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GMAT Quantitative Section Question Types

Instructor: Joseph Madison

Joseph received his Doctorate from UMUC in Management. He retired from the Army after 23 years of service, working in intelligence, behavioral health, and entertainment.

This lesson will cover the Quantitative section of the GMAT and the two question types within that section: problem solving and data sufficiency. The lesson will also review overall formatting for this part of the exam.

Quantitative Section of the GMAT

The Graduate Management Admissions Test, or GMAT, is an exam that universities can require for admission into graduate business programs. The whole exam lasts for 3 1/2 hours, and is broken down into 4 parts: quantitative, verbal, integrated reasoning, and an analytical essay. The section we will be reviewing today is the quantitative, which means math. There are 37 questions in this particular section, which has two types of questions:

  • Problem Solving
  • Data Sufficiency

The breakdown is usually 14 to 16 data sufficiency questions and 21 to 23 problem solving ones. The type of math that you will run into with these questions can be arithmetic, algebra, or geometry. Keep in mind that the GMAT tries to make sure the questions are practical and for real world use. The math level is usually high school, but remember that the GMAT is computer adaptive, which means that the difficulty of the questions are based on whether you are getting more of the questions right or wrong. If you have gotten more of the questions right, the questions will start to become more challenging, and vice versa.

Problem Solving Questions

The problem solving questions are similar to ones seen in math tests on many exams. There will either be text, graphs, or equations that need to be solved. These are multiple choice, so there are 5 answers to choose from. The formatting will be similar to the example below:

Problem Solving Example

Mary started working at Company A in 2001. Her starting pay was $15.00 an hour. She worked at Company A for 1 year, and received a raise of 5%. Mary then started at Company B, where she was paid 18% more than her last salary with Company A. What is she getting paid at Company B?

A. 15.75

B. 18.59

C. 17.70

D. 21.20

E. 18.63

Data Sufficiency Questions

Data sufficiency questions are different than problem solving. Instead, the exam will pose a question/equation, then place two statements beneath the question. Then, you need to determine if these statements are sufficient or not sufficient for solving the question/equation. The data sufficiency questions within this section are unique, since the multiple choice answers available are identical in every question. The answers on the GMAT are seen below:

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