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Intro to GMAT Math


All right. Now, we can start talking about the math itself. We've already talked about the format of the questions, but now we can dive into the math. So, before we dive into individual topics, we will discuss some overarching strategies related to calculation, just how to think about the math section in general.

As you probably know, you do not get a calculator on the GMAT Quant section. You get one on integrated reasoning, but not on the quantitative section. If math is not your very favorite thing in life, then this might sound like bad news, but think about it. The fact that the test-makers know that students who don't have access to a calculator actually puts tremendous constraints on the test-makers.

There's many, many categories of problems that they simply cannot include on the GMAT because they know no one is going to have a calculator. So, they have to write questions which either obviously can be done without a calculator, or at least conceivably could be done without a calculator. So tremendous restraints are placed on the test writer. Keep this in mind.

And it means that the GMAT Quant section is not a test of your ability to perform complicated and detailed calculations. And in fact, if you find yourself getting sucked into a complicated, detailed calculation, most likely, you're doing a problem the long way, the hard way. And you're overlooking a much easier way to do it. The GMAT Quant section is all about using logic and number sense to avoid detailed calculations.

Many GMAT Quant problems are written to appear as if a long calculation is required, but if you can see the logic of the problem, you can find the answer in a much shorter and more elegant way. This is very important to keep in mind on every single GMAT Quant problem. Nevertheless, it's very important to be comfortable with basic mental math. In other words, there are some people who even if they have to do something as simple as four times six they just kind of automatically reach for a calculator.

And I wanna break you of that habit. From this point forward, in your GMAT preparation, do not touch a calculator anywhere in your life. Force yourself to do mental math every day, add, subtract, multiply, and divide in your head. And in fact, if you have a friend or partner who wants to quiz you have them hold a calculator, and, and quiz you.

You know, what is this times this, and they do it on the calculator. You do it in your head and you tell them the answer. That kind of thing. We'll be talking more about particular mental math tricks you can use, in a few modules from now. So this is just an overview.

Do math every day in your head. Calculate tips. Sum your average, sum your grocery order as you shop. You know, sum it to the nearest dime, something like that. Estimate the gas mileage of your car.

Look for, try to estimate areas of rooms, you know, how much, what's the area of the walls of a certain room? How much paint would it take to paint the walls of a room? That kind of thing. Constantly looking around, when you think about it, there are really numbers everywhere.

There are always distances, shapes, areas, all kinds of numbers all around us all the time. Look for those and try to do some math in your head as you're looking around everyday. In addition to the basic mental math you learned in school we will discuss in this module a few mental math strategies that will help you on the test.

The more you work or even play with math in your head, the more you will see patterns and develop number sense. So I'll be talking about this more, this idea of playing with math. I realize right now if math is not your favorite thing, the idea of playing with math might seem completely foreign, so we'll be talking about this in upcoming videos.

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