Overview of the Quantitative Section for GMAT

Instructor: Sudha Aravindan

Sudha has a Doctor of Education Degree and is currently working as a Information Technology Specialist.

One of the sections of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is the quantitative section. In this lesson, you'll learn about the structure, timing, and nature of this section of the test.

GMAT Overview

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized test that is used by some graduate business schools to determine if applicants are prepared for the rigor of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

The GMAT has four sections:

  • Analytical Writing
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Quantitative
  • Verbal Assessment

In this lesson, we'll focus on the quantitative section, also known as the quant section, of the GMAT so that you can get a better understanding of the structure, content, and timing of this portion of the test.

Quantitative Section Structure and Timing

The quantitative section of the GMAT has 37 multiple choice questions. You will have a total of 75 minutes to complete this section of the test. This means that you can only spend about two minutes on each question if you hope to answer all of them.

You'll see two different types of questions on the quantitative section:

  • Data sufficiency: These questions require you to analyze provided data and then make conclusions based on the available data.
  • Problem-solving: These questions require you to solve numerical problems using basic math skills.

Required Math Skills

Some mathematical ability is required for the quantitative section of the GMAT. You'll need to brush up on your arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Questions are generally limited to high school level math, so you don't have to worry about seeing any college algebra, calculus, or advanced math questions.

Arithmetic, algebra, and geometry are broad topics. Understanding the specific types of concepts and properties you'll be tested on will help you you focus your preparation. Let's explore some of the math skills you'll need to work on.


  • Number properties and operations, including operations with positive and negative numbers
  • Fractions, decimals, ratios, rates, and percentages
  • Roots and exponents
  • Mean, median, mode, and standard deviation
  • Permutations, combinations, and discrete probability
  • Math diagrams/graphical representation


  • Algebraic expressions
  • Inequalities
  • Functions
  • Linear and quadratic equations


  • Types and properties of lines (intersecting, perpendicular, parallel)
  • Types and properties of angles
  • Properties of shapes (circles, triangles, quadrilaterals)
  • Properties of solids (cylinders, prisms, cubes, cones, spheres, pyramids)
  • Area, perimeter, circumference, volume, and slope of a line
  • Coordinate geometry

Preparing for the Quantitative Section

Practicing math problems is really the only way to get better at math. However, it is important to understand that math skills alone will not guarantee a good score on the quantitative section of the GMAT. You must be able to use critical thinking and reasoning skills to understand what each question is asking and how it should be answered.

The best way to prepare is by taking practice GMAT tests. This will help you get a feel for how questions are structured and will also help you with your time management skills so that you can work through problems quickly and efficiently when you take the actual test.

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