Maths Tricks to Ace the GMAT Quant Section!

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Maths Tricks

In order to carve a niche in the field of management studies, the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) plays a very decisive role whether you are planning to study for a postgraduate degree or can even help you make a great impression for a job profile. In GMAT, a candidate is gauged on the basis of certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills. There are prestigious management school universities that are considering the GMAT as of paramount importance in order to shortlist the best applicants for their programs. This blog will take through the top math tricks that you must be aware of in order to crack the GMAT Quantitative section

Must check out Arithmetic Questions for GMAT Reasoning


Falling under the umbrella of GMAT sections, its quantitative section aims to assess you on the basis of analytical knowledge pertaining to mathematics, algebra, geometry, amongst others. Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving comprise a central aspect of this section. The time duration of this section is 62 minutes for a total of 31 questions. In Data Sufficiency, your ability to analyze quantitative solutions will be gauged and it’s your responsibility to analyse if the data is relevant to solve the problem. While as when it comes to Problem-solving, you will gauge on the basis of solving quantitative problems. In order to crack this section, there is a multitude of tricks you can pull up your sleeve to save your time as well as simplify calculations and we have listed some of the major ones in the next section.

Recommended Read: Complete Guide On GMAT Syllabus For 2021

General GMAT Maths Tricks

The GMAT quantitative tricks are very beneficial for the students. If these math tricks are followed it will land a student answering the question without even solving any use of calculators. Glance through some of the main math tricks that will help you crack the questions easily. Below are some general GMAT Maths tricks and tips that will help you ace your GMAT quant section. 

Do Difficult Calculations using Multiples of 10

Since multiplying any number to 10 is quite fairly easy, you can use this maths trick for carrying out calculations in the GMAT. For example, you need to add or subtract a number that isn’t a multiple of 10, then the best way to do it is to round off the number by 10 or its multiples and then add or subtract. Let’s take an example:

=700+211+25 =911+25

Another way to use this amazing maths trick is for multiplying and dividing. Suppose you have to multiply n by 18, start with breaking them down into multiples of 10, use this formula of distributive property:

n*18= (n*10)+(n*8).

Using this math trick, you can add, subtract, multiply and divide in a simpler way!

Squaring Numbers Between 11 and 19 by using 10

Maths tricks for squaring numbers are quite a few but this one is surely easier! In order to square any number x that comes between 11 and 19, you need to first find the nearest multiple the number has from 10 and then calculate how much you need to add or subtract to make it a multiple of 10. Let’s suppose that the number you need to add or subtract is n. Now, you need to do the opposite of n with x, so the nearest multiple of x you get after subtracting n then you need to add it in the formula and vice versa.

Square of x = x (x+n and x-n)

For example, Square of 22= (20*24) + Square of 2

Time to practice some Mean Median Mode Questions for GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Section!

Plug-in Numbers, But with Caution

Many GMAT Quant problems do not necessitate the solution of all of the equations included within them. Picking a simple integer and substituting it for the unknown variable works significantly better (and simplifies and simplifies the issue) than actually solving the difficult algebraic equation. Picking a number to stand in for the unknown in problem-solving issues, especially when seeking for a rate, ratio, fraction, or percentage of an unknown total, may save time and make it much simpler to conceptualise and solve the problem. In summary, when it comes to plugging in figures, one must use extreme caution as you don’t want to end up with a jumbled mess of calculations! But in case if you have no other option left, then here are 4 important tips you must remember before picking numbers effectively and avoiding common traps in both question types:

  1. Make sure that the new number you choose satisfies all of the criteria in the question.
  2. Make sure you don’t make assumptions that aren’t based on the conditions you’ve been provided.
  3. Avoid using a number that suggests a probable exception to a condition’s general rules.
  4. Plugin numbers that are simple to deal with.

GMAT Maths Tricks for Data Sufficiency 

Data sufficiency questions are difficult for everyone at first because they differ aesthetically from the conventional math problems you’re used to solving. However, once you’ve gotten used to them, you’ll notice certain arithmetic techniques and shortcuts built within the unusual style of these peculiar problems. The following are some of the best math tricks for GMAT data sufficiency questions.

Weigh Options Methodically in Data Sufficiency

Since Data sufficiency amounts to a wider portion of the GMAT, there are many maths tricks that can prove to be extremely helpful. This trick utilises the idea of elimination for cracking data sufficiency questions. For any question, the choices you have been given, you need to go through them in the same order they have been provided. Don’t confuse yourself by checking the option ‘c’ first or any other, but go from ‘a’ to ‘e’ methodically.

Don’t Solve Questions All the Way

You don’t always have to figure out the value of the expression in the data sufficiency question prompt or in the statements. Your goal is simple to assess if the information supplied for each statement is sufficient. Assume you receive a DS question, “What is the value of x?” And suppose you’re given the following information in statement 1: 22x + 251 = 550. As the astute student that you are, you may be tempted to solve for x in statement 1. However, you are not required to solve for x!  By just looking at the equation, you can see that statement 1 can only lead to one potential value for x, therefore determining the value of x is sufficient. Already, you can eliminate other options and you didn’t even need to “do” any math!

Simplifying the Confusion of Square Roots

When you are provided with a number that is a square, many think that it might be a square root of a positive number. Amongst many useful maths tricks, this one reminds you that a square root can be of a negative or a positive number so it is better not to assume only a positive number for it. So, if you are given a square of a, its root might be a positive or a negative number!

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Use the “n Variables, n Equations” Rule!

Here’s another one of the most effective maths tricks that will help you ace your data sufficiency questions in the GMAT. Data sufficiency problems that require you to solve for a single variable frequently include two variables (typically x and y) in the assertions. For these problems, remember the “n variables, n equations” rule of linear equations! To solve for n variables, you require n different equations; hence, to solve for x and y, you need two distinct equations that include both x and y. This indicates that, in most cases, statement 1 alone is insufficient. You must simplify each equation to ensure that they are not the same. Keep in mind that as long as there are two unique equations with x and y, both the statements should be sufficient.

GMAT Maths Tricks for Problem Solving Questions

GMAT problem-solving questions are often more difficult than they look. The following are some easy yet effective GMAT maths tricks that will help you approach even the most difficult problem-solving questions strategically.

Evaluate All the Options Before Solving

This is one of the most preferable maths tricks among all the GMAT aspirants. Instead of solving the problem immediately and then looking for an option that fits your answer, one should always look at all the answer choices that are given because the choices themselves can give hints about how to solve the problem, especially if there is a property or shortcut that might assist you. Like always, the GMAT virtually never requires you to perform exceedingly tedious equations by hand. They want to ensure that you can efficiently arrive at the correct solution (as an outstanding businessperson would)!

Use Quick Approximation for Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is another tricky giant in the GMAT exam which you must gear up for. Out of the many tricks you can use for problem-solving, the significant one is to use estimation and elimination for your answers. Let’s suppose that you need to multiply a number by a complex fraction like 12/45, which will come somewhere at 0.2. Here, you are not really required to find the exact answer by dividing this all the way, so, tick the choice which comes the most closer to 0.2 which will probably get you to the actual answer!

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Try Backsolving 

Some problem-solving questions can be solved by working backwards rather than entering numbers of your own choosing. Plug in the answer options, solve the equation(s), then cross off the options that don’t balance. Usually, there is a faster way to get to the correct solution, however, this approach might come in handy when you don’t know how else to handle a specific problem. Backsolving is best approached by starting with the option or value that is in the middle of all the options. Even if it does not balance the equation, you will be able to distinguish if the number that would work is greater or lower.

Some More GMAT Tips 

Now that you must have memorised all the above-mentioned maths tricks for your GMAT Quant section, here are some more tips that you must know while preparing for the same!

  • Learn Vedic Maths strategies for multiplication, division, finding squares, square roots, cubes, and cube roots.
  • Avoid the use of calculators and do day-to-day computations mentally.
  • Learn tables up to 35.
  • For numbers up to 40, learn the squares, square roots, cubes, and cube roots.
  • Improve your shortcuts! Because this section requires a lot of calculation, it’s always a good idea to know the shortcuts for common calculations and to use Vedic Maths techniques.
  • Keep your formulae handy! To efficiently learn all of the key formulas, use flashcards.
  • Practice is your best friend when it comes to the GMAT, especially for the quantitative section. For your practice, try to mimic an actual test-like setting. This will allow you to hone your capacity to perform well under pressure.

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Hence, we hope that this blog has provided you with some insightful and quick maths tricks to nail GMAT quant like a genie! If you are aiming to appear for GMAT this year, our Leverage Edu experts are here to provide you with essential guidance to prepare for every section of this test as well as exam day tips to crack it successfully and get into your chosen business school!

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