Magoosh’s very own Mike McGarry, GMAT/Math Teacher/Tutor/Foosball player extraordinaire, went through 5 different sets of Official GMAT Practice Material and tallied questions based on the subject material they tested.
Here are the samples of Official Material he used:
1.GMAT Official Guide (12th Edition) Problem Solving Practice Questions (Pg. 152265)*
2. GMAT Official Guide (12th Edition) Data Sufficiency Practice Questions (Pg. 272351)*
3. GMATPrep Test #1
4. GMATPrep Test #2
5. A past exam released by GMAC, test code 14, from the 90s/early 2000′s
*Side note: we have video explanations for all of the practice questions in the Official Guide here.
GMAT Official Guide (12th Edition) Problem Solving Practice Questions (Pg. 152265)


Total 
Percentage 
Arithmetic 
Percents 
21 
10.71% 
Arithmetic 
Properties of Integers 
18 
9.18% 
Arithmetic 
Descriptive Statistics 
12 
6.12% 
Arithmetic 
Fractions 
11 
5.61% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, Two Unknowns 
11 
5.61% 
Algebra 
Simplifying Algebraic Expressions 
9 
4.59% 
Arithmetic 
Powers & Roots of Numbers 
8 
4.08% 
Arithmetic 
Counting Methods 
7 
3.57% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, One Unknown 
7 
3.57% 
Algebra 
Functions/Series 
7 
3.57% 
Geometry 
Coordinate Geometry 
7 
3.57% 
Word Problems 
Rate Problems 
7 
3.57% 
Arithmetic 
Ratio & Proportions 
6 
3.06% 
Arithmetic 
Decimals 
5 
2.55% 
Arithmetic 
Discrete Probability 
5 
2.55% 
Algebra 
Exponents 
5 
2.55% 
Algebra 
Inequalities 
5 
2.55% 
Geometry 
Quadrilaterals 
5 
2.55% 
Geometry 
Circles 
5 
2.55% 
Word Problems 
Interest Problems 
4 
2.04% 
Algebra 
Solving Quadratic Equations 
3 
1.53% 
Geometry 
Triangles 
3 
1.53% 
Geometry 
Rectangular Solids & Cylinders 
3 
1.53% 
Word Problems 
Work Problems 
3 
1.53% 
Word Problems 
Mixture Problems 
3 
1.53% 
Geometry 
Intersecting Angles and Lines 
2 
1.02% 
Word Problems 
Profit 
2 
1.02% 
Word Problems 
Sets 
2 
1.02% 
Word Problems 
Measurement Problems 
2 
1.02% 
Word Problems 
Data Interpretation 
2 
1.02% 
Arithmetic 
Real Numbers 
1 
0.51% 
Arithmetic 
Sets 
1 
0.51% 
Algebra 
Solving by Factoring 
1 
0.51% 
Geometry 
Polygons 
1 
0.51% 
Word Problems 
Discount 
1 
0.51% 
Word Problems 
Geometry Problems 
1 
0.51% 
Algebra 
Equations 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Absolute Value 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Perpendicular Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Parallel Lines 
0 
0.00% 
GMAT Official Guide (12th Edition) Data Sufficiency Practice Questions (Pg. 272351)


Total 
Percentage 
Arithmetic 
Properties of Integers 
30 
19.23% 
Arithmetic 
Descriptive Statistics 
13 
8.33% 
Arithmetic 
Percents 
11 
7.05% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, Two Unknowns 
11 
7.05% 
Word Problems 
Rate Problems 
9 
5.77% 
Algebra 
Inequalities 
8 
5.13% 
Arithmetic 
Sets 
7 
4.49% 
Arithmetic 
Ratio & Proportions 
6 
3.85% 
Geometry 
Triangles 
6 
3.85% 
Geometry 
Circles 
6 
3.85% 
Arithmetic 
Decimals 
5 
3.21% 
Geometry 
Coordinate Geometry 
5 
3.21% 
Arithmetic 
Fractions 
4 
2.56% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, One Unknown 
4 
2.56% 
Algebra 
Exponents 
4 
2.56% 
Geometry 
Rectangular Solids & Cylinders 
4 
2.56% 
Arithmetic 
Discrete Probability 
3 
1.92% 
Algebra 
Functions/Series 
3 
1.92% 
Word Problems 
Interest Problems 
3 
1.92% 
Geometry 
Lines 
2 
1.28% 
Word Problems 
Work Problems 
2 
1.28% 
Word Problems 
Discount 
2 
1.28% 
Word Problems 
Profit 
2 
1.28% 
Arithmetic 
Real Numbers 
1 
0.64% 
Arithmetic 
Counting Methods 
1 
0.64% 
Algebra 
Simplifying Algebraic Expressions 
1 
0.64% 
Algebra 
Absolute Value 
1 
0.64% 
Geometry 
Quadrilaterals 
1 
0.64% 
Word Problems 
Measurement Problems 
1 
0.64% 
Arithmetic 
Powers & Roots of Numbers 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Equations 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Solving by Factoring 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Solving Quadratic Equations 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Intersecting Angles and Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Perpendicular Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Parallel Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Polygons 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Mixture Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Sets 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Geometry Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Data Interpretation 
0 
0.00% 
GMATPrep Test #1


Total 
Percentage 
Arithmetic 
Properties of Integers 
6 
17.14% 
Arithmetic 
Ratio & Proportions 
4 
11.43% 
Arithmetic 
Descriptive Statistics 
4 
11.43% 
Algebra 
Exponents 
3 
8.57% 
Algebra 
Functions/Series 
3 
8.57% 
Arithmetic 
Percents 
2 
5.71% 
Arithmetic 
Powers & Roots of Numbers 
2 
5.71% 
Word Problems 
Interest Problems 
2 
5.71% 
Arithmetic 
Fractions 
1 
2.86% 
Arithmetic 
Counting Methods 
1 
2.86% 
Algebra 
Equations 
1 
2.86% 
Geometry 
Intersecting Angles and Lines 
1 
2.86% 
Geometry 
Triangles 
1 
2.86% 
Geometry 
Circles 
1 
2.86% 
Word Problems 
Work Problems 
1 
2.86% 
Word Problems 
Sets 
1 
2.86% 
Word Problems 
Measurement Problems 
1 
2.86% 
Arithmetic 
Decimals 
0 
0.00% 
Arithmetic 
Real Numbers 
0 
0.00% 
Arithmetic 
Sets 
0 
0.00% 
Arithmetic 
Discrete Probability 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Simplifying Algebraic Expressions 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, One Unknown 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, Two Unknowns 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Solving by Factoring 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Solving Quadratic Equations 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Inequalities 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Absolute Value 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Perpendicular Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Parallel Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Polygons 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Quadrilaterals 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Rectangular Solids & Cylinders 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Coordinate Geometry 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Rate Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Mixture Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Discount 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Profit 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Geometry Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Data Interpretation 
0 
0.00% 
GMATPrep Test #2


Total 
Percentage 
Arithmetic 
Descriptive Statistics 
6 
18.75% 
Arithmetic 
Properties of Integers 
4 
12.50% 
Arithmetic 
Ratio & Proportions 
2 
6.25% 
Arithmetic 
Percents 
2 
6.25% 
Algebra 
Simplifying Algebraic Expressions 
2 
6.25% 
Algebra 
Exponents 
2 
6.25% 
Geometry 
Coordinate Geometry 
2 
6.25% 
Arithmetic 
Fractions 
1 
3.13% 
Arithmetic 
Powers & Roots of Numbers 
1 
3.13% 
Arithmetic 
Counting Methods 
1 
3.13% 
Algebra 
Equations 
1 
3.13% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, Two Unknowns 
1 
3.13% 
Algebra 
Inequalities 
1 
3.13% 
Algebra 
Functions/Series 
1 
3.13% 
Geometry 
Triangles 
1 
3.13% 
Geometry 
Circles 
1 
3.13% 
Word Problems 
Rate Problems 
1 
3.13% 
Word Problems 
Discount 
1 
3.13% 
Word Problems 
Measurement Problems 
1 
3.13% 
Arithmetic 
Decimals 
0 
0.00% 
Arithmetic 
Real Numbers 
0 
0.00% 
Arithmetic 
Sets 
0 
0.00% 
Arithmetic 
Discrete Probability 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, One Unknown 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Solving by Factoring 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Solving Quadratic Equations 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Absolute Value 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Intersecting Angles and Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Perpendicular Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Parallel Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Polygons 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Quadrilaterals 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Rectangular Solids & Cylinders 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Work Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Mixture Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Interest Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Profit 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Sets 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Geometry Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Data Interpretation 
0 
0.00% 
Released past exam from GMAC, test code 14


Total 
Percentage 
Arithmetic 
Properties of Integers 
7 
13.73% 
Arithmetic 
Ratio & Proportions 
5 
9.80% 
Arithmetic 
Percents 
5 
9.80% 
Arithmetic 
Descriptive Statistics 
4 
7.84% 
Word Problems 
Sets 
4 
7.84% 
Arithmetic 
Powers & Roots of Numbers 
3 
5.88% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, Two Unknowns 
3 
5.88% 
Word Problems 
Rate Problems 
3 
5.88% 
Arithmetic 
Fractions 
2 
3.92% 
Arithmetic 
Counting Methods 
2 
3.92% 
Algebra 
Exponents 
2 
3.92% 
Algebra 
Inequalities 
2 
3.92% 
Geometry 
Triangles 
2 
3.92% 
Algebra 
Simplifying Algebraic Expressions 
1 
1.96% 
Algebra 
Equations 
1 
1.96% 
Algebra 
Functions/Series 
1 
1.96% 
Geometry 
Quadrilaterals 
1 
1.96% 
Geometry 
Circles 
1 
1.96% 
Geometry 
Rectangular Solids & Cylinders 
1 
1.96% 
Geometry 
Coordinate Geometry 
1 
1.96% 
Arithmetic 
Decimals 
0 
0.00% 
Arithmetic 
Real Numbers 
0 
0.00% 
Arithmetic 
Sets 
0 
0.00% 
Arithmetic 
Discrete Probability 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, One Unknown 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Solving by Factoring 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Solving Quadratic Equations 
0 
0.00% 
Algebra 
Absolute Value 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Intersecting Angles and Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Perpendicular Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Parallel Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Polygons 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Work Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Mixture Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Interest Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Discount 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Profit 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Geometry Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Measurement Problems 
0 
0.00% 
Word Problems 
Data Interpretation 
0 
0.00% 
Breakdown by concept type, all material


Total 
Percentage 
Arithmetic 
Properties of Integers 
65 
13.83% 

Fractions 
19 
4.04% 

Decimals 
10 
2.13% 

Real Numbers 
2 
0.43% 

Ratio & Proportions 
23 
4.89% 

Percents 
41 
8.72% 

Powers & Roots of Numbers 
14 
2.98% 

Descriptive Statistics 
39 
8.30% 

Sets 
8 
1.70% 

Counting Methods 
12 
2.55% 

Discrete Probability 
8 
1.70% 
Algebra 
Simplifying Algebraic Expressions 
13 
2.77% 

Equations 
3 
0.64% 

Linear Equations, One Unknown 
11 
2.34% 

Linear Equations, Two Unknowns 
26 
5.53% 

Solving by Factoring 
1 
0.21% 

Solving Quadratic Equations 
3 
0.64% 

Exponents 
16 
3.40% 

Inequalities 
16 
3.40% 

Absolute Value 
1 
0.21% 

Functions/Series 
15 
3.19% 
Geometry 
Lines 
2 
0.43% 

Intersecting Angles and Lines 
3 
0.64% 

Perpendicular Lines 
0 
0.00% 

Parallel Lines 
0 
0.00% 

Polygons 
1 
0.21% 

Triangles 
13 
2.77% 

Quadrilaterals 
7 
1.49% 

Circles 
14 
2.98% 

Rectangular Solids & Cylinders 
8 
1.70% 

Coordinate Geometry 
15 
3.19% 
Word Problems 
Rate Problems 
20 
4.26% 

Work Problems 
6 
1.28% 

Mixture Problems 
3 
0.64% 

Interest Problems 
9 
1.91% 

Discount 
4 
0.85% 

Profit 
4 
0.85% 

Sets 
7 
1.49% 

Geometry Problems 
1 
0.21% 

Measurement Problems 
5 
1.06% 

Data Interpretation 
2 
0.43% 
Total 

470 
100.00% 
Ranked by frequency, all material


Total 
Percentage 
Arithmetic 
Properties of Integers 
65 
13.83% 
Arithmetic 
Percents 
41 
8.72% 
Arithmetic 
Descriptive Statistics 
39 
8.30% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, Two Unknowns 
26 
5.53% 
Arithmetic 
Ratio & Proportions 
23 
4.89% 
Word Problems 
Rate Problems 
20 
4.26% 
Arithmetic 
Fractions 
19 
4.04% 
Algebra 
Exponents 
16 
3.40% 
Algebra 
Inequalities 
16 
3.40% 
Algebra 
Functions/Series 
15 
3.19% 
Geometry 
Coordinate Geometry 
15 
3.19% 
Arithmetic 
Powers & Roots of Numbers 
14 
2.98% 
Geometry 
Circles 
14 
2.98% 
Algebra 
Simplifying Algebraic Expressions 
13 
2.77% 
Geometry 
Triangles 
13 
2.77% 
Arithmetic 
Counting Methods 
12 
2.55% 
Algebra 
Linear Equations, One Unknown 
11 
2.34% 
Arithmetic 
Decimals 
10 
2.13% 
Word Problems 
Interest Problems 
9 
1.91% 
Arithmetic 
Sets 
8 
1.70% 
Arithmetic 
Discrete Probability 
8 
1.70% 
Geometry 
Rectangular Solids & Cylinders 
8 
1.70% 
Geometry 
Quadrilaterals 
7 
1.49% 
Word Problems 
Sets 
7 
1.49% 
Word Problems 
Work Problems 
6 
1.28% 
Word Problems 
Measurement Problems 
5 
1.06% 
Word Problems 
Discount 
4 
0.85% 
Word Problems 
Profit 
4 
0.85% 
Algebra 
Equations 
3 
0.64% 
Algebra 
Solving Quadratic Equations 
3 
0.64% 
Geometry 
Intersecting Angles and Lines 
3 
0.64% 
Word Problems 
Mixture Problems 
3 
0.64% 
Arithmetic 
Real Numbers 
2 
0.43% 
Geometry 
Lines 
2 
0.43% 
Word Problems 
Data Interpretation 
2 
0.43% 
Algebra 
Solving by Factoring 
1 
0.21% 
Algebra 
Absolute Value 
1 
0.21% 
Geometry 
Polygons 
1 
0.21% 
Word Problems 
Geometry Problems 
1 
0.21% 
Geometry 
Perpendicular Lines 
0 
0.00% 
Geometry 
Parallel Lines 
0 
0.00% 
The categories
The list of concepts tested on the quantitative section is from GMAC, which you can see on page 107 of the Official Guide (either 12th or 13th edition). It isn’t perfect– “Integer Properties” is a wide area of knowledge, whereas something like “Circles” is very specific.
Observations
 Based on the master chart alone, Arithmetic is the clear “winner”, while Word Problems and most Geometry question are ranked much lower.
 Though the rankings vary slightly from chart to chart, there are no extreme outliers in terms of the sets of data– even the old released exam is quite consistent with all of the other exams.
“Well, I guess I’ll just throw parallel/perpendicular lines out the window, then”
NO. For the sake of simplicity and accuracy in reporting absolute frequency, we’ve only assigned each question to one concept. This means that even though GMAC lists “Perpendicular lines” as a topic tested on the GMAT, and we have 0 questions marked as pertaining to that topic, that certainly doesn’t mean the idea of perpendicular lines did not come up at all on all of the exams. It certainly appeared, but often in questions that were better categorized, overall, as “Coordinate Geometry”, or “Intersecting Angles and Lines”.
Takeaways
We hope this serves as a guideline for the relative frequency of math topics tested on the GMAT to help you decide how to focus your time! In Magoosh practice, you can set up customized practice sessions to focus on specific concepts, as well as review your performance on individual concepts to identify your weak spots using our Review tool.
Let us know whether you find this type of breakdown helpful, and whether you have any questions about any of the information above!
This post was written by Margarette of Magoosh GMAT Prep and originally posted here.
[0] Comments to this Article