12 Steps to Achieving a Top GMAT Math Score

  1. Start with the basics: memorize all the glossaries and formulae until they are second nature.
  2. Formulate a plan with dedicated math hours per day, per week, per topic and per test category.
  3. Practice with each separate and related math conceptual area and sub-area, focusing on ONE at a time. Do NOT move on until you achieve your targeted proficiency level.
  4. If you start studying 2 or 3 months before your scheduled exam date, do NOT time yourself initially as it may negatively impact your confidence level. Instead, after solving a problem, compare your solution to the one in the book, stop for a moment and think about other approaches you could have taken or intermediate steps you could have avoided to get to the same answer choice.
  5. Write down the type of mistakes you made while practicing. Scan through the list of your common errors each time before you start to practice a series of problems. This will help to reinforce the correct approach in your mind.
  6. Start with Problem Solving first to build or rebuild a solid math foundation. Master it. Then go on to Data Sufficiency.
  7. When working on Data Sufficiency problems ask yourself, "Is the answer definitive with ONLY one result?" If yes, then ask yourself, "Which condition or combination of the conditions will lead to this ONE result." Do not get confused with the question "Can this problem be solved based on the conditions given?" Often times, the answer can be derived based on the conditions; however, multiple answers can be derived, not the single result the Data Sufficiency question is typically asking for.
  8. After you've studied all the conceptual topics and finished a good number of practice problems related to those topics, start to time yourself and try to finish 37 questions in one go WITHOUT a break. If you are doing well, try to finish 40 questions at one time WITHOUT a break. Continue to increase number of questions you work on while keeping the same time span.
  9. Take a mock computer adaptive test and focus only on math. Take another one.
  10. Take an entire mock computer adaptive test with the scheduled breaks just as on the real test.
  11. Practice, practice, practice! Consult with expert instructors when you need help!
  12. You will achieve your targeted math score!

Additional Tips:

*Be aware of the relative weight the GMAT exam places on topics. Topics such as number properties and algebra come up again and again-master these topics before spending time on less commonly tested areas such as probability.

*Train yourself to avoid unnecessary calculations, particularly on Data Sufficiency problems. Remember that it is enough to know that a solution can be derived, whether or not you know the actual solution.