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GMAT Geometry

by ejkiv

July 16, 2015

The very thought of geometry scares people. For most, it is a topic we covered for 1 year in high school and have not looked at it since. So, understandably, this is one of the more difficult topics for many people on the GMAT. However, it does not have to be. After getting past the initial learning curve of relearning/learning the terminology, the questions can really turn out to be quite simple. Your goal for this section is to gain comfort with the terms to be used in geometry questions and also to recognize the ways in which some of the material is partnered together into questions.

Like all of the quant topics, geometry requires mastery of the building blocks to be able to answer the questions. The difficult part comes when trying to recognize what rule will help you arrive to the correct answer. The following sections will cover everything that you need to answer even the most difficult questions. Also, included will be the checklist of things you should be looking for when looking at questions and what certain cue words mean when trying to arrive at the solution.

Also included within will be definitions of key phrases and terms. The better you understand and know all of these terms (here comes the shocker...) the more successful you will be when tackling these problems. If you need to make flash cards to remember all of the terms or rules, by all means do it. However, remember that memorization alone will not make you successful in this section, it will be the practical application of these concepts that will provide success - that is exactly where we will focus.

WARNING: When going through geometry problems, NEVER assume anything about the drawing. Unless it is explicitly stated or a geometry rule can give you information about the image, it is not true. Ex. Just because it looks like a right angle, does not mean that it is one.

DOUBLE WARNING:: While the above is true, geometry figures in problem solving questions are drawn to scale, so you can do some estimation to figure out problems when you are stuck.

GMAT Lines and Angles

GMAT lines and angles are at the foundation of the GMAT geometry section. Learn the basics here and commit the teachings to memory - it will make the rest of geometry that much easier for you.

Review GMAT Lines and Angles

GMAT Triangles

The GMAT loves triangles, and in time so will you. While this may sound silly, if you get a good understanding of this section you will see the scope of these questions becomes limited.

Review GMAT Triangles

GMAT Right Triangles

One of the few things the GMAT loves more than triangles is right triangles. Again, the good news is that once you discover the limitations of these problems you will find them easy to tackle.

Review GMAT Right Triangles

GMAT Quadrilaterals

While not a huge topic on the GMAT, quadrilaterals still pop up. The more comfortable you are with the previous sections, the easier it will be to spot patterns in this section.

Review GMAT Quadrilaterals

GMAT Polygons

Polygons are the least prevalent of all the geometry topics, but that does not mean you should ignore them. Learn the rules of regular polygons along with a couple other facts and you will be prepared.

Review GMAT Polygons

GMAT Circles

Circles are among the favorite shapes for the GMAT to test. The good news is that if you know how to figure out the radius, you can figure out most everything else. The bad news is the GMAT knows this and disguises the wording of these questions very well.

Review GMAT Circles

GMAT Solids

Another one of the smaller subjects, solids adds a third dimension to your geometry work. However, there is little to be afraid of here with a little practice.

Review GMAT Solids

GMAT Coordinate Geometry

You undoubtedly will see at least 2 coordinate geometry questions on exam day (that is a lot in case you were wondering) mainly because it is so easy to test this subject in conjunction with one or more of the other geometry topics.

Review GMAT Coordinate Geometry


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