July 16, 2015
Word problems really encompass most of the exam. While pretty much any of the disciplines can be written in the form of a word problem, there are certain types of problems that fall almost entirely in this section. Before getting into the section it is worth studying the chart below. This chart shows a lot of cue words you will find in the word problems and what they mean.
Remember that one of the important things to consider when working through word problems is to translate the information onto your scratch paper as you read. That way you will not waste time rereading the passage a second and third time.
One thing about variable selection, make sure you choose variables that mean something. If you are setting a variable for Tom’s age, choose ‘T.’ Keep it simple.
Ratios are in the category of problems that cross over with algebra but frequently are asked in the form of a word problem. Relate this to percents, fractions, and decimals as well.
GMAT percents are a topic that seems so easy - most of us have a pretty solid understanding of what percents are. The challenge comes with figuring out what exactly is being asked of you and which numbers you are trying to relate.
One formula, but there are a lot of different ways that rates problems can be asked. First, learn the basic formula and the different uses, then worry about extending your skill set to the other variations.
These problems drive people crazy. But honestly, GMAT Work problems are as simple as adding fractions. Don't believe me, check it out...
Another problem type that is a subset of another topic we have covered. Mixtures are really weighted average problems that average percentages. It sounds simple until you try to decipher the quetions.
This is really just a subset of percents, but the questions are unique enough to merit a separate topic. Fortunately, you can save the tough calculations for your first year finance class in b-school, but you do need to know the basics.
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