# Mastering GMAT Quant: Three Key Steps

*By Mark Skoskiewicz*

*Mark Skoskiewicz is the founder of MyGuru, a provider of 1-1 GMAT tutoring in Chicago, New York, Boston, and online. Check out his post on Mastering the GMAT.*

Many GMAT students are very intimidated by the quantitative section of the exam, as they haven’t taken a math class in a long time. So, what are some foundational steps you can take to begin to master the GMAT quant section?

**#1: Fully embrace why it is (or may seem) difficult**

Here’s why GMAT quant is or can seem difficult:

- You may not have studied math for a long time.

- You must work at a fast pace under intense time pressure with no calculator.

- There is a lot of math theory they could potentially test.

- There are lots of little traps meant to trick you in each question.

- A minor calculation error will cost you.

Step #1 is simply to get comfortable with the above and begin to focus on overcoming these challenges.

**#2: Learn how GMAT quant questions are designed**

Here are some truths about GMAT quant questions:

- The actual math tested doesn’t go beyond advanced high school algebra.

- Also, GMAT questions are not even meant to test your high school math skills.

- Instead, they are intended to be little puzzles you must solve.

- Any of the questions can be solved on the back of a napkin, but often require you to calculate numbers quickly in your head.

- Performing well is a function of using the available math tools to evaluate options and design solutions to little puzzles/problems that are thrown at you. It’s not an intense math test.

**#3: Begin embracing mental math**

How do you build the ability to do quick calculations in your head? It’s a skill just like any other, developed in large part through practice. Here are some easy ways to practice:

- Look at the clock. Choose 2 or 3 numbers, and add, subtract, multiply, and divide them. Get comfortable driving to the answer as quickly as possible.

- When at a restaurant, always calculate the tip in your head.

- When you are shopping online, figure out what the price of any given item would be if it was magically 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 35, or 45% off.

- Finally, spend a little time each week browsing www.mathsifun.com

For more tips and strategies visit myguruedge.com

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