GMAT Problem Solving Strategies
Strategies for problem solving in GMAT are very useful during the preparation process. It will help a GMAT applicant in understanding the fundamental concepts and utilizing it to solve the quantitative problems. GMAT strategies for problem solving trains an individual on how to apply their mathematical understanding, accompanied by logical reasoning, rather than just finding the accurate answers. The strategies for problem solving are explained below.
Strategies for Problem Solving
- Strong Fundamentals
Work on the simple problems as a first task because it does not require too much of time. The most important aspect of problem solving section is you should be strong in basic mathematical calculations. There are common things which should be familiarized viz. powers, roots, multiplying and dividing decimals. These form the basics for certain mathematical calculations and added to this fact, no calculators are allowed in a test center. When you are familiar with these basic things it will not take much time for you to complete the plain mathematical calculations.
Pencil and Scratch Paper
Always use a pencil and scratch papers for rough calculations. This would help you to prevent making errors in multiple choice questions because once the answer is given in a test, it cannot be changed. So work on a scratch paper and then answer the questions.
Shortcuts and Techniques for Plain Mathematical Calculations
Incase if you find it difficult to derive the answer for difficult questions, practice some shortcuts like choosing an answer and working it backwards. This technique will save time and errors which occurs during long, complicated calculations. When it comes to this technique, start with the middle choice or answer. If the answer is not the same after working, the output will be higher or lower for sure. By doing this you will find you are getting closer to accurate answer
Techniques to Solve Word Problems
There are some real life word problems or word problems in quantitative sections. These problems can be solved not only by plain mathematical formulae but logical reasoning is also required to solve them. Word problems will always be like “Tom has 7 times as many crayons as Dick and 3 times as many as Harry. If Dick has less than 21 crayons, what is the maximum number of crayons that Tom can have?”
In order find the solution for problems of this kind, building an equation is a must. For example, for an example problem which was given above, make an equation where you assume Tom as A, Dick as B and Harry as C. This in turn will lead you to build an equation. The most important key while building an equation is to get familiar with identifying the least common factor or lowest common factor. This serves as a bridge between A, B and C in many a word problems.
Techniques to Solve Geometry and Graphical Interpretation Problems
Some of the problems in problem solving part contain diagrams and graphical interpretations. The common error committed by many is that they judge the answers by relying on their vision. So they end up guessing wrong answers through visual judgments. The best way to choose the right answer is to read the question slowly while you review the diagram. While doing this spend 30 seconds in reviewing the diagram. Here comes the important role played by your pencil!
Draw rough sketches of these diagrams while calculating the answers and you will find that these diagrams contain some hidden information related to answers.
When it comes to graphs remember your preparation in concepts like measurement of units, axis and labels. By the time you take up the test you will be able to interpret graphical data gradually, due to you getting used to mock tests which include so many graphical interpretations.
Avoid Wasting Time on Easy Calculations
The best tactic to manage time in problem solving section is avoid wasting time in short calculations or repeating a calculation many times. This will help you to spend time on complicated problems like “which one of the following is true?”
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