Strategies, Sample Questions, and Random Ramblings.
July 16, 2015
Some areas of this section, GMAT Algebra may seem elementary or simple, but do not discount the importance of mastery in these disciplines. Many people I have taught claim to have a firm grasp of these concepts, and then they struggle with problems that test the concepts we are about to go over.
As I have mentioned many times thus far, the fundamentals are of the utmost importance to your success on this exam. So many of the questions become easier just by following the right steps. The skills in this section are the building blocks for the rest of the math. Yes, you are likely to see more difficult questions in some other sections, but the calculations you learn and master here will help uncover the path to the best solution and allow you to finish questions in the appropriate time frame (an issue with which most GMAT hopefuls struggle).
So, focus on the methodology and on why some of these concepts are being taught. A little bit of effort in this section will go a long way. Do not make the mistake of passing through GMAT Algebra section too quickly.
Variable: used to denote a number that either you do not yet know, or that can be substituted with other numbers (Example: x, y, a, m etc.)
It is of utmost importance to be extremely comfortable with GMAT order of operations. Get a firm grasp of what operations you can and cannot perform for the more difficult sections.
You will undoubtedly see at least 3 questions on the exam specifically related to this topic and handfuls more where GMAT Fractions will contribute to the solution.
You need to be able to convert those fractions to decimals and vise versa. There is some memorization to do with GMAT decimals. Get your flash cards ready...
This subject goes back to the third grade, but GMAT remainders do pop. Get down a few of the basic rules so that you can answer the few question types that might come up.
GMAT Exponents and Roots challenge people. There are many different operations to get down. You want to be able to cycle through them quickly and not stumble...
GMAT Simplifying Expressions problems relate very much to the order of operations section previously covered. Get some more practice here.
GMAT Linear Expressions is finally where we get to put all of the work together. Thus far we have learned how numbers function, but now we can start to use them to solve problems.
GMAT Systems of Equations are not any different from the problems you did in your high school algebra class. There will be a few twists with this and all other topics, but a little practice will get you passed those issues.
Do your remember FOIL? The difference of perfect squares? GMAT quadratic equations are not that deep of a concept that you cannot be very successful after learning the appropriate lessons.
GMAT Inequalities are difficult. While it may seem like a little topic, the fact of the matter is that these questions require a lot of cognitive thought.
GMAT Absolute Value are also extremely tough. Even though the concept is simple - make a negative number positive - challenging questions can be asked if you are not thinking about absolute value in the proper manner.
Greg R., client, New York City
Emil C., client, Singapore
Chris S, client, New York City