GMAT math question types & quant questions
The same mix of topics show up on both the PS and the DS — those two GMAT math question types do not discriminate in any meaningful way as to mathematical concepts tested.
At Magoosh, we did an analysis of the frequency of GMAT Quant concepts in various official materials. Here are a few highlights (but be sure to read the whole Quant concepts frequency article yourself).
The big granddaddy of GMAT quant questions is Word Problems. But in a sense, this isn’t a topic. Yes, interpreting Word Problems is a skill. But the classic story problem format is really a medium for many different Quant concepts.
The true quant concept that’s most common on the GMAT is Integers and Number Properties, especially Properties of Integers — that one topic (actually, it’s a zoo of interrelated topics!) accounts for roughly 30% of all math questions you see on the GMAT.
Another extremely frequent GMAT topic is percents (including interest & discounts) — which certainly makes sense for a test designed for folks going into business!
Other heavy hitters include (a) algebra, (b) statistics, (c) two equations with two unknowns, (d) rate questions, (e) fractions, (f) exponents & powers, and (g) coordinate geometry.
A couple more quick facts: of course, you should know that there is no calculator on the GMAT Quantitative section. This means, regardless of topic, you need to practice your mental math skills, including estimation, divisibility tricks, and the doubling & halving trick. Those are some of the most common skills you will need when answering GMAT Quantitative questions. It’s also important to know how to study for GMAT math.
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