You have been tackling Problem Solving questions since the age of six. Only, your teachers never categorized or named them thus. This question type on the GMAT is designed to test your understanding of elementary math concepts, reason quantitatively, interpret graphic data and solve GMAT quant problems.
The math you learned in higher/secondary school is usually sufficient to tackle this section – if you’ve refreshed yourself on these fundamentals before the test, you are quite likely to ace this section.
Unlike GMAT Data Sufficiency questions, each and every problem-solving question will provide you with all the information you need to solve it and arrive at the right answer. Put another way; your answer must consider only the information given in the question and not make any assumptions on your own. Here is a sample PS question:
If u > t, r > q, s > t, and t > r, which of the following must be true?
I. u > s II.s > q III. u > r
(A) I only (B) II only (C) III only (D) I and II (E) II and III
Mistakes to avoid when solving PS questions
Looks easy enough, doesn’t it? This is precisely why you need to be extra careful when solving PS questions. Your confidence may lead to you missing something important. Here are some common traps test takers fall into:
- Getting lost in the information shared. Often, a lot of extraneous data will be given in the question and you need to filter through it to pick out only what’s relevant
- Missing negative signs in equations, especially when you move terms from left to right and vice versa
- Trying to use algebra to solve questions, when plugging in numbers is a far simpler approach
- Not using guesstimation to eliminate incorrect answer choices
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