The quantitative section consists of 37 multiple choice questions, which must be answered within 75 minutes. There are two types of questions: problem solving and data sufficiency. The quantitative section is scored from 0 to 60 points. Over the 3 years ending in October 2009, the mean score has been 35.8/60; scores above 50 and below 7 are rare.
This tests the quantitative reasoning ability of the examinee. Problem-solving questions present multiple-choice problems in arithmetic, basic algebra, and elementary geometry. The task is to solve the problems and choose the correct answer from among five answer choices. Some problems will be plain mathematical calculations; the rest will be presented as real life word problems that will require mathematical solutions.
Numbers: All numbers used are real numbers.
Figures: The diagrams and figures that accompany these questions are for the purpose of providing useful information in answering the questions. Unless it is stated that a specific figure is not drawn to scale, the diagrams and figures are drawn as accurately as possible. All figures are in a plane unless otherwise indicated.
This tests the quantitative reasoning ability using an unusual set of directions. The examinee is given a question with two associated statements that provide information that might be useful in answering the question. The examinee must then determine whether either statement alone is sufficient to answer the question; whether both are needed to answer the question; or whether there is not enough information given to answer the question.
Data sufficiency is a unique type of math question created especially for the GMAT. Each item consists of the questions itself followed by two numbered statements.
- If statement 1 alone is sufficient to answer the question, but statement 2 alone is not sufficient.
- If statement 2 alone is sufficient to answer the question, but statement 1 alone is not sufficient.
- If both statements together are needed to answer the question, but neither statement alone is sufficient.
- If either statement by itself is sufficient to answer the question.
- If not enough facts are given to answer the question.
Perhaps the easiest way to fully internalize the scope of these questions is to replace the word “is” with the words “must be” – the questions are not asking whether an answer is possible, but rather, whether it “must” be the case.