Even though the overall composite GMAT score holds more value, it’d be foolish to overlook the greater role of quant in your admission profile. This statement has even more weight if the specialisation you want to apply to is largely data and statistics-driven. Consulting, finance, and marketing are three of the most pursued disciplines, and all three require you to master the world of big data and analytics. Top colleges offering these programs demand better quant skills from their applicants.
Why do you need a strong GMAT quant score?
It is no secret that the most selective schools favour higher GMAT quant scores. They’re looking for candidates who are proficient with numbers, logic, and analytics. And the GMAT quant section is the perfect place to showcase those very abilities.
The most competitive programs look for a scaled score of Q50, which corresponds to the 86th percentile. Scaling that score clearly demonstrates your ability to deal with MBA-level maths, increasing your chances of admission.
In this blog, we’ve outlined six strategies to help you get there.
6 tips to boost your GMAT quant score
Understand that GMAT quant is more than just a maths test
It’s called the GMAT Quantitative Ability for a reason. The section has underlying subtle differences that require a different approach than was taught to you in high school. While you’ll require foundational knowledge in basic maths concepts, acing this section will need you to far surpass the usual level of competency.
You must combine conceptual depth with analytical reasoning, problem-solving, and logic. Unlike high school maths tests that focus on ascertaining if you’ve grasped the concepts, GMAT quant assesses how well you can apply the learned concepts within strict time constraints and without the aid of a calculator.
But this doesn’t mean the GMAT is a hard test. Most of its questions actually have elementary and straightforward solutions. But it all depends on whether you can pick up on the logic behind the problem and identify the quickest path to the correct answer.
2. Practise all the possible variations of the different question types
Another aspect that a high school maths test differs from the GMAT is the number of question variations that show up. Routine tests have limited scope and tend to repeat how concepts are tested. Contrast this to the broad spectrum of variations employed by the GMAT. There must be more than just learning the concepts and practising a few questions. You need to traverse the entire chest of questions to understand the most number of possible variations.
Practising thousands of different questions and giving mock tests regularly can bring your skills up to par.
3. Work through the GMAT quant categories one at a time
You’ll do better on the GMAT if you take the syllabus one topic at a time. Instead of galloping through different topics, it’s better to buckle down on one topic, see it through till the end, master it, and then move to the next.
This approach gives you the mind space you require to tackle all the different formulae, variations, and processes.
P.S. Remember, each question will have multiple ways to get to the correct answer. Study all of them to expand your repertoire and have more freedom during the exam. Even if you forget a particular method, you’ll have another one ready. Moreover, the same technique can apply to a host of other questions, too.
4. Learn how to translate word problems into algebraic equations
The GMAT lives to throw confusing word problems at students. These word problems can often have confusing terminology, phrases, and values. The only way to get through them with respectable accuracy is by learning how to translate those problems into numbers and build equations out of them.
This skill, called algebraic translation, is key to accurately solving confusing word problems. Spend time turning words into numbers and equations and analysing the relation between the different equations formed. Then, see how you can fit the answer within the context of the word problem. Once you master this ability, you’ll be much better at attempting word problems.
5. Identify when to give up on a problem and move on
A perfect Q51 score doesn’t necessarily mean the student gave all the correct answers. It just means that the person answered most questions right. What does this statement tell you?
Instead of getting worked up over being unable to answer all the questions, focus on answering as many questions as accurately as possible.
Here’s a rule of thumb – Read the questions once and re-read them. If a clear path still doesn’t open up, make the nearest guess and move on to the next. Don’t spend more than 2 minutes dwelling on a problem that’s clearly not worth the time.
The goal isn’t to answer the most questions. It is to answer as many questions accurately as possible.
6. Understand how the GMAT is scored
Learning a little bit more about the GMAT scoring methodology will give you more flexibility to build an appropriate strategy.
There are three factors to consider here:
- First, the GMAT is adaptive. So, the more questions you get right, the harder your questions will get. On the other hand, if you answer wrong, the questions will get easier. The more hard questions you can tackle, the higher your score will be.
- Second, you’ll be penalised more for getting easy questions wrong and less for missing the hard ones.
- Third, getting a string of continuous correct answers will drive your score up faster than having your right answers distributed throughout the exam.
What does this mean for you? Basically, if you put all three factors together, you can see that getting answers wrong at the beginning of the test is bad for your score. But wrong answers late into the test won’t affect your score as much. Moreover, getting a string of 24 correct answers will bode better for you than having 24 correct answers sprinkled throughout the test.
These are just 6 of the most essential tips endorsed by GMAT experts everywhere to improve your GMAT quant score to Q50+. If you want to learn more such tips, then take a look at the IMS GMAT Program. Both the live online and classroom programs offer 44+ hours of dedicated learning, 75+ hours of concept videos, 9+ hours of integrated doubt-solving, 6+ hours of masterclasses, 10+ mock tests, and thousands of practice questions. Fill out this form to learn more about the GMAT programs.