Cheat Sheet

1,001 GMAT Practice Questions For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From 1,001 GMAT Practice Questions For Dummies

By Sandra Luna McCune, Shannon Reed

Many MBA programs include scores from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) as an admissions requirement. So how do you prepare for such a rigorous exam? You need to become familiar with the topics covered and the types of questions you’ll be faced with. You also need to spend time answering practice questions and analyzing the areas where you may need more study.

Preparing for the GMAT Quantitative Section

The GMAT Quantitative section consists of a mix of Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions (37 in total), which must be completed in 75 minutes. (The specific directions for each type of question will be presented each time they appear.)

Problem Solving questions are multiple-choice questions with five answer choice options. Each Data Sufficiency question poses a question followed by two statements. Your task is to evaluate the statements to determine at what point there is or is not sufficient information to answer the question. Unlike the Problem Solving questions, you do not actually have to answer the question posed. Instead, you select one of five fixed answer choices that offer different options about the sufficiency of the information provided in the two statements.

The five answer choices are exactly the same and in the same order for each Data Sufficiency question.

Quantitative: Problem Solving

  • Be prepared to use your knowledge of basic math, probability and statistics, algebra, geometry, and problem solving.
  • Memorize formula and other common math knowledge beforehand.
  • Write expressions and draw figures on the erasable notepad correctly.
  • Avoid making arithmetic or algebra mistakes.
  • Check to make sure you didn’t overlook something when formulating an equation.
  • Read all the answer choices before you select an answer.
  • Eliminate answer choices that don’t make sense.
  • If a question is taking too much time, make a strategic guess and move on.

Quantitative: Data Sufficiency

  • Memorize the five fixed answer choices so you don’t have to refer to them.
  • Read carefully to know exactly what the question posed is asking.
  • Avoid making unwarranted assumptions, such as assuming a four-sided figure is a rectangle.
  • Be sure to check whether the second statement is sufficient when the first statement is determined to be sufficient.
  • When the question posed asks for the value of a quantity, decide given information is sufficient only if exactly one numerical value for the quantity can be determined.
  • When the question posed is a yes or no question, decide given information is sufficient only if a definite yes or no answer is possible.
  • Don’t work out solutions to the question posed unless you can’t decide sufficiency without doing so.
  • If a question is taking too much time, make a strategic guess and move on.

Preparing for the GMAT Verbal Section

The Verbal section of the GMAT consists of the following subsections: Reading Comprehension, Sentence Completion, and Critical Reasoning. Each subsection has about 12 questions (more or less), and you have 75 minutes to complete the Verbal section.

Verbal: Reading Comprehension

  • Read the entire passage. Don’t skim.
  • Read the question prompt and ask yourself what type of question it is: is it asking for the main idea, for a fact from the passage, for the best answer based on your inferring, about the style and tone, or is it another type?
  • Eliminate answer choices you know cannot be correct. Then return to the passage and look for your answer.
  • In questions about the author’s tone, remember that the Reading Comprehension passages are usually written in fairly neutral style.
  • In vocabulary questions, avoid guessing on a big word you don’t know just because it sounds impressive.
  • When answering an inference question, look for logical hops in thinking, not giant, unsubstantiated leaps.


Verbal: Sentence Completion

  • Read the sentence carefully and notice the place where you think an error has taken place. Look for answer choices that change that spot. Don’t get distracted by other choices.
  • Look for problems in the verb tense or use of pronouns. If you’re sure the error is not there, look for errors in parallelism and word choice. If you still can’t find the error, check the placement of phrases.
  • Remember that about three Sentence Completion Questions on every GMAT will not have errors, and Choice A will be correct.
  • Re-read the answer choice you’re leaning towards in the context of the entire sentence before committing to it.

Verbal: Critical Reasoning

  • There are several different types of Critical Reasoning questions, so it’s a good idea to read the question first before the passage. That will help you establish what the question is looking for: to support the argument, to weaken it, to conclude it, and so on.
  • Some passages have multiple questions. Always consider them separately.
  • Do not bring you own knowledge to the question. Use only the passage provided.
  • Remember that the argument presented is likely to be weak or flawed.
  • Most Critical Reasoning questions will ask you to strengthen or weaken the author’s logic. It’s therefore important to be able to explain what the logic — not just the topic — is. If you can find the spine of the logic, you’ll be in better shape to weaken or support it.
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