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# how to speed up answering math questions?

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Intern
Joined: 16 Aug 2005
Posts: 7

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29 Aug 2005, 00:52
Hi all,

I am a bit new to the forum.. I took a few challenges and

I was wondering how people (esp. at the top few places)can finish them so quickly - often in less than an hour. I always run out of time and often have to guess on last 2-4 questions.

Any tips??

Thanks!
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 312

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06 Feb 2013, 21:59
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Hi Noblescorpion, by far the most efficient way to speed up your quant solving rate is to memorize the multiplication table you knew back in elementary. This 12x12 grid helps you out on the exam more than any other single piece of advice I can give. Many questions rely on you multiplying, dividing or squaring numbers in this range, but the real trick is that this is but one aspect of the question as a whole. If you don't get sidetracked with 10-15 or more seconds trying to solve 9x12, you can save these seconds on multiple questions and come out ahead by several minutes over the entire exam.

The other huge benefit is that you don't get sidetracked while solving a question with mechanical calculations. This keeps your brain focused on the problem at hand and eliminates unnecessary rereading and even falling for some trap answers. If you're trying to solve a question for x that requires you to divide 42 by 7, if you quickly know the answer is 6, you keep the x in mind and don't start contemplating 7 or 42 or any other superfluous number.

There are other tips that can help, but if you're running out of time for 3-4 questions, this means you're running about 5-10 minutes late. The multiplication table should get you back at least this time. Incidentally, this also teaches you the perfect squares from 1 to 12. Feel free to add 13^2 (169), 14^2 (196) and 15^2 (225) to the end of that list.

Good luck and please feel free to let me know if this worked for you or if you're already fast at mental math and are looking for other tips.
-Ron
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VP
Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 1099
Concentration: Healthcare, Strategy
Schools: Duke '16 (M)

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11 Feb 2013, 03:11
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noblescorpion wrote:
Hi all,
I am a bit new to the forum.. I took a few challenges and
I was wondering how people (esp. at the top few places)can finish them so quickly - often in less than an hour. I always run out of time and often have to guess on last 2-4 questions.
Any tips??
Thanks!

The best thing you can do is practice. The more you practice, the better you get: in terms of both accuracy and speed. Speed is highly co-related with your knowledge of the a topic (conceptual clarity) and the best way to enhance that is to practice. I believe it is less to do with learning tables or doing quick calculations. In fact, I slowed down on my calculations most of the times - that is where I screwed up on most of the questions.

I wrote gmat twice and got a decent quant score both the times. On both my attempts, I was never too far ahead of my schedule. In my opinion, people who complete the test in 60 minutes and score a Q48/49 have a timing problem as well. Optimizing your performance in the given time is the key and the more you practice under timed (and untimed) conditions, the more you know your strengths and weaknesses, the better chances you have of doing well on the exam.

My suggestion, therefore, would be to practice more and once you hit higher accuracy rates, try to hit some speed.

you may also use this: timing-strategies-on-the-gmat-80176.html?fl=menu
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16 Feb 2019, 21:19
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Re: how to speed up answering math questions?   [#permalink] 16 Feb 2019, 21:19
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