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# Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2012, 17:18
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Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency

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, or...
2. download the attached excel spreadsheet (each sheet on the bottom shows the individual breakdowns, as well as the the master charts):
Attachment:

The categories
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!
_________________

Margarette
Magoosh Test Prep

Last edited by margarette on 26 Apr 2012, 12:04, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2012, 17:20
Awesome stats.

Thanks for posting these!
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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2012, 20:07
Thanks for posting this !

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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2012, 22:00
margarette wrote:
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, or...
2. download the attached excel spreadsheet (each sheet on the bottom shows the individual breakdowns, as well as the the master charts):
Attachment:
Magoosh_Breakdown_of_GMAT_Quant_Concepts_by_Frequency.xlsx

The categories
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.

Kudos to both of you and Magoosh.
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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2012, 22:10
Great. I tried to check relative frequency of each type but to no avail as I couldn't it anywhere on the net. Doing tabulation and analysis was too much of effort but with this posting, I am sure a lot of guys like me who are running against time, can plan their studies.

Is there any indication as to how many questions from DS and PS are asked? I think around 15 from DS and rest from PS but dont have specific data.

Bunuel:
Specific question: Is it advisable to skip one of the sections or prepare less rigorously then other two? I know that due to adaptive nature of GMAT, it is not a good idea to focus selectively but when the situation comes to under prepare a section due to paucity of time, what should be the strategy?

Manjeet
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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2012, 22:27
manjeet1972 wrote:
Great. I tried to check relative frequency of each type but to no avail as I couldn't it anywhere on the net. Doing tabulation and analysis was too much of effort but with this posting, I am sure a lot of guys like me who are running against time, can plan their studies.

Is there any indication as to how many questions from DS and PS are asked? I think around 15 from DS and rest from PS but dont have specific data.

Bunuel:
Specific question: Is it advisable to skip one of the sections or prepare less rigorously then other two? I know that due to adaptive nature of GMAT, it is not a good idea to focus selectively but when the situation comes to under prepare a section due to paucity of time, what should be the strategy?

Manjeet

22 PS and 15 DS are about right.

As for another question. You can split your time according to the breakdown, for example you should spent less time on probability/combination/deviation combined than on number properties. Though, if you are aiming for a high score, I wouldn't recommend to skip any of the sections COMPLETELY.
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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2012, 22:41
Thanks Bunuel.

Another question: When one says it is 700 level question, what does that mean? 700 level is a combined score including verbal and one might be scoring in excess of 90th or 95th in verbal but might be at level 45 in quant. I am assuming 700 level question to be one which is normally encountered after one has crossed 80th or 85th percentile?

Question is slightly irrelevant here but answer might help to plan strategy.

Bunuel wrote:
manjeet1972 wrote:
Great. I tried to check relative frequency of each type but to no avail as I couldn't it anywhere on the net. Doing tabulation and analysis was too much of effort but with this posting, I am sure a lot of guys like me who are running against time, can plan their studies.

Is there any indication as to how many questions from DS and PS are asked? I think around 15 from DS and rest from PS but dont have specific data.

Bunuel:
Specific question: Is it advisable to skip one of the sections or prepare less rigorously then other two? I know that due to adaptive nature of GMAT, it is not a good idea to focus selectively but when the situation comes to under prepare a section due to paucity of time, what should be the strategy?

Manjeet

22 PS and 15 DS are about right.

As for another question. You can split your time according to the breakdown, for example you should spent less time on probability/combination/deviation combined than on number properties. Though, if you are aiming for a high score, I wouldn't recommend to skip any of the sections COMPLETELY.
Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 38908
Followers: 7741

Kudos [?]: 106274 [0], given: 11618

Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2012, 22:51
manjeet1972 wrote:
Thanks Bunuel.

Another question: When one says it is 700 level question, what does that mean? 700 level is a combined score including verbal and one might be scoring in excess of 90th or 95th in verbal but might be at level 45 in quant. I am assuming 700 level question to be one which is normally encountered after one has crossed 80th or 85th percentile?

Question is slightly irrelevant here but answer might help to plan strategy.

700 level question just means that the difficulty level of the question is above average and those who answer 700 level questions correctly get the core above 700.
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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2012, 23:53
Thanx a ton Magoosh, The stats are really helpful..
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A WAY TO INCREASE FROM QUANT 35-40 TO 47 : http://gmatclub.com/forum/a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html

Q 47/48 To Q 50 + http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-final-climb-quest-for-q-50-from-q47-129441.html#p1064367

Three good RC strategies http://gmatclub.com/forum/three-different-strategies-for-attacking-rc-127287.html

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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2014, 14:01
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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2016, 11:40
Hello from the GMAT Club BumpBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2016, 10:39
Thanks for the post. It is very helpful
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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2017, 00:27
Hi
Is there an updated version of this that resembles the frequently asked topics in 2017?
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Re: Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency   [#permalink] 21 Apr 2017, 00:27
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# Breakdown of Common GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency

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