GMAT Question of the Day: Daily via email | Daily via Instagram New to GMAT Club? Watch this Video

 It is currently 30 May 2020, 04:44

### GMAT Club Daily Prep

#### Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

# How to guess on Word problems? How many of them on GMAT?

Author Message
TAGS:

### Hide Tags

Senior Manager
Joined: 08 Dec 2015
Posts: 277
GMAT 1: 600 Q44 V27
How to guess on Word problems? How many of them on GMAT?  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

10 May 2016, 03:46
1
Hi everyone!

My Gmat is in 10 days and I have a problem. It's called "word problems"..

I am ok on other topics of GMAT, by OK I mean I am decent, sometimes I can solve, sometimes I can guess and it work fine. But when it comes to word problems, I am a dead man. Anything above 650 level is unsolvable for me. I just can't understand the situation, the formulas I have to use, how to set up the variables (I tend to set up 10 variables instead of 2) and of course, I have no clue on the correct equations. WPs below 650, I have perhaps a 50%-40% accuracy. If I am "lucky" to understand the situation when I see the question, maybe I will solve it. If I don't get it, it's not even worth trying, I will not understand it, it's a sure rule for me by now.

So is there any way to guess at 33% or 50% chance and not randomly guessing? Any blog\website you know? Google give me a gazillion links, but they all say the same techniques and honestly I couldn't find anything specific for word problems. A way to at least be able to set up the variable the right way would be nice! With 10 days to go I think it's too late, but I can give it a shot.

How many word problems are we likely to see on the exam? is it fine if we get like half of Word problems wrong?... (maybe 75% wrong?...) I am aiming for a 45 on quant and I will try to compensate it with a strong verbal.

Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4485
Re: How to guess on Word problems? How many of them on GMAT?  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

10 May 2016, 13:02
iliavko wrote:
Hi everyone!

My Gmat is in 10 days and I have a problem. It's called "word problems"..

I am ok on other topics of GMAT, by OK I mean I am decent, sometimes I can solve, sometimes I can guess and it work fine. But when it comes to word problems, I am a dead man. Anything above 650 level is unsolvable for me. I just can't understand the situation, the formulas I have to use, how to set up the variables (I tend to set up 10 variables instead of 2) and of course, I have no clue on the correct equations. WPs below 650, I have perhaps a 50%-40% accuracy. If I am "lucky" to understand the situation when I see the question, maybe I will solve it. If I don't get it, it's not even worth trying, I will not understand it, it's a sure rule for me by now.

So is there any way to guess at 33% or 50% chance and not randomly guessing? Any blog\website you know? Google give me a gazillion links, but they all say the same techniques and honestly I couldn't find anything specific for word problems. A way to at least be able to set up the variable the right way would be nice! With 10 days to go I think it's too late, but I can give it a shot.

How many word problems are we likely to see on the exam? is it fine if we get like half of Word problems wrong?... (maybe 75% wrong?...) I am aiming for a 45 on quant and I will try to compensate it with a strong verbal.

Dear iliavko,
I'm happy to respond.

Recently, I published these two blogs that you may find helpful.
1) Intro to GMAT Word Problems, Part 1: Translating from Word to Math
2) Intro to GMAT Word Problems, Part 2: Assigning Variables
Each one of those has a set of practice problems with OE provided, so you may find those helpful.

I will say that, as in all math, it's hard to give general advice, because all real math happens in the details. Even guessing is very specific to the situations. It's important to know about strategies such as backsolving, for example, and estimation.

Here's what I'll say. For every word problem that you have gotten wrong, search for it here on GMAT Club. If it has never been posted, then you could start a new thread in the Quant section, but make sure that it is not anywhere to be found before you post a brand new thread. Find those problems, and read the expert approaches. If you don't find what you need there, feel free to ask how to guess on that particular question: you are more than welcome to solicit my help on such a page, using the "mention this user" button. If you get advice on enough problems, I think this will help you.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________
Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)
Manhattan Prep Instructor
Joined: 04 Dec 2015
Posts: 948
GMAT 1: 790 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: How to guess on Word problems? How many of them on GMAT?  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

18 May 2016, 10:08
Obviously, in a perfect world you'd be able to take the time to get good at word problems - but with only a few days until your test, I think you have the right attitude. At this point, it's about damage control and maximizing your chances on the overall Quant section. You don't have to let word problems drag you down.

That said, here are a few quick pieces of advice:

1. Check out this article for a few small, simple tips that may save you some time or points: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... -problems/

2. If the problem itself seems complicated, but the numbers in the answer choices look simple, try plugging the answer choices into the problem. https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... m-solving/

3. Use guessing as a first resort, not a last resort. You already know that word problems are super tough for you - that's a significant insight. So when you see a word problem that looks way too hard, don't waste your time trying to solve it algebraically! Be realistic. Spend a minute to 1:30 coming up with a smart guess.

4. Benchmark the answer against the other numbers in the problem. For instance, maybe the correct answer represents someone's weight. Does the problem give you any other weights? Should that person be lighter, or heavier than them, logically?

5. Benchmark against common values, such as 1/2 or 50%. You can often work out purely with logic that the right answer has to be bigger than 1, or smaller than 1/2, or bigger than 50%, even if you have no idea what it should be.
_________________

Chelsey Cooley | Manhattan Prep | Online tutoring and curriculum

My latest GMAT blog posts | My latest GRE blog posts | Suggestions for blog articles are always welcome!
Re: How to guess on Word problems? How many of them on GMAT?   [#permalink] 18 May 2016, 10:08