Exams Know-how

GMAT Quantitative Reasoning: Dot the I’s and cross the T’s of Quantitative Reasoning

Yocket Editorial Team

A Business person is a master of tricks and tactics. Skillfully, math is their strongest suit. Business Schools across the globe look forward to welcoming talented students with a knack for numbers. It would be apt to say that, Business schools can be impressed with an impeccable talent of mathematics.


The Quantitative Reasoning section of GMAT helps you showcase this mindful skill of yours to the Universities. You can land in the top Universities across countries with a good score in hand in your Quantitative Reasoning section of GMAT. 

This section requires you to mathematically interpret the given data and answer by choosing the appropriate choice. After understanding the problem, apply your logical reasoning skills to solve the problem. Your sense of analysis and problem solving reflects in the way you draw necessary conclusions. 

Decoding the GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section:

  1. No. of Quantitative Reasoning questions in GMAT?

Ans. GMAT has 31 questions in the Quant section 

  1. How long do you get to solve the Quant section?

Ans. You have a time frame of 62 mins to solve questions from the Quantitative Reasoning section of GMAT

  1. How is GMAT Quantitative Reasoning scored? 

Ans. You are scored on a 6-51 score scale for Quantitative Reasoning

REMEMBER: Quantitative Reasoning is a computer adaptive test. The series of questions and their difficulty levels are based on your ability to answer the given questions.

What should you expect in the Quantitative Reasoning section of GMAT?

In the mathematical section of GMAT, you’re required to analyse problems and draw conclusions. These questions are based on Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Modern Math. You are expected to answer 31 multiple choice questions in 62 minutes. These 31 questions can be either of two types in the GMAT math section, namely: 

  1. Problem-solving questions: To solve the mathematics questions

  2. Data sufficiency: Select whether the given information is sufficient to solve the problem or not.

Let’s discuss each of these sections in detail:


1. Problem Solving Questions:

As the name suggests, these are standard problem solving questions. You can expect 15-16 problem solving questions from secondary level school mathematics. 

It is recommended to time yourself and focus on quick-solving methods while solving these problems. Remember, that the GMAC is only interested in checking - how you logically apply the knowledge you possess, rather than the abundance of your knowledge.

Sample Question:

A company has 15 managers and 75 associates.  The 15 managers have an average salary of $120,000.  The 75 associates have an average salary of $30,000.  What is the average salary for the company?

(A) $35,000

(B) $45,000

(C) $55,000

(D) $65,000

(E) $75,000

Answer: (B)

Using the formula: sum = (average)*(number of salaries)

2. Data Sufficiency:

The GMAT Quantitative section consciously poses data sufficiency questions to put your logical brain cells to test. In a data sufficiency question, you don’t need to solve any complex equation or a problem at all. All you need to do is interpret whether the given information is sufficient to solve the given problem.

Sample Question 1: 

Is ‘y’ an integer?

  1. y3 is an integer

  2. 3y is an integer

Answer: The two statements together are sufficient

Sample Question 2: 

The cost of a certain phone call was $0.75 for the first 3 minutes and $0.20 for each additional minute after the first 3 minutes. Did the phone call last longer than 15 minutes?

(1) The cost of the phone call was less than $4.16

(2) The cost of the phone call was greater than $3.35

A. Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient

B. Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient

C. BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.

D. EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.

E. Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient.

Answer: B

Both of these types of Quantitative aptitude questions in GMAT hail mainly from secondary school mathematics. To ace this paper thorough yourself with the GMAT math syllabus below:

  1. Arithmetic: Number systems and number theory, Multiples and factors, Fractions, Decimals, Percentages, Averages, Powers and roots, Simple and Compound Interest, Speed, time, and distance, Pipes, cisterns, and work time, Ratio and proportion

  2. Geometry: Lines and Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Circles, Rectangular solids and cylinders, Coordinate geometry

  3. Modern Math: Mixtures and alligations, Permutations and combinations, Descriptive statistics, Sets, Probability, Sequences and series

  4. Algebra: Monomials, polynomials, algebraic expressions and equations, Functions, Exponents, Arithmetic and geometric progressions, Quadratic equations, Inequalities and basic statistics


How is the Quantitative Reasoning Section of GMAT scored?

The GMAT math section is computer adaptive. This means that the difficulty of each question depends on your previously answered question. Your scoring too depends on the same. A higher score is achieved by solving questions of a greater difficulty level.  

  • You’re scored on a 6-51 score range, with a 1-point interval for the GMAT Quantitative test 

  • This score adds up to your total score of 200-800 along with your Verbal Reasoning score

  • Scoring about 37 or above is a good score in the Quantitative Reasoning section of GMAT

  • The GMAT Quantitative score is as vital as the total GMAT score for Business Universities across the World

Master these Strategies to achieve High Score in Quantitative Reasoning:

Having strategies to help you advance your preparation can scale up your performance. Here are a few strategies you can use to score well: 

  1. A strong foundation: Basics of mathematics are essential. Brushing your basics even before you begin your advanced preparation is absolutely necessary. 

  2. Problem-solving speed: Speed matters! As you have a penalty for missing out on questions. Time yourself and practice. You have 62 minutes to answer 31 questions. So, put in place a time management plan for problem-solving.

  3. Practice! Practice! Practice! You’ll know exactly where you stand with practice tests. Take as many as you can and learn to work on your weaknesses. 

  4. Maintain an error log: By maintaining an error log, you will be able to work towards filling the gap of your errors. Careless mistakes, time-related issues, conceptual problems are various errors you can keep a track of and fix!

  5. Focus on all kinds of questions: Many candidates focus on complex problems and reject learning simpler, easy quick questions. These are as important as the tough ones. Learning all types of problems in the GMAT math syllabus will help you attend your test better.

  6. Use GMAT Flashcards: Quant flashcards are available online to help you regularise practicing for the test. An interactive platform will ease your learning process. 

3 mistakes to avoid while taking the GMAT Quantitative test:

Candidates attending Quantitative Reasoning usually have a few error patterns which you can omit. Here’s a list to help you identify them: 

  1. Reading with a lazy eye: Engaging in assumptions of presented data or carelessness about looking up to the right values. These are errs that many students make. Avoid doing that. Pay attention and be cautious about the presented data in the questions.   

  2. Choosing to be over-smart, rather than being smart: Sometimes you get pumped up to display your expertise in the field by overdoing it. The GMAT Quantitative test is certainly not to be one of those places. Stick to what is taught, how much is asked and answer accordingly. REMEMBER, There are no extra marks given for a fancy method of solving problems.  

  3. Don’t underestimate the power of a complete paper: GMAT requires you to answer as many questions as you can. Complete the paper to avoid losing points. Guess the answer for the questions you don’t know. 

Suggested: GMAT Quants Preparation

Despite the complexity of numbers, variables and x’s, GMAT Quantitative Reasoning section is doable. Practice and regular learning will help you attend the test with ease. Take regular practice tests until you don’t score a regular 40-45 range. Correct your errors and you’ll find yourself acquainted with all concepts and problems.

In the big picture, to be the crème de la crème, focusing all your efforts to prepare only on the Quantitative Reasoning section will be a dead loss. Invest time in understanding the overall syllabus and pattern of the exam as well. It is equally important for you to gauge the other GMAT sections, namely, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment. A tight study plan and preparation for GMAT will lead you to be the brightest of the batch!

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