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Quantitative Section Explained for GMAT Exam

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Quantitative Section GMAT Exam banner

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is crucial for anyone seeking admission into a management program. It assesses students' abilities in various areas, like analytical writing, integrated reasoning, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. 

The quantitative reasoning section is an important part of the GMAT, and this blog post aims to provide an overview of what it is, what is tested in this section, and the importance of GMAT quantitative scores.

The Importance of GMAT Quantitative Scores 

Out of the analytical, integrated, quantitative, and verbal reasoning sections, the GMAT Quantitative section holds significant weight in the overall score and can significantly impact the admissions decision. It is essential to understand the importance of GMAT Quantitative scores and the weightage given to this section to ensure success on the GMAT exam. The Quantitative section of the GMAT comprises 31 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed within 62 minutes. Further, the quantitative section has two parts: Problem-Solving (18- 20 questions) and Data Sufficiency (11-13 questions). 

Syllabus of GMAT Quantitative Section

The GMAT Quantitative section is designed to assess the candidate's ability in math and problem-solving skills. It is one of the four sections of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and is crucial in determining the candidate's admission to a graduate management program. GMAT candidates need to be familiar with basic mathematical concepts, understand the problem-solving process, and be able to apply mathematical reasoning to solve quantitative problems.

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Types of GMAT Quantitative Questions

The GMAT Quantitative section evaluates the mathematical problem-solving capabilities of the applicant and interprets quantitative information. Various types of questions are included in the GMAT Quantitative syllabus. Some of the common question types include:

1. Problem-Solving

These questions test the candidate's ability to solve mathematical problems and use mathematical concepts. For example, a candidate might be asked to find the average speed of a car if it covers a certain distance in a given time.

Sample Question: An aeroplane covers a certain distance at a speed of 240 kmph in 5 hours. To cover the same distance in 1 hours, it must travel at a speed of:

2. Data Sufficiency

These questions test the candidate's ability to analyze quantitative information and make decisions based on that information. For example, a candidate might be asked to determine if the given information is enough to answer a certain question, such as the number of people attending an event.

Sample Question. How many children does M have?


H is the only daughter of X who is wife of M.

K and J are brothers of M.

  1. I alone is sufficient while II alone is not sufficient
  2. II alone is sufficient while I alone is not sufficient
  3. Either I or II is sufficient
  4. Neither I nor II is sufficient
  5. Both I and II are sufficient

3. Quantitative Comparison

These questions ask the candidate to compare two quantities and determine which one is greater, if they are equal, or if the information provided is insufficient to make a comparison.

Example: A candidate might be asked to compare two quantities, such as the distance traveled by two trains in a certain amount of time.

Sample Question: 

The diagonal of a rectangle

Half the perimeter of the same rectangle

A. The quantity on the left is greater

B. The quantity on the right is greater

C. Both are equal

D. The relationship cannot be determined without further information

It is important for the candidate to understand the different question types and to practice solving various GMAT Quantitative questions to be well-prepared for the exam.

Tips to Ace GMAT Quantitative Section

The GMAT Quantitative section tests your mathematical skills and ability to use data to solve problems. It is important to perform well in this section, as it significantly determines your overall GMAT score. Here are some tips to help you ace the GMAT Quantitative section:

1.Familiarize yourself with the types of questions.

Understand the different types of GMAT Quantitative questions, such as data sufficiency, problem-solving, and quantitative comparison. This will help you know what to expect and how to approach each question.

2.Brush up on basic math skills.

Revisit the basics of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry to build a strong foundation for more complex problems.

3.Practice with sample questions.

Try solving practice questions to get a feel for the format and difficulty level of the GMAT Quantitative section.

4.Manage your time effectively.

Make sure to allocate enough time for each question, and don't spend too much time on one question.

5.Stay focused, and don't panic.

Stay calm and focused during the test, and don't let a difficult question distract you. Take a deep breath and keep moving forward.

Following these tips can increase your chances of performing well in the GMAT Quantitative section and achieving a high score.


The GMAT Quantitative section is an essential component of the GMAT and a critical factor in determining the candidate's eligibility for a graduate management program. To ace this section, the test taker must have a strong foundation in mathematics and be able to apply their knowledge to solve complex problems.

Important Resources For PTE/SAT/ACT Exam

PTE Examination Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific PTE exam eligibility criteria set by Pearson VUE – the organizers of the test.

PTE Eligibility

PTE Academic Syllabus

PTE syllabus includes various sections such as Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.

PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam Pattern

The PTE exam pattern is designed to test whether candidates can study at international institutions that have English as the main language for instructions.

PTE Exam Pattern

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a calculator allowed in the GMAT Exam?

Yes. A basic calculator is provided on the computer screen during the GMAT Quantitative section.

Is it possible to skip questions in the GMAT Quantitative section and come back to them later?

Yes. The candidates can skip questions and come back to them later within the allotted time.

What level of math knowledge is expected in the GMAT Quantitative section?

The GMAT Quantitative section covers high school-level math concepts, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.

Are there any penalties for incorrect answers in the GMAT Quantitative section?

Yes, there is a penalty for incorrect answers in the GMAT Quantitative section. If you answer a question incorrectly, you receive no points and face a penalty of one-quarter point for five-option multiple-choice questions and one-third for four-option questions.

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.