and confusion, few do so as consistently and as potently as do fractions.  I have my own personal theory why fractions are hard.  The trouble is: think about when you learned fractions — maybe […]

Exponent Properties on the GMAT

Because of their clarity and concision, the laws of exponents lend themselves well to GMAT math, especially to the Data Sufficiency format.  If math isn’t your thing, then perhaps the last time you gave any thought to exponents was back in Algebra Two, and perhaps exponents weren’t your favorites there either.  Take heart!  In this […]

Advanced (Non-Calculator!) Factoring on the GMAT

Fact: On the GMAT Quantitative Section, you cannot use a calculator. Therefore, if you are aiming to tackle even the 700-800 questions on the Q section, you need to have some crafty mental math tricks up your sleeve. One of the most powerful involves the clever use of a famous algebra formula: the difference of […]