How to Increase Your GMAT Quant Score: Top 25 Tips
Most MBA applicants realize the importance of earning a good GMAT score. In fact, most folks applying to business school know by heart the average GMAT scores, corresponding GMAT percentile rankings, and GMAT score range of the MBA programs that they aspire to enter.
What these MBA applicants sometimes forget is that many of the top MBA programs are unapologetically quant-driven. And rightfully so, because whether you’re pursuing a career in consulting, marketing, or finance, a world of big data, statistics, and analytics requires solid quant skills.
Strong GMAT Quant Scores are an Asset
Thus, in addition to seeking applicants with strong total GMAT scores, admissions committees often look favorably on applicants with strong GMAT quant scores.Often, the top 20 MBA programs like to see GMAT quant scores at or above a quant scaled score of Q47, which currently equates to about the 60th percentile.
The most competitive programs, including most of the M7 programs, often admit candidates with minimum scaled quant scores of Q49 and Q50, which currently equate to the 74th and 86th quant percentiles, respectively.
Earning a strong score on the quant section of the GMAT is a potent way to demonstrate your ability to work with numbers and reason analytically. More to the point, a strong quant score displays to MBA programs that you are capable of handling MBA math. So, it won’t come as a surprise that earning a high GMAT quant score can improve your candidacy in the MBA admissions process.
The good news is that if you are willing to properly prepare for the quant section of the GMAT, using the best materials and following a strategic plan of study, you can earn an impressive GMAT quant score. In this article, we will give you a blueprint for GMAT quant success with our top 25 tips for increasing your GMAT quant score.
The tips you’re about to learn will help ensure that you earn a strong GMAT quant score, which will help you to stand out in the business school admissions process.
Let’s begin by discussing what GMAT quant is and is not.
Tip #1: GMAT Quant is Not Just a Math Test
The first key move in increasing your GMAT quant score is realizing that GMAT quant requires skills that are different from the quant skills that you learned in high school or college. The GMAT quant section is not just a math test; it is also a reasoning game. So, increasing your score takes improving skills that relate specifically to the GMAT quant game.
Yes, it’s imperative that you know an array of basic math concepts, such as the difference of squares, 30-60-90 triangle rules, patterns in units digits, patterns in remainders, divisibility, algebraic translations, Venn diagrams, and permutations and combinations, to name just a few. At the same time, however, you need to far surpass basic competency in using these concepts. You must develop strong analytical reasoning skills.
You Must Develop Strong Analytical Reasoning Skills
So, must you learn math for GMAT quant? Yes, for sure. Without a solid understanding of the underlying math, it will be difficult to improve your GMAT quant score. But will just learning math be sufficient to earn you a high GMAT quant score? Probably not. The GMAT uses basic math to create logic-based questions. So, to improve your GMAT quant score, you’ll need to be armed with a combination of solid math knowledge and analytical reasoning skills.
Let’s discuss a bit about what makes GMAT quant questions different from what you’re used to seeing in a traditional math class.
Tip # 2: GMAT Quant Questions Present New Challenges
Whereas high school or college math tests are challenging because of the complexity of the mathematical concepts they test, GMAT quant is challenging because of the level of thinking it requires of you.
An ordinary math test tests to see whether you understand concepts (and often allows the use of a calculator). However, the GMAT largely assumes that you understand certain concepts and uses those concepts as the basis of reasoning questions (that you have to answer without the benefit of a calculator).
Furthermore, the GMAT is structured in such a way that you’ll need to be able to answer each quant question in an average of about two minutes. Being able to answer a question in four minutes does you little good come test day. So, your understanding of how to answer GMAT quant questions must be so great that you are able to efficiently attack each question that you see.
Thus, although you may have been able to score at a high level on ordinary math tests just by understanding concepts and punching numbers into a calculator, achieving a high GMAT quant score requires that you first master the concepts involved, and then develop skill in understanding the logic of reasoning questions based on those concepts.
In other words, mastering concepts is necessary but not sufficient for attaining a higher GMAT quant score. You must also learn to reason soundly and apply advanced analytical thinking skills in answering a wide-range of questions.
Think Like the Test-Maker
The fact that the math concepts that appear in GMAT quant questions are relatively simple ones, the types of things that people learn in middle school math, does not mean that we can assume that GMAT questions are simple.
Every GMAT quant question has a unique “GMAT-like” flair to it, a flair that is engineered by the test-maker. So, when preparing for GMAT quant, you must learn to think like the test-maker. You must get used to what makes GMAT questions unique. You must learn to understand the “GMAT flair.”