Even though it is a requirement that varies from country to country, and university to university, a GMAT test (or Graduate Management Admission Test) is often necessary to secure admission in various master’s or professional business programmes like an MBA that includes maths.

As a mathematical aptitude test, the GMAT exam is essential for those who want to pursue international careers or tertiary education in the field of mathematics. Even in countries, jobs, or universities where it is not mandatory, having a good score on a GMAT exam can open career doors and place you in front of the queue in highly competitive job markets that require maths.

In a nutshell GMAT exams comprise the following four sections:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Integrated Reasoning
  • Quantitative
  • Verbal

Here’s a scenario where you could benefit from GMAT prep.

Just suppose you said farewell to your maths career at the end of high school or your undergraduate degree, but for career purposes, furthering your tertiary education or impressing job recruiters in your field, you are faced with the reality of GMAT exams. Everyone knows that the trickiest part of the GMAT exam is the quantitative section that involves maths. This is when a private maths tutor is the perfect solution to effective GMAT prep.

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GMAT Prep for the Quantitative Section

If you’ve been searching GMAT exam, South Africa, then you probably already know that the quantitative section of the GMAT test is 75 minutes in duration and comprises 37 questions. And if you have done a GMAT practice test you’ll know that this section is computer adaptive which means that the question that follows is based on the level of accuracy of the previous one.

Whichever way you decide to tackle your GMAT prep, you will find out that the testing software adapts to your performance as you progress through the exam.

Like other countries, the GMAT exam South Africa comprises two main sections:

  • Problem Solving
  • Data Sufficiency

Problem-solving is the first part of the quantitative section of the GMAT exam. The format is multiple choice which by now you are probably familiar with because it is very standardised.

The second format, Data Sufficiency comprises a uniquely formatted questionnaire. This is something you have probably come across in a GMAT practice test, especially if you have been working with a private maths tutor.

The format is based upon distinguished and unique rules which is why the GMAT prep is imperative because, without knowledge of these rules, these questions can be tough to solve.

GMAT Maths Preparation requires lots of time
GMAT questions can be tricky. Adopt an out of the box thinking!(Source: stocksnap)

Maths Level Required for GMAT Exam South Africa

When it comes to the quantitative portion of the GMAT exam, a basic knowledge of maths is essential. You will require the basic skills, concepts and formulas taught to you in your high school years. Some key topics worth revising as you about your GMAT prep include:

  • Arithmetic
  • Fractions
  • Trigonometry
  • Equations
  • Formulas
  • Concepts of the perimeter, area, circumference, median, etc.

Why not do a GMAT practice test where you can answer questions involving transformations of volume, length, weight, money, and word sum problems. Don’t write off even simple concepts like solving equations to find an ‘x's variable. A revision of all the basics will help you to adopt some out-of-the-box thinking.

Thinking about GMAT Exams? Master These Maths Skills

The GMAT exam South Africa tests specific maths skills and all of these are needed to achieve a good score.

Once you have mastered the basic skills mentioned below, you will be well prepared to dive into any difficult questions that a GMAT exam can throw at you.

Maths Skills for GMAT Exams

Algebra

You will notice that when you do a GMAT practice test, that the algebra to be encountered is not dissimilar to what you would have learnt at school. Here are few things you should revise to revise:

  • The manipulation of algebraic expressions for the solution of variables.
  • The application of quadratic formulas for linear equations for discovering unknown quantities.
  • Manipulating inequalities to find solutions.
  • Solving functions and then applying them to other concepts

Algebraic Equations are the main part of the GMAT test quantitative portion.

Geometry

Knowledge of trigonometry or graphs of nonlinear function are not the core focus of GMAT exams, however, it would be wise to familiarise yourself. You’ll probably find when you go through a GMAT practice test that you will need the following:

  • Basic geometry concerning four quadrant graphs and that uses equations for line and slope.
  •  Properties of angles for preparation of shapes and lines.
  •  Properties of lines, their rules, concepts, and formulas for parallel, intersecting and perpendicular lines.
  • Uniform solids like cylinders and rectangles.
  • In-depth rules, concepts, and properties for circles, triangles, and quadrilaterals.

Arithmetic

What would GMAT exams be without arithmetic? Makes sure that you can still ace some of these possibly long-forgotten skills:

  • Conversion and manipulation of decimals, ratios, and fractions.
  • Figuring out percentages
  • Dealing with roots and exponents
  • Sets as well as their properties and laws
  • Theorems, rules, and the properties of real numbers
  • Methods of counting such as combinations and permutations
  • The probability calculation and its common formulas

The questions you will be obliged to solve in a GMAT exam South Africa would mean that you need to deploy all or some of these skills. Remember that calculators are not allowed which is why your basic skills such as arithmetic could serve you well.

The GMAT test cleverly utilises mathematics language which includes jargon like integers, digits, tens, standard deviation, median, prime numbers, ratio and mean, etc. Make sure that you are familiar with these concepts as well as the vocabulary itself.

Practical and Real-Life Problems

The GMAT test is not an ordinary school exam and it may therefore use concepts that have not been learnt at school. For you to prepare to the best of your ability, add extra concepts and formulas especially for the practical and real-life problem section of the test. This is something that your private maths tutor can certainly help you to prepare for.

This includes:

  • Skills needed to calculate both simple and compounded interest
  • Profit and discounts
  • Problems involving measurement and rate
  • Combined word problems

The GMAT exam South Africa will test your knowledge in a way that the concepts appear to be more difficult than they really are. Gaining confidence means taking a GMAT practice test as often as you can.

Going back to your school maths will help you big time
Get study material from wherever you can, to prepare for GMAT (Source: stocksnap)

Tips for Taking a GMAT Exam South Africa

  • Don’t wait: The mathematics that you find in GMAT is largely the maths you studied in high school, so the sooner you take the exam, the better it will be for you. Don’t wait to complete your undergraduate degree. Remember that your GMAT score is active for five years and it can make all the difference to recruiters and head hunters who specialise in jobs for mathematics and science.
  • Practise, practise, practise: Do not undervalue the power of practice. Spend as much time as possible on practice, as you can. The data sufficiency questions will need special consideration and demanding practice because their format is not like any other exams you have ever taken. The unconventional format involves a question comprising two statements where you will be required to determine if both the statements answer the question, if none do, or if only one statement provides a true answer. If you lack the practice, this particular portion of the exam will consume the majority of your time. Unfortunately, this is when you are in danger of your mind wandering. You could also then become anxious about time running out!
  • Learn how to adapt to computer-generated questions: Since GMAT exams are what are called computer-adaptive tests, with strict rules and cameras watching your every move, the test can feel very intimidating as an experience. Sadly, for many, this means that many people do not perform to their utmost capability which is more a reflection of the environment, rather than the test itself.  One of the best ways to cope with this is to make sure that you have a private maths tutor who can help you go through every GMAT practice test available to you. All of this preparation will serve you well when it comes to the exam.

Remember that having a good GMAT score will not only improve your CV and put you ahead of the queue in a highly competitive job market, but it will give you the confidence that you need to enter into a tertiary education or careers where maths is foundational to your continued success. Good luck!

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Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.