Table of Contents
Introduction
Are you setting your sights on conquering the GMAT in 2024? If so, getting a strong handle on the Arithmetic section is a must. Imagine this section as a playground where your number skills are put through their paces. This part of the exam is all about seeing how well you understand and work with numbers and their various properties.
Now, if you’re feeling a bit daunted by what lies ahead, worry not! This guide is here to light the way. We’re going to unfold the mysteries of the GMAT Arithmetic syllabus bit by bit. We’ll cover the mustknow topics, the kinds of questions that will come your way, the key formulas you can’t do without, and much more. Our goal is to focus on your GMAT preparation thoroughly. We want to make sure you’re armed with everything you need to succeed.
So, why is the GMAT Arithmetic section so important? Well, it tests a range of skills that are vital not just for the GMAT but for your future business school studies and beyond. These include basic operations like adding and subtracting, as well as more complex tasks like working out percentages or understanding ratios. These might sound simple, but when you’re under exam conditions, even straightforward questions can become tricky puzzles.
That’s where we come in. This guide will help you become familiar with what to expect, teach you how to tackle different types of problems, and give you strategies to prepare effectively. We want to make sure that when you sit down to take the GMAT, you’ll feel confident, prepared, and ready to ace the Arithmetic section.
Let’s get started on this journey together. Step by step, we’ll demystify the GMAT Arithmetic section, making it less of a daunting obstacle and more of an opportunity for you to shine. By the end of this guide, you’ll not only be familiar with all the Arithmetic concepts you need to know but also be equipped with the tools and strategies to solve them quickly and correctly.
Ready to dive in? Let’s embark on this path to mastering GMAT Arithmetic and move one step closer to your business school aspirations.
Brief Overview of GMAT Arithmetic
When you dive into the GMAT, you’ll find the Arithmetic section sitting at the heart of the Quantitative part. It’s your playground to showcase how well you can juggle numbers and solve problems. Whether it’s the simple tasks of adding and subtracting or the brainteasers involving prime numbers and ratios, this section is all about testing your number game. Getting a good grip on the wide range of topics covered is your starting line for preparing for the GMAT.
 Understanding GMAT Arithmetic: Imagine GMAT Arithmetic as the basic building blocks of all the math you’ll need for the test. It zeroes in on simple math operations like adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing, and shows you how to use these in various situations. It’s like being back in school but with a twist – every question is a step towards proving you have the math skills for business school.
 The Scope of Topics: What exactly will you tackle in this section? Think of every basic math concept you’ve learned—fractions (like a pie cut into pieces), decimals (numbers with a point, like 1.5), percentages (like scoring 90% on a test), and ratios (comparing two things, like 2 apples for every 3 oranges). You need to be comfortable with these concepts because you’ll use them to solve different problems on the GMAT.
 Importance in GMAT: Why does all this matter? The GMAT isn’t just testing your ability to crunch numbers. It’s looking at how you think logically and make quick, smart decisions when time is ticking. The Arithmetic section is a crucial part of this puzzle, challenging your mind to navigate through numbers and solve problems efficiently.
 Strategies for Mastery: So, how do you conquer GMAT Arithmetic? It’s not just about knowing the math but understanding how to apply it. You’ll need to get lots of practice, get familiar with the kinds of questions you’ll see, and develop a smart study plan. Don’t worry; we’ll dive deep into these strategies, offering tips and tricks to prepare you thoroughly. Think of it as equipping yourself with the best tools for your GMAT adventure.
What To Expect in the GMAT Arithmetic Section?
Stepping into the GMAT Arithmetic section might feel like entering a maze. But don’t worry! Knowing what’s waiting for you can help turn that maze into a straightforward path. This part of the test checks how good you are with numbers through different kinds of questions. Let’s break down what you’ll face and how you can prepare for it.
 Question Types: Think of the GMAT as testing you in two main ways. First, there are problemsolving questions, where you’ll need to figure out the right answer from five choices. It’s like solving a puzzle where only one piece fits perfectly. Then, there are data sufficiency questions, which are a bit different. They ask you if you have enough information to solve a problem, not what the answer is. For these, you need to decide quickly whether the info given is enough or not. Both types need a bit of a different strategy to crack.
 Time Management: Imagine you’re in a race against time. Each question is a hurdle you need to jump over quickly. Since you’ve got only so much time for a lot of questions, being fast and accurate is super important. The best way to get better? Practice like it’s the real deal. Set a timer and try to solve questions within the time limit. It’s like training for a sprint; the more you practice, the faster you get.
 Common Pitfalls: Sometimes, questions are dressed up in complicated words or involve several steps of math, making them look harder than they are. These can trip you up if you’re not careful. The key is to stay calm and break everything down into simpler parts. We’ll go over some tips to spot these tricky questions and not let them fool you. It’s a bit like learning to spot a hidden trap in a game.
 Preparation Tips: Getting to know the types of questions you’ll see on the test is like scouting the battlefield before a fight. Once you know what to expect, practice, practice, and practice some more. This section isn’t just about throwing random tips at you; we’re going to guide you on how to make the most out of your study time. Whether it’s finding the right materials or setting up a study schedule that works, we’ve got you covered.
Best Ways To Prep For GMAT Arithmetic
Preparing for GMAT Arithmetic is like getting ready for a big game. You need to know the rules, practice a lot, and have a good game plan. Here’s how you can get all set:
 Build a Solid Foundation: Before you start solving complex problems, make sure you understand the basics really well. This means being comfortable with simple arithmetic like adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. It’s like learning to crawl before you walk. You need these skills to be strong because everything else in math builds on them. Use online resources, textbooks, or even mobile apps that focus on basic arithmetic skills.
 Practice Regularly: The best way to get better at anything is by doing it a lot. This is especially true for GMAT Arithmetic. Find lots of practice questions and work on them as often as you can. It’s like practicing free throws in basketball; the more you do it, the better you get. Make sure to practice different types of questions so you get used to all the ways GMAT might test you.
 Learn Time Management: On the GMAT, you have limited time to answer each question. So, you need to be quick as well as correct. Practice solving problems with a timer. Start by giving yourself a bit more time than you’ll have on the test and gradually reduce it. This is like training to run faster; you start at your pace and then push yourself to go faster and faster.
 Understand Your Weaknesses: As you practice, you’ll find certain topics or types of questions that are harder for you. That’s totally normal. The key is to not avoid these but to tackle them headon. Spend extra time studying and practicing these areas. It’s like when a soccer player works on their weaker foot; it takes time, but it pays off.
 Use Quality Study Materials: Not all study guides and practice questions are created equal. Some are way better and more like the real GMAT questions than others. Do some research or ask for recommendations to find the best materials. It’s like choosing the right gear for a sport; having the best equipment can make a big difference.
 Take Practice Tests: Fulllength practice tests are super helpful. They let you experience what taking the actual GMAT will be like. You’ll get used to the timing, the pressure, and the stamina needed. It’s like playing scrimmage games before the season starts; they prepare you for the real competition.
 Review Your Mistakes: After you do practice problems or take a practice test, always spend time going over the questions you got wrong or found difficult. Try to understand why you made a mistake and how to avoid it next time. It’s like watching game tapes to see what went wrong and how to improve.
 Stay Positive and Persistent: Preparing for the GMAT can be tough, and there might be days when you feel like you’re not making progress. Remember, improvement comes with time and persistence. Keep a positive attitude, and don’t give up. It’s like training for a marathon; there are hard days, but crossing the finish line feels amazing.
Top GMAT Arithmetic Prep Books
Book Title 
Key Features 
How It Helps 
GMAT Official Guide 
Official source Includes real past questions Detailed explanations 
Offers authentic insight into what to expect Helps understand the exam format and question types 
Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides 
Comprehensive coverage Focuses on strategy Includes practice questions 
Deep dives into each topic for thorough understanding Teaches testtaking strategies Practice questions to apply learning 
Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook 
Focus on quantitative section Breaks down arithmetic concepts Lots of practice questions 
Helps build a strong math foundation Explains arithmetic in simple terms Provides extensive practice 
Total GMAT Math by Jeff Sackmann 
Indepth math focus Over 500 practice questions Covers all math concepts 
Excellent for mastering math skills Variety of questions for extensive practice Clear explanations for selflearning 
PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible 
Focuses on critical reasoning Teaches effective argument analysis Strategies for different question types 
Strengthens logical thinking skills Improves accuracy in solving problems Helps in understanding and tackling complex questions 
Key Takeaways
1. Understand the GMAT Arithmetic Syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the scope of topics covered, including basic operations, fractions, decimals, percentages, and ratios, to build a solid foundation for more complex problems.
2. Practice Is Key: Regular and diverse practice with a variety of question types is crucial to mastering the GMAT Arithmetic section.
3. Master Time Management: Learning to solve problems quickly and accurately under timed conditions is essential for success on the GMAT.
4. Identify and Strengthen Weak Areas: Pay special attention to topics and question types that challenge you the most.
5. Use Quality Study Materials: Invest in reputable GMAT prep books and resources that offer indepth explanations and practice questions reflective of the actual exam.
6. Take FullLength Practice Tests: Simulate the test day experience to become comfortable with the exam format, timing, and endurance required.
7. Review Mistakes Thoroughly: Analyzing errors and understanding why you made them is critical for improving your performance.
8. Learn TestTaking Strategies: Develop strategies for different types of questions, especially for tackling data sufficiency problems.
9. Build a Solid Math Foundation: Ensure a strong grasp of basic arithmetic operations and principles before moving on to more advanced topics.
10. Stay Positive and Persistent: Maintaining a positive mindset and persevering through challenges are vital for overcoming obstacles and achieving a high score.
FAQ

What is GMAT Arithmetic?
GMAT Arithmetic is a part of the GMAT exam that tests your basic math skills, like adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and understanding fractions, decimals, and percentages.

How many questions are in the GMAT Arithmetic section?
The Arithmetic questions are part of the Quantitative section, which has 31 questions in total. The exact number of Arithmetic questions can vary.

Do I need a calculator for GMAT Arithmetic?
No, you cannot use a calculator on the Quantitative section of the GMAT, including the Arithmetic questions.

How can I improve my speed in solving GMAT Arithmetic questions?
Practice regularly with a timer, focus on understanding the basics thoroughly, and learn shortcuts and strategies for solving common problem types.

What are the best books for GMAT Arithmetic preparation?
Some top books include the GMAT Official Guide, Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides, Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook, and Total GMAT Math by Jeff Sackmann.

Is it important to take fulllength practice tests?
Yes, fulllength practice tests help you get used to the exam’s format, timing, and pressure, which is crucial for managing your time and stamina on the actual test day.

How do I handle tricky word problems in GMAT Arithmetic?
Read the problem carefully, break it down into smaller parts, and try to translate words into mathematical equations. Practice is key to getting better at these.

Can I improve my GMAT Arithmetic score in one month?
Yes, significant improvement is possible with focused and intensive study, especially if you concentrate on your weaknesses and practice regularly.

What if I’m stuck on a question during the exam?
It’s best to make an educated guess and move on. Spending too much time on one question can eat into the time you have for others.

How important is the Arithmetic section for my overall GMAT score?
The Arithmetic section is a crucial part of the Quantitative score, which, along with the Verbal score, determines your overall GMAT score. Strong arithmetic skills can significantly contribute to a higher Quantitative score.
There are many places to find help, including online forums, study groups, and tutoring services. Look for resources that fit your learning style and needs.
To wrap up, we hope this guide made GMAT scores easier to understand. Knowing how the GMAT is scored and what a good score looks like is important for getting into business school.
If you found this guide helpful, please check out our other articles and tools. We have lots of helpful information whether you’re just starting to study for the GMAT or trying to get even better. Good luck with your GMAT study and reaching your goal of going to business school.