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The GMAT Quantitative Section — Skills Tested and Math Topics Covered

The GMAT CAT includes one Quantitative section. Here are the key features of this exam section:

Time limit: 75 minutes

Exam section number: Section 3 (the third of four exam sections)

Number of questions: 37 available questions (approximately 2 minutes per question, on average)

Basic format: All questions are multiple choice (five choices)

Skills tested:

  • Your basic math and algebra skills
  • Your understanding of basic quantitative concepts
  • Your ability to reason quantitatively, solve quantitative problems and interpret data presented graphically

Knowledge Levels and Math Topics Covered

The GMAT Quantitative section covers quantitative concepts typically covered in basic high-school math coursework. It does not cover trigonometry, calculus or other advanced math topics.

A GMAT Quantitative question might involve any of the math topics listed below. The number of questions from each broad category (in bold face) can vary slightly from the ranges indicated here because some questions will fit into more than one category.

Arithmetic, number theory, statistics (14-15 questions)

  • arithmetical operations
  • the number line and ordering
  • integers, factors and multiples
  • decimals, percentages, and ratios
  • exponents and square roots
  • mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation
  • basic probability
  • number patterns (series, permutations, factorials)

Interpretation of graphical data (3-5 questions)

  • tabular data (tables)
  • line charts, bar charts and scatter charts
  • pie graphsv

Algebra (11-12 questions)

  • operations on variables
  • factorable binomials and polynomials
  • algebraic equations
  • algebraic functions
  • algebraic inequalities

Geometry (6-8 questions)

  • lines and angles
  • triangles, quadrilaterals and other polygons
  • properties and characteristics of circles
  • 3-dimensional solids
  • coordinate geometry

The Two Formats for GMAT Quantitative Questions

Every GMAT Quantitative question conforms to one of the following two basic formats:

Problem Solving (23-24 questions). Questions in this format require you to work to a solution, which will appear among the five answer choices. Only one answer choice can be correct.

Data Sufficiency (13-14 questions). Each question in this format consists of a question followed by two statements (labeled 1 and 2). Your task is to determine whether the information provided in the two statements suffices to answer the question.

During the GMAT CAT, Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions are intermingled rather than grouped separately, and there's no set pattern or sequence.