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Are you worried about GMAT math?

GMAT math can be quite worrisome to some people, especially those who didn't take many math courses in their undergraduate programs. However, it doesn't need to be worrisome, because the math tested on the GMAT is only high-school level. Therefore, most people are all on similar playing fields, having taken that type of math years earlier.

There are 37 questions on the GMAT math, or quantitative, section and you will have 75 minutes to answer them. There are two different question types: problem solving and data sufficiency. Here are sample GMAT math questions:

Problem solving:

Train A leaves Philadelphia at 8 am and heads directly to Boston, traveling at 75 miles an hour with no stops. Train B leaves Boston an hour later, heading directly to Philadelphia with no stops. Philadelphia and Boston are 315 miles apart. If the trains pass each other at 11 am, how fast is train B going?

A) 30 mph
B) 45 mph
C) 55 mph
D) 62 mph
E) 75mph

(Answer: B)

Problem-solving questions are very straightforward and will be similar to things you have seen on tests in school. A lot of times, you will have to use your math knowledge to solve the problem and find the solutions. However, since it is multiple choice, you have other strategies on your side, such as back solving, testing numbers and estimation.

Data sufficiency:

At a certain marketing conference, 20% of the attendees are male and the rest are female. 70% of the attendees are over 30 years old. How many of the attendees are female and 30 or younger?

I) 40% of the attendees are females over the age of 30
II) 10% are males 30 or younger

A) statement (I) by itself is sufficient to answer the question
B) statement (II) by itself is sufficient to answer the question
C) Both statements together are sufficient to answer the question
D) Each statement alone is sufficient
E) Both statements together are still insufficient to answer the question

(Answer: D)

Data sufficiency questions are more unconventional and you are less likely to have had experience with them. The most important thing to figure out is IF you can answer the given question, and if so with what information. Once you have figured out if you can solve the problem, then you don't actually have to find a solution. The key to answering this type of question is working through the answer choices systematically.

The quantitative section is scored on a scale of 0-60, and is also part of your overall score, along with GMAT verbal. Preparing for it involves studying the content and strategies and then practicing what you have learned. Now that you understand GMAT math and how to prepare, it shouldn't be so worrisome.

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