Mike McGarry, GMAT expert at Magoosh
, 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. 152-265)*
2. GMAT Official Guide
(12th Edition) Data Sufficiency Practice Questions (Pg. 272-351)*
3. GMATPrep Test #1
4. GMATPrep Test #2
5. A past exam released by GMAC, test code 14, from the 90s/early 2000′*We have free video explanations for all of the quant practice questions in the 12th Edition OG here.
If you'd like to see the tables of all of the statistics for each test, as well as the breakdowns by concept and frequency, you can:
1. view them in the GMAT Club blog post
2. download the attached excel spreadsheet (each sheet on the bottom shows the individual breakdowns, as well as the the master charts):
The list of concepts tested on the quantitative section is from GMAC, which you can 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!
Thank you Margarette for this post. Great job Mike McGarry.