Picking up numbers : GMAT Quantitative Section
Check GMAT Club Decision Tracker for the Latest School Decision Releases https://gmatclub.com/AppTrack

 It is currently 01 Mar 2017, 13:15

### 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

# Events & Promotions

###### Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

# Picking up numbers

Author Message
TAGS:

### Hide Tags

Director
Joined: 23 Apr 2010
Posts: 584
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 80 [0], given: 7

### Show Tags

16 Sep 2010, 00:00
I know that quite a few people solve questions by picking up numbers which can be sometimes a very quick way to find a solution. However, this can lead to false answers.

I've got several questions:

1) Are there some techniques for picking up numbers?
2) Is it safe to assume that every single GMAT question can be solved in a traditional way under 2 minutes?
3) What's your opinion on and experience with picking up numbers?

I address this questions mainly to math gurus and people who are good at math.

Thanks.
Current Student
Joined: 12 Jun 2009
Posts: 1847
Location: United States (NC)
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
Schools: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) - Class of 2013
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V39
WE: Programming (Computer Software)
Followers: 25

Kudos [?]: 250 [0], given: 52

### Show Tags

16 Sep 2010, 15:19
nonameee wrote:
I know that quite a few people solve questions by picking up numbers which can be sometimes a very quick way to find a solution. However, this can lead to false answers.

I've got several questions:

1) Are there some techniques for picking up numbers?
2) Is it safe to assume that every single GMAT question can be solved in a traditional way under 2 minutes?
3) What's your opinion on and experience with picking up numbers?

I address this questions mainly to math gurus and people who are good at math.

Thanks.

1. NEVER pick 1 or 0. Pick low numbers like 2,3,4 AND their negative counterparts if applicable - most answers can be found by a combo of negative + integer/fraction. Also, make sure the number you are picking not being shared much by the choices as sometime it could result in confusion. For example, if the question has 2*X or something like that it is probably not a good idea to pick 2. Not saying it wont work but it is possible you might need to repick.
2. yes if you know the trick to it. If you see yourself doing long mult/division time consuming counting then you are doing it "wrong" in terms of the "correct way". Plugin is sometimes easier than algebra since you *could* make mistakes on algebra but it is dependent on the test taker though... Also common sense goes a long way in eliminating answers too
3. I dont like algebra - i can do it sure but i almost always try to do pick numbers.

here's a "trick" i learned when picking numbers FROM answer choices.
For example the answer choices are:
1
3
5
6
9
If you plug back the number instead of solving try to pick choice B or D . Because what happens is if you picked D and the answer is too low then you pick B - this way if B works - great, if not you know it is A or C! Becareful, use this only when the answers are in some kind of order.! kudos!
_________________

Retired Moderator
Joined: 02 Sep 2010
Posts: 805
Location: London
Followers: 108

Kudos [?]: 974 [0], given: 25

### Show Tags

16 Sep 2010, 15:29
nonameee wrote:
I know that quite a few people solve questions by picking up numbers which can be sometimes a very quick way to find a solution. However, this can lead to false answers.

I've got several questions:

1) Are there some techniques for picking up numbers?
2) Is it safe to assume that every single GMAT question can be solved in a traditional way under 2 minutes?
3) What's your opinion on and experience with picking up numbers?

I address this questions mainly to math gurus and people who are good at math.

Thanks.

1> Nothing in general. Depends Q to Q. For Eg. In a question involving exponents, you might want to split thinking between numbers <0, between 0 and 1 and >1. So it really depends on what situation you deal with.

2> There is always a trick to make it happen under 2 minutes. I would much rather bank on doing say 80% or 90% of the Qs in about a minute and a half, so that for the ones where the trick doesnt come to you, you can afford to spend more than 2 mins.

3> It only ever worked for me when I already have a hunch about the answer and am just looking for proof. As a rule, always try the algebraic method first.
_________________
Director
Joined: 23 Apr 2010
Posts: 584
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 80 [0], given: 7

### Show Tags

21 Sep 2010, 04:12
Thank you for your responses. So far I believe that it's better to solve the problem rather than to try to pick up numbers.

The problem with picking up numbers for me seems to be that I cannot find a sort of a pattern in this method. And in the the end it creates more confusion than use.
Senior Manager
Joined: 25 Feb 2010
Posts: 481
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 86 [0], given: 10

### Show Tags

21 Sep 2010, 04:59
nonameee wrote:
Thank you for your responses. So far I believe that it's better to solve the problem rather than to try to pick up numbers.

The problem with picking up numbers for me seems to be that I cannot find a sort of a pattern in this method. And in the the end it creates more confusion than use.

Nothing as such, just try to practice few of the questions.
Always remember that you substitute both +ive and -ive numbers.
_________________

GGG (Gym / GMAT / Girl) -- Be Serious

Its your duty to post OA afterwards; some one must be waiting for that...

Re: Picking up numbers   [#permalink] 21 Sep 2010, 04:59
Similar topics Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
Sample Questions: Picking Numbers & Backsolving 0 30 Jul 2013, 05:33
1 Shortcut for multiply numbers together up to 19 2 29 Jul 2012, 22:01
Check All Answers When Picking Numbers? 2 24 Jul 2012, 08:04
10 If 0 < r < 1 < s < 2, which of the following must be less 8 21 Jan 2011, 10:24
picking numbers 3 05 Jul 2010, 10:22
Display posts from previous: Sort by