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How to Prepare for GMAT Quant

How to Prepare for GMAT Quant
A 10 min read

1. Introduction

If you are someone who has always been weak at math, then we understand how you’d be feeling about GMAT Quant questions and its syllabus. You were probably happy (and relieved!) to finally be done with all things mathematics when school ended. But now, the demon is back on your back!  

But do not worry – GMAT quant questions are not like your regular math, seemingly unfathomable and calculation-intensive. Rather, it is a test of your logical ability. And needless to say, we’ve got you covered here. In this article, we will show you how to ace GMAT Quant, just like XYZ did (success story of someone who went from a Q40 to Q49)!

On the other hand, if you’re someone who is good with GMAT Quant but is struggling to break out of that Q48 plateau, this article is also for you. We’ll help you overcome that plateau and help and explain how to score 51 in GMAT Quant and get to a Q50/51.

For those of you who’re wondering why you even need specific strategies to prepare for GMAT Quant, and why you can’t just prepare for it like any other math test, we will explain how the GMAT is a very different test with respect to the skills that it evaluates, and accordingly, why it needs a very different style of preparation.  

In this article, we will give you a predictable path to success. As long as you diligently execute on that path, you should achieve success on GMAT Quant.

So, here’s a three-line summary for you:

  • Do you have to be a Math whiz to feel confident about GMAT Quant? No!
  • Is it doable for students of all starting abilities? Yes!
  • What do you need to ensure success? Diligence.
How to score GMAT quant 50 percentile for success

Now, we’ll start from the very basics. And so, before we give you your blueprint for success, we’ll first understand what GMAT Quant is all about – what it tests and how.

But even before that, you should first become confident about the power of the strategies you are going to learn here.

2. Why should you trust our GMAT quant strategy?

The biggest reason for you to trust these strategies is that they have already powered the success of all kinds of students, regardless of where they started from. For example, Rida, who had a great fear of math since school, improved from a Q33 to a Q49 with our GMAT quant conceptual guide and notes. On the other hand, Richa, who already had some ground covered through her education until then, went from a Q38 to a Q50. Both these students got to their dream scores despite starting from very different abilities, 15th and 35th percentiles, respectively. In fact, Rida liked the product so much that she interviewed with us soon after her test. Now, she works with us!

Rida and Richa were students of our latest Quant course- Quant 2.0 which has accounted for the largest number of Q49+ scores reported on GMAT Club.

GMAT Club quant success reviews

3. How to begin your Quant Prep?

3.1 FIND YOUR STARTING ABILITIES

A good journey, especially one where the result does matter, should not just be embarked upon blindly. Good planning is a pre-requisite to any successful journey, unless you want to completely rely on fate.

Now, what basis do you build your plan upon? Well, at a high level, it should be based on where you are and where you want to reach. In our GMAT context, this means that your study plan should be based on your starting abilities and your target score. Now, finding your starting abilities does not only mean having an overall Quant score, it also means having your scores at the sub-sectional level. Let us explain. GMAT Quant is divided into two subsections – Arithmetic and Algebra/Geometry. These two subsections are independently scored on the GMAT. That means you actually get two scores on the exam, one on each subsection, that is then translated together into an overall score. So, understanding where you are on each subsection at the beginning is very important. Quite naturally, you will need to put in more effort in preparing for your weaker subsection.

Earlier, these starting abilities were never easy to accurately describe. But now, you have GMAT Quant Sigma X mock test.

A Sigma X-mock is the only mock that can give you your abilities at the sub-sectional level. The only other way you can get this kind of score is if you go and take the actual exam (the offline one, not the online version! and also buy the ESR. This second option will cost you around $300 while the first one is free and yet, equally correct. But wait, this is not the end. A free Quant mock test also gives insights into your time management on the exam- how you perform on questions of varying difficulty as time moves on.

GMAT Quant Sigma X mock test
Earlier, these starting abilities were never easy to accurately describe. But now, you have GMAT Quant Sigma X mock test.
A Sigma X-mock is the only mock that can give you your abilities at the sub-sectional level. The only other way you can get this kind of a score is if you go and take the actual exam (the offline one, not the online version! and also buy the ESR. This second option will cost you around $300 while the first one is free and yet, equally correct. But wait, this is not the end. A free Quant mock test also gives insights into your time management on the exam- how you perform on questions of varying difficulty as time moves on.

Earlier, these starting abilities were never easy to accurately describe. But now, you have GMAT Quant Sigma X mock test.
A Sigma X-mock is the only mock that can give you your abilities at the sub-sectional level. The only other way you can get this kind of a score is if you go and take the actual exam (the offline one, not the online version! and also buy the ESR. This second option will cost you around $300 while the first one is free and yet, equally correct. But wait, this is not the end. A free Quant mock test also gives insights into your time management on the exam- how you perform on questions of varying difficulty as time moves on.

How to score 51 percentiles range in GMAT quant

3.2 CREATE YOUR GMAT QUANT STUDY PLAN

Plan your unique journey based on the starting abilities you get from your Sigma X-mock or from the actual GMAT. If you’ve already taken the exam once and now plan to retake it, you must already have your scores but if the score is more than 2 months old, we encourage you take a GMAT quant Sigma X-mock diagnostic test to get your true abilities today. This is because our abilities tend to change with time – now, more than two months after the GMAT exam, you would likely be at a lower ability (due to lack of practice, typically!).

GMAT Quant personalise study plan

4. Steps in your Quant Prep Journey

We’re going to break the entire process down into three major steps:

Best GMAT Quant Prep Journey
  1. Master one topic at a time 
  2. Cement 
  3. Refine to Perfection (Test Readiness)

4.1 Master each topic one at a time

You already know that GMAT Quant is divided into two subsections- Arithmetic and Algebra/Geometry. Now, these two subsections can in turn be segregated into five major topics- Number Properties (NP), Word Problems (WP), Advanced Topics (AT), Algebra (ALG), and Geometry (GEO).

GMAT club 700 level quant questions for success

Now, although you read “each topic” in the heading, let me clarify upfront that you need to only do the topics you really need to do – based on the weaknesses you identify in your starting abilities. So, while some students may need to do all 5 topics, some may need only 3, and some none. For example, you can completely skip this step if you are already at a Q48 or higher, because in that case, it is highly likely that you already know the topics but just need extra polishing.

In this step, you need to focus on building abilities. Timing is not a priority yet. Now, there are two main components of building ability:

1. Building concepts

2. Building skills pertaining to how to apply those concepts

GMAT quant ability section breakdown

A lot of times, students do know concepts but go blank when it comes to applying those concepts in questions. If you’re one of them, don’t worry! All you need to understand is how to really go from Concepts to Applications. You need Process Skills here. These process skills are what form the bridge between concepts and application. Right now, you’re just hanging on that bridge; the only sure way to successfully cross it and reach the other side is to attain mastery of all 7 Process skills. Here are GMAT Quant skills tips; Translate, Infer, All Cases, Constraints, Visualize, Simplify, and Manipulate.

Now, an important note before we wind this up: You cannot say you’ve mastered how to apply if you rely on short cuts, since they are not scalable methods. They work here and not there – in essence, short cuts are not trust-worthy. Methodical approaches based on concepts intertwined with process skills, once internalized, stay with you, and make you capable of solving any and every question in GMAT Quant.

gmat quant course concepts

4.2 Cement

If you do the previous step well for any topic, that is, if you truly master that topic, you can say with confidence that you’ve aced the first stage of learning, and with this, you have already gone from average to good on that topic.

But before you move on to the next topic, you need to level up here! You need to upgrade from good to very good. This is when you will truly become ready to move to the next topic in your study plan. At e-GMAT, this second stage of preparation is called Cementing – here, you “cement” all the foundations you laid in Stage 1 and are considered to be the best GMAT quant online course.

The idea of cementing is to become exam-ready, one topic at a time. So, if this one topic was all the exam tested, then you should be able to ace that section of GMAT Quant. If you do this stage well, you are on the path to Quant success; if you do not pass this stage, you get clear proof that you need to course-correct to really be successful on your exam. You must be wondering what it really means to pass cementing. Let us give you clear metrics that translate to cementing success:

how to ace gmat quant through cementing
  • On medium cementing quizzes, score an 80% or higher.
  • On hard cementing quizzes, score a 55% or higher.

We encourage you to watch this video that outlines e-GMAT’s cementing architecture and the value that this stage adds in making success predictable.

4.3 Refine through data (Test Readiness)

Till the cementing stage, you only dealt with one topic at a time. But the exam will not have just one topic, right? It will have everything and that too, not in order. You need to be able to switch from one topic to another, without losing focus or efficiency.

How do you do that now? The best strategy is to practice solving questions in two topics at a time, say Number Properties and Word Problems, and gradually build up to all 5 topics at once, which is just like taking a Quant-only mock.

This stage will, in the true sense of the term, make you test ready. Now of course, you will combine topics only after you are sure that you have no gaps still left after Cementing. In case, you do have some gaps, then you first address those by leveraging data. Scholaranium gives you powerful data that can help you accurately identify any and every weakness you might have. Once you find these, you can just go back to course, redo the relevant application files, and then come back to Scholaranium for targeted practice that will help you iron out all the creases.

And there you are – All ready!

how to improve GMAT quant

Before we conclude this section, let us show you an actual student account walkthrough. ABC is somewhere who started from a Qxx and ended with a Qyy! Observe in this video how he diligently did each of the steps we mentioned above and got rewarded with his dream score. – A/C walkthrough needed – someone started with X and ended with Y after going through the Quant course.

5. Customize your Journey

Alright, now you know all the steps to GMAT Quant preparation.  These are from the beginning till the end. But you must realize that not all of you will have the same journey to success. You may have the same destination, your target GMAT quant score, but because of differing starting abilities, you should have different paths to your destination. These paths are what we’ll try to summarize at a high level in this section. However, remember that a much deeper level of personalization comes in with PACE (Personalized Adaptive Course Engine), one of the key highlights of our Quant 2.0 course, that goes much deeper – defining at a granular level the concepts within each topic that you need to go through and telling you what you can skip.

Here are some different high-level paths: 

  • Low Starting ability
    • That is < 50th percentile ability in both subsections – Arithmetic and Algebra/Geometry.
    • Do all three steps for all topics.
      • Suggested sequence: NP, WP, AT, Alg, Geo
  • Mid Starting ability
    • That is between 51st and 75th percentile ability in both subsections.
    • For your weak topics, learn the relevant concepts in step 1 and then continue with steps 2 and 3.
  • High Starting ability
    • That is above 75th percentile ability in both subsections.
    • You most likely have no or minimal concept gaps. You could still have process gaps (application gaps).
      • Do step 3 directly – Leverage data from your solving of the questions to identify weak spots, if any.
      • Based on this analysis, study concepts as needed and also practice application (for e-GMATers, concept and application files).
      • Then, do targeted practice in these weak areas through custom quizzes attacking these areas.
how to improve quant for GMAT

6. Next Steps

We’re almost at the end of the article (We had great fun writing it and hope you enjoyed reading it!) Before we say bye, let’s give you all that you need to get started. Here’s your list of Next Steps:

  • If you don’t know your starting abilities, take a mock and find out.
    • Here is a link to a GMAT Quant Sigma X-mock test and study material.
  • If you have the right starting abilities (through a Sigma X-mock or the real GMAT), start planning.
    • Create your Personalized Study Plan. (PSP link)
  • If you’re all done till here, then just start preparing!
    • Here is a link to your free trial of Quant 2.0.

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