I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. The good news is that a Q44 is not a bad start. Regarding your careless errors, the real question you should ask is WHY you are making silly mistakes on GMAT exams. The reality is that there are a multitude of reasons why you may be making silly mistakes. Those reasons range from not reading carefully to writing sloppily to making mental math mistakes. In fact, I wrote an article that discusses

those and more causes of careless errors, and how to fix those issues.

While it’s quite possible that your careless errors are due to some of the reasons I’ve already mentioned, it’s also entirely possible that your careless errors are due, in some part, to a relative lack of GMAT quant knowledge. Yes, I believe that you know that 8 x 7 = 56 and not 48; however, usually a mistake such as mis-multiplying will happen when you lack confidence in other areas. For instance, if you are presented with a quant problem that you may feel uneasy about, then that general uneasiness can lead to simple mistakes. On any GMAT, you must answer difficult and convoluted math questions in a timed and pressure-filled environment, so if you don’t know GMAT quant like the back of your hand, careless errors are likely, right? Take the following example:

14! is equal to which of the following?

(A) 87,178,291,200

(B) 88,180,293,207

(C) 89,181,294,209

(D) 90,000,000,003

(E) 91,114,114,114

Upon seeing this question, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Grabbing a calculator to add up the values in the expression? If you are able to quickly recognize that using the “5 x 2 pair rule” will allow you to efficiently attack the problem (see the solution below), the question becomes very basic, and you can avoid having to perform tedious calculations that are likely to result in a silly mistake.

Solution:

Notice that there is at least one (5 × 2) pair contained in the product of these numbers. It follows that the units digit must be a zero. The only number with zero as the units digit is 87,178,291,200.

Answer: A

This is just one example, but hopefully you can see that by a) recognizing what the question is asking and b) properly attacking the question, your propensity to make a silly mistake greatly decreases.

Although I am unsure of how you are currently preparing for the GMAT, moving forward, I recommend following a structured study plan that allows you to methodically find and fix your remaining quant weaknesses. Studying in such a way ensures that you develop sound mastery of GMAT quant and thus make fewer careless errors.

If you’d like more detailed advice on how to improve your GMAT quant skills or if you have any further questions, feel free to reach back out. Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about

how to improve your GMAT quant score.

Good luck!

_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

GMAT Quant Self-Study Course

500+ lessons 3000+ practice problems 800+ HD solutions