GMAT Quantitative Reasoning Section

The GMAT Quantitative Section: Back to Math

The Quantitative section of the GMAT has 37 question that test takers are given 75 minutes to complete. The section tests arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Many of the math questions are high school level – there is no calculus or trigonometry – but test takers should be sure they have confidence in their knowledge of the basic concepts, rules and equations for these mathematical subjects. There are no calculators allowed for this section, so test takers should also be prepared to do mental math. The test also evaluates critical thinking. This will be explained in further detail below in the description of Data Sufficiency questions.

The 75-minute time limit for this section means that test-takers have on average less than two minutes per question. Questions vary greatly in difficulty and the amount of time required for completion. Therefore, rather than limit themselves to two minutes per question, test takers should budget their time more broadly. For example, planning on having 12 questions finished at the end of 25 minutes would be a better way to benchmark than question-by-question pacing.

Approximately 33 of the 37 questions are scored. The other few unscored questions are sample questions that are being tested for use in future tests. There are two types of questions in the Quantitative section. Approximately 20–24 questions are Problem Solving questions and 13–17 are Data Sufficiency questions. Each of these question types are described in further detail below.

Quantitative Question Types

  • Problem Solving

    The majority of the questions in the Quantitative section fall into this category. These are multiple choice questions involving algebra, geometry and arithmetic.

  • Data Sufficiency

    These questions assess test takers' abilities to discern what data is needed to solve equations. These questions involve primarily algebra and geometry.