Math questions from and GMAT Prep software
Course Students
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:14 am

attacking 700 level DS questions

by explorer31 Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:55 pm

I started with Q47 in MGMAT CATs when I began my prep for GMAT 5 months back. I am down to Q35 (but made a significant improvement in verbal). I realized that the difference was - previously when encountered with 700 level I knew definitely that I have to quit and focused on the concepts I knew. Now, that I am 5 months into the prep I am having a hard time to let go of a 700 level question and spending 4-5 min specially on DS questions and I usually get them right. Also, there are very subtle tricky rules that its impossible to know them all under time constraints.

How do I attain a "clarity of thought" and be able to attack new questions without spending too much actually solving? MY problem areas are number properties, geometry and divisibility problem. Any suggestions are much appreciated!
Sage Pearce-Higgins
ManhattanGMAT Staff
Posts: 282
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:04 am

Re: attacking 700 level DS questions

by Sage Pearce-Higgins Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:55 am

That's a pretty common experience for students preparing for the quant section: after doing hours of study, you end up trying to do questions that are too hard and burning up precious time. As a result you score can actually drop.

First of all, if you've got a Q47, then you could try to go back to your old way of thinking. Have confidence that the way you first did the test was pretty good and that your aim is to rediscover that way of doing things.

Second, spending 4-5 minutes on a quant problem is never a good idea. I recommend this timing strategy to help you: ... nt-part-3/

Third, it sounds like you are tackling problems with the wrong mindset. For every question on the GMAT, we're forced to decide which work to do, as well as actually to do it. At around 1 minute for each quant problem, you should make a call - will I solve this? If not, then quit! You can practise this in your study time. When you do new questions, do them under timed conditions to get used to this feeling.

Finally, partial solutions are really important on the quant section. Be prepared to eliminate answers and take a guess from 2 or 3. Again, this is something you can practise.