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I just found out I won't be allowed to use a calculator during the quantative section of the GMAT. Mathematics is my weakest point in the test and this is quite a worrying fact for me. I'm working hard and doing some maths every day, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips/tricks and simple mathematical equations for me which I can apply.

To give you an example of my struggle, I have to calculate 460 . (0,85) for one of my questions. I have been doing these types of calculations with a calculator as far as I can remember and would have no clue how to solve it without one.

Great question! One thing that I like to do is focus on 10's. So for example, if you needed to figure out what 163*9 is, I would multiply 163 by 10, yielding 1,630. I would then subtract 163 from this number. In order to do this, you could first subtract 150, yielding 1,480. Then subtract another 13, yielding 1,467.

It all comes down to breaking the math down into manageable chunks. What chunks you choose, and in what order, is completely person dependent. The above is how I would have calculated that question.

If you have an iPhone (I think may work on Android as well), check out Muncher. It's a pretty cool app that allows you to work on mental math.

I just found out I won't be allowed to use a calculator during the quantative section of the GMAT. Mathematics is my weakest point in the test and this is quite a worrying fact for me. I'm working hard and doing some maths every day, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips/tricks and simple mathematical equations for me which I can apply.

To give you an example of my struggle, I have to calculate 460 . (0,85) for one of my questions. I have been doing these types of calculations with a calculator as far as I can remember and would have no clue how to solve it without one.

You see, the GMAT is awfully unlikely to ask you to multiply, say, 460*(0.85) and find an exact value without a calculator. They could expect you to estimate the result --- for example, multiplying 460 by a number less than 1 will result in a product that is less than 460. Furthermore, 0.85 > 0.5, so clearly 460*(0.85) must be greater than 460*(0.5) = 230. It may be that, in whatever problem this appears, of the five answer choices, only one would be between 230 and 460, and this simple estimation would be enough to isolate the answer.

The GMAT could expect you to calculate, say, 250 * 84. For this, we can use the Doubling & Halving trick, discussed in the penultimate link above. double of 250 is 500 half of 84 is 42, so 250*84 = 500*42 repeat the process half of 42 is 21 double of 500 is 1000 Therefore, 250*84 = 500*42 = 1000*21 = 21,000

My advice: between now and the GMAT, [b]do not touch your calculator[/b]. Everyday, practice ordinary small number addition & subtraction & multiplication & division in your head. Too many people who aren't confident about math psyche themselves out so much that the wind up multiplying 4 times 6 on the calculator. Practice ordinary arithmetic every day, so at least these "muscles" are in shape by the time of the GMAT.

Let me know if you have any further questions Mike
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You need not memorize all the suggested techniques. Go with the ones that you find most useful, naturally. Students generally find the following excerpt (using answer choices for solving Geometry questions) particularly helpful.

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